Fox Sports is using some big names to handle their first season of Thursday Night Football coverage, and they’re some people NFL fans will be familiar with: Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, and Howie Long.
While Fox’s top NFL announcing team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling the games on Thursday during the season for the network, the trio of former players will be hosting the studio show from New York City.
All three have spent years working on the Fox Sunday NFL show in Los Angeles—and still will be there for those shows—but now, with TNF being broadcast by Fox, the trio will host from New York City for the 2018 Thursday slate.
New York State of Mind
For Strahan to be involved in the show, New York City really was the only option. Strahan works on ABC’s Good Morning America, and while he makes it to Los Angeles for the Sunday show, the commute during the middle of the week likely would have been impossible.
“I’m thinking, the show will be in LA, and there’s no way I can do a show on Thursday night and be back with my other obligations,” Strahan said at an event introducing the Thursday Night Football show in New York City. “And after speaking with Eric [Shanks, President of FOX Sports], it was said that if it’s something I’m interested in doing, we can do it in New York. And so I was in. I thought it was a crazy idea, but I’m glad it worked out.”
As part of the new coverage, Fox will have some of the pregame show broadcast live from Fox Square in New York City, putting Strahan, Long, and Bradshaw outside with fans.
“It’s fun, and I think doing it with these two makes it easy,” Strahan said about the new show. “We all have a respect for each other and a trust and comfort level that’s hard to find. In New York, it’s a certain energy here, and Thursday needs that energy and I think we’re going to bring that energy to Thursday Night Football, and we’re going to get the fans involved.”
“I love New York,” Bradshaw said. “I started at CBS, I love it here, and I thought it would be so much fun. This is the perfect trio, and this is the perfect match for the show.”
Strahan: Schedule Is the ‘Best TNF Has Had So Far’
In past years, the Thursday Night Football schedule has been a bit lacking in the eyes of some fans with marquee matchups week after week. Some games, of course, were strong matchups, but often times the teams didn’t move the meter like the games on Sunday and Monday—but that’s all changing this year.
Starting in Week 4, the Fox TNF schedule picks up has some strong games and marquee teams on the schedule, including matchups with the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Those are some of the teams the trio are excited to see.
“The Cowboys and Saints is going to be a huge game in Dallas at that stadium” Bradshaw said. “We have Giants-Eagles up here in New York, and seeing a team like the Kansas City Chiefs and what they can do with [Patrick] Mahomes. The division games are exciting, and we have Kansas City against the Los Angeles Chargers, and both those teams could be really good. I love watching the LA quarterback, Philip Rivers.”
Long is also excited, especially for the first matchup on the schedule: “Right off the bat, we have the Minnesota Vikings and the Rams out in Los Angeles,” Long said. “Two teams that are loaded on offense. And it’ll be exciting to see what Kirk Cousins is going to do after the team invested $84 million in guaranteed money. That’s going to be a great game, it’s going to be a fascinating year.”
Following that big game with the Vikings and Rams—who are coming off of a breakout season and have star players like Aaron Donald, Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, and Marcus Peters on the roster—other big matchups on the schedule include the defending-champion Eagles visiting the New York Giants in Week 6, the Packers taking on the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 11, and the Los Angeles Chargers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15.
With the pregame show coming to New York, Fox and Strahan are ready for a big season of NFL football.
“We’re excited that the schedule is so good,” Strahan said. “It’s fantastic to have the lineup that we have. At the end of the day, people want to see great games, and this Thursday Night Football schedule is the best they’ve ever had.”
Here’s the Fox Thursday Night Football Schedule:
Week 4: Thursday, September 27 – Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams
Week 5: Thursday, October 4 – Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Week 6: Thursday, October 11 – Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Week 7: Thursday, October 18 – Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals
Week 8: Thursday, October 25 – Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans
Week 9: Thursday, November 1 – Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers
Week 10: Thursday, November 8 – Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 11: Thursday, November 15 – Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Week 13: Thursday, November 29 – New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys
Week 14: Thursday, December 6 – Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Week 15: Thursday, December 13 – Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs