This Sunday will not only mark the end of the football season, but could this Sunday also be the end of Pam Oliver on FOX? I know it sounds crazy especially only after a couple of weeks ago social media was on fire discussing Oliver’s un-approving look on the national sports platform, but to date, FOX has not renewed Oliver’s contract.
Oliver has spent the past 19 years with FOX Sports, and 12 of those have been spent sideline reporting with the NFL on Fox’s #1 team of analysts Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. To Oliver this season has been a little different. First , who could forget the concussion that Oliver received while standing on the sideline when a football hit her in the head. Then came backlash after she made a couple of “inappropriate” remarks during a breakfast reception back in October. Finally, a couple of weeks ago when Oliver showed up on national television during the NFC Championship game looking dissolved and not ‘put together’, social media critics went in on Oliver for looking like a disgrace.
Now before you jump the gun, no one is saying that Oliver won’t be around next season. She said she fully expects to have a “nice” negotiation, and like the true professional that she is, her focus lies solely on Sunday night’s game.
“Look, it (that Sunday could be her last game for Fox) has entered my mind. I’m a realist,” she said. “My husband cautioned me, admonished me really, not to treat this as a farewell tour.
“I got this flood of emotions and stormed off the field like I just lost the game. What if I’m never there as a reporter again?” she asked. “I would be snapping pictures everywhere if I felt like (this season) was the end. I think that’s a dangerous way to do a season. You won’t see me looking over my shoulder. I get a say in this as well.”
But the there is another thought to consider. Has FOX Sports been gearing up to let go of Oliver after bringing in the former ESPN darling, Erin Andrews?I have to say after coming to FOX, Andrews has been everywhere from the college football sidelines to NASCAR races to sharing post-game interviewing duties with Oliver during the recent NFC Championship. Don’t forget, that was Erin Andrews’ mic that Seattle’s Richard Sherman was screaming into.
“All this stuff comes with the territory. She (Andrews) is a high-profile person. A lot of attention is paid because people are curious about her,” Oliver said. “They want to start this competition. And all of a sudden I’m answering questions walking through airports. Things like: ‘Are you being pushed out?’ Or, ‘What’s going on?’ Or, ‘What’s the speculation?’
“Well, there’s plenty of speculation,” Oliver said. “But until somebody comes to me and says, ‘Thank you, you’ve had a nice run,’ it’s my job.”
During the emotional interview with Richard Sherman, Oliver had this to say about the debacle.
“I was listening in my ear and I’m thinking, ‘Oh boy, he’s controlling the interview,” she said. “I always felt that when you get a player immediately after a game, you factor in that they are really emotional. I’m not saying she did anything wrong, but in a situation like that you (should) quickly turn the interview into let’s get back to your team winning the game. But I just feel you should have another question in your back pocket (to move the interview along).”
Who knows what’s next for Oliver, it could be 19 more years at FOX Sports or moving on to do more sports’ feature stories somewhere like HBO’s Real Sports. While I don’t know her personally, I know that she will be somewhere asking the hard hitting questions that people can’t seem to not answer. As a sports journalist and a die-heart football fan, I couldn’t picture my Sunday’s without hearing and seeing Pam Oliver on the sidelines, and I’m sure her FOX Sports family feels the same way.
“We’re so connected. We know each other. We laugh at each other,” she said “It’s a family.”
Your Jersey Girlfriend,