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Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, both of NJ, are FOX Sports’ new NFL duo

By on May 31, 2022 0

Kevin Burkhardt aired the biggest games of Greg Olsen’s high school football career in New Jersey.

Now Burkhardt and Olsen will call the sport’s greatest game together, and more.

FOX Sports officially revealed Tuesday that Burkhardt and Olsen become the network’s No. 1 NFL broadcast tandem, replacing the pair of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, who left FOX to air “Monday Night Football” on ESPN.

Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi will return as supporting reporters.

The announcement comes at a critical time for FOX as it will air two of the next three Super Bowls, including Super Bowl 57 scheduled for Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The network also has Super Bowl 59, scheduled for February 9, 2025 at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

Burkhardt and Olsen worked together last season as the network’s No. 2 team to rave reviews, with the latter transitioning from the Pro Bowl to the cabin.

How long their partnership lasts beyond 2022 hinges on the gaming future of Tom Brady, who reportedly signed a 10-year, $375 million deal to join Burkhardt on FOX’s No. 1 booth. Brady ended his brief retirement and announced he was returning to play with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Since joining FOX, Burkhardt has been the play-by-play caller for about two dozen auditions with potential analysts. Of this group, he considered Olsen, whose high school games he broadcast as athletic director of WGHT 1500 Radio in Pompton Lakes, in a class of his own.

Burkhardt said two years ago that he believed Olsen was destined to become the next big broadcasting company. Now they will be together for at least one more season, and in front of some of the biggest television audiences in the world.

“Last season, Kevin and Greg showed viewers their undeniable chemistry and ability to call football to an elite level,” said Brad Zager, FOX Sports President of Production/Operations and Executive Producer. “We can’t wait for fans to see what they bring to the American Game of the Week. [on FOX]the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl LVII.

Burkhardt’s journey certainly had its share of memorable twists. After graduating from William Paterson University in 1997, he took over as sports director at WGHT Radio, a daytime-only 1,000-watt AM station in Pompton Lakes. He helped turn the department there into a college version of WFAN along with other fledgling broadcasters that improved high school sports coverage in North Jersey.

Unable to break into a bigger station after six years, a frustrated Burkhardt left WGHT, put his broadcasting dreams on hold, and became a car salesman for Pine Belt Chevrolet in Eatontown.

For eight months, Burkhardt sold cars and sent his tapes to radio stations in New York and elsewhere, believing his break would eventually come.

When we did, things went fast. He worked for CBS Radio doing updates, moved to WFAN as the station’s New York Jets reporter, and his biggest break to date came with SNY at New York Mets games, this which provided the perfect platform for Burkhardt to spread his broadcast wings and put his personality on display.

Within a decade, Burkhardt went from selling cars and almost from the broadcasting business to the national stage. The Bloomfield native has been named to replace Buck, one of the sport’s most recognizable and beloved play-by-play voices.

Alongside him for the Super Bowl in Arizona next February will be the star tight end whose games he called at Wayne Hills High School.

The Best NFL Broadcast Team for FOX Sports was born, raised and made in Jersey.

Art Stapleton is the Giants beats writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Giants analysis, news, deals and more, please sign up today and sign up for our NFC East newsletter.

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Twitter: @art_stapleton