Greg Olsen Shows Why He Became a Top NFL Analyst With a Breakdown Unlike Any Other

Fox’s Greg Olsen explains the most dangerous topic to cover with the telestrator.
Much like his commentary during games, Olsen gave a detailed explanation during a podcast interview of how to avoid making the biggest mistake in the booth.
Much like his commentary during games, Olsen gave a detailed explanation during a podcast interview of how to avoid making the biggest mistake in the booth. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

1. After two years as Fox’s lead NFL analyst, Greg Olsen will be dropped to the network’s No. 2 team this season while Tom Brady slides into the top spot.

Olsen won over fans and media critics during his time working with Kevin Burkhardt in the No. 1 booth because of his smooth style, concise way of explaining plays and excellent attention to detail.

This was all on full display when Olsen recently appeared on Pardon My Take and explained why his biggest fear working as an analyst was accidently drawing male genitalia while using the telestrator.

“I think some guys do it on purpose,” Olsen said about his fellow analysts.

“It always starts when you go All-22 and everybody wants to show the two high safeties. The second you start by circling safties, you have to clear that screen before anything else gets written. That is rule No. 1 of telestrator. If you circle two objects, the next button is clear. Because it doesn’t matter if you draw a straight line, a squiggly line, it looks like a d---, 100% of the time, it looks like a d---.”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do color commentary.

During the podcast, Olsen also reiterated that while he's moving from the A booth to the B booth, his ultimate goal is still to be a lead analyst somewhere.

“I wanna get back calling No. 1 games,” said Olsen. "I wanna get back to calling playoff games in front of 60 million. I wanna call Super Bowls with 100-plus million. I wanna call the only game in town at 4:25 that’s the national kickoff with 95% of the country having that as their window. I love those marquee games. So we’ll see how it all shakes out. There’s not many of these jobs. There’s not many seats that call playoff games. There’s not a lot of seats that call Super Bowls. There’s only four. So that’s the other issue with this line of work. A little patience is a big element to it because you can be as good as you want, people can like you, people can want you, but until a seat opens, it’s out of your control.”

2. I can’t begin to imagine how many people Charles Barkley confused last night when he joined ESPN’s Stanley Cup Final halftime show and said he wishes he had a job next year. Even if TNT loses the NBA in the current round of television rights negotiations, TNT still has one year left on its deal, so Barkley does have a job for next year.

Barkley was making the rounds Monday because he was also interviewed by Canada’s Sportsnet during the game and used a bad word.

3. The WWE’s outstanding ring announcer, Samantha Irvin, had to miss part of Monday Night Raw last night after her real-life fiancé, Ricochet, was injured and she accompanied him in an ambulance to the hospital (not in real life).

So Pat McAfee stepped up to do some ring announcing and was pretty damn good.

4. Ratings can usually be spun in many ways, but that’s not the case with LIV. Absolutely nobody is watching LIV Golf.

5. This is typical Jets. Coach Robert Saleh said the team knew Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t be at minicamp and that Rodgers informed them he had an important event, yet they still make sure the media knows it was an unexcused absence and he would be fined. Why create the controversy? Because they’re the Jets.

6. The latest episode of SI Media With Jimmy Traina features an interview with The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand, who shares information and gives updates on the biggest news in sports media.

Topics covered include the latest developments with the NBA's future TV deals with ESPN, NBC and Amazon and where things stand with Warner Bros. Discovery/TNT. Marchand also reveals what he thinks NBC's plan is for a lead broadcast team, what will happen with the Inside the NBA crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal, whether Barkley could end up at ESPN and why the relationship between TNT and the NBA deteriorated.

Marchand also discusses the Pat McAfee–Caitlin Clark controversy, the media's coverage of Clark and the WNBA and Tom Brady's future at Fox.

Following Marchand, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment. This week's topics include new sports TV shows that are on the radar and the Yankees' dominance.

You can listen to the SI Media With Jimmy Traina below or on Apple and Spotify.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Sports Illustrated‘s YouTube channel.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Larry David was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week even though Curb Your Enthusiasm has ended. At the end of the interview, Kimmel explained that Larry was supposed to be on a few months ago, which led to a classic Larry 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 AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

Jimmy Traina


Jimmy Traina writes the daily column Traina Thoughts and hosts a weekly Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. Jimmy created the daily Hot Clicks feature in 2007, which he wrote until 2013.