1. If you read Traina Thoughts or listen to the SI Media Podcast, you know there have been reports about Amazon being interested in Troy Aikman to be the analyst for Thursday Night Football next season.
Aikman even addressed the reports on the SI Media Podcast a few weeks back, saying, “There’s been conversations, like, I’ve not had conversations myself with anyone, with Amazon or with Fox about this. There has been conversation that if Amazon had an interest in me maybe I would continue with the same schedule that I’ve been doing, and that is Thursday nights with Amazon, and then doing the late game and the playoffs with Fox. I will say that’s a lot. I’ve been doing it for four years now. I really thought I’d do it for one year, and the first year was a lot of fun doing Thursday nights, a prime-time game, something I had never done before. And now here I am in my fourth year, and it’s a lot. I don’t want to say it takes the enjoyment out of it because I really love what I do. What it takes away is the time spent with the crew and really being able to get to know and enjoy the people on your crew. There are people who have been on our Fox crew for two or three years who I really don’t know because I haven’t been around them. I think like any good team, that’s part of it. That’s kind of the magic in what you do. So I’m not ruling that out, but my preference because of how difficult it is would be to get back to a normalized schedule and do one game a week.”
Aikman’s longtime broadcast partner, Joe Buck, joined this week’s SI Media Podcast, and I asked him whether he’s thought about life after Troy.
“I try not to,” Buck said, “because it’s been 20 years and I can honestly say, I have never had one moment where we have felt like, at least I haven’t, and we talk about it all the time, we’re just lucky we’re good friends.
In this business with as much as there is on the line, at least in our own minds, every time we go on, and this business can be kind of backstabby and everyone’s climbing over one another to make things happen for themselves, he and I have never played that game.
He’s legitimately one of my best friends and I think he would say the same about me, so I try not to think about it. And we talk about it. We talk about what’s out there and we talk about what he’s deciding between and everything else. I only ask questions and talk about it to a point because that’s his life. That’s his career. He knows how I feel. I don’t want him going anywhere and that’s understood. But at the end of the day, he’s gonna do what he wants to do.”
I asked Buck whether he would expect to get a say in who would replace Aikman if the analyst did indeed leave the network.
“I haven’t said one word to Fox about all that and they have not talked to me, one word, about all of that,” said Buck. “Not at any point.”
He added, “I think I would be in the conversation, but I think they are certainly in no way, shape or form obligated to listen to anything I say. They’re the boss. I’m the guy that sits in the booth. I’ve worked with multiple people in baseball. I’ve worked with multiple people in football. I started with Tim Green and I’ve been with Bill Maas and Brian Baldinger and different people along the way. It’s been 20 years and when you do these games that are intense as they are, I know where he’s going and he knows where I’m going and I know what he wants to talk about and he knows when and what I want to talk about. That’s really hard to replicate.”
I had a theory for Buck in case Aikman did leave Fox, but he wasn't feeling it.
Other topics discussed with Buck on the SI Media Podcast include the scene at Lambeau Field after the Packers were upset by the Niners, whether Niners fans will invade SoFi Stadium again for the NFC title game, Buck’s reaction to Aikman lamenting on air that they didn’t get to call the Niners-Cowboys game and much more.
2. In addition to Buck, this week's SI Media Podcast also features interviews with CBS's Jim Nantz and WWE superstar Roman Reigns.
Nantz talked about calling the wild Bills-Chiefs game and previewed the Bengals-Chiefs AFC title game.
Reigns opened up about his recent experience with COVID-19, shared some of his favorite Royal Rumble memories, discussed his friendship with Jon Moxley and more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
3. I'm not sure why Colorado's Lakewood Police Department would have beef with the Bills, but this was an absolute dagger.
4. This clip isn't for everybody, but if you like screaming and yelling and passion and performative debating, then you will get a huge kick out of Stephen A. Smith and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo arguing about the MLB Hall of Fame.
5. We told you in Wednesday's Traina Thoughts about the hilarious video of LeBron James scrambling Austin Reaves's brain while talking strategy during the Lakers game against the Nets on Tuesday.
Well, even LeBron got in on the meme action yesterday.
6. If you'd like to start your Super Bowl handicapping early, here you go.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: If you listen to the SI Media Podcast interview with Roman Reigns, you'll hear us discussing this all-time Royal Rumble moment.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.