What Football Stars Went Onto to Have Successful Broadcasting Careers?


There aren’t many things in life that can compare to being paid to play a sport professionally, particularly football at an adult level. On the other hand, one of those things may be getting paid as an adult to talk about sports, particularly football, immediately after their playing career ends. After their playing careers are over, a good number of football stars transition to working in the broadcast booth or the studio.


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Tony Romo

It is not common practice for retired NFL players to immediately begin calling the featured games after transitioning into a role as a commentator for an NFL game after their playing careers have ended. It requires work to be able to announce and articulate thoughts in a way that is both coherent and concise, just like any other skill. Newly retired players typically begin relatively low on the broadcast lineups of CBS or FOX, so that they can obtain these reps with smaller audiences. 

This was not the case with Tony Romo, who serves as the lead color analyst for CBS. After he finished his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, the network decided to go outside the typical training process for new commentators. He was almost immediately promoted to the main analyst post, working with Jim Nantz, the principal play-by-play announcer for CBS, and has been a hit ever since he started. 

Fans have picked up on Romo’s infectious passion for the action taking place on the field, which he initially gained notoriety for by predicting plays that took place before they took place. Because Nantz will be announcing Super Bowl LV, we will have the opportunity to view him once more very soon.


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Rich Gannon

It has come to our attention that quarterbacks do not necessarily need to have played for the Dallas Cowboys to obtain work as color analysts for the team. Rich Gannon had one of the most fascinating careers ever seen in the National Football League for a quarterback. It did not get off to the most promising of starts, as he did not start any games throughout the first three years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. This was one of the reasons why his career did not get off to the best possible start. 

Then, between the years 1990 and 1992, he started 35 of a possible 48 games for them, although the results were inconsistent. After spending time in both Washington and Kansas City in the National Football League (NFL), as well as sitting out one year due to a shoulder injury, it appeared as though Gannon’s playing days were behind him. Amazingly, it was not until he joined the Oakland Raiders at the age of 34 that his career began to take off in a significant way. 

He led the Raiders to winning records in three out of his first four seasons with the team, and he became a household name when he led the Raiders to an appearance in the Super Bowl in 2002. He led the Raiders to winning records in three out of his first four seasons with the team. Since the beginning of the 2005 NFL season, Gannon has worked for CBS. He is most well-known for his collaborations alongside Marv Albert, Kevin Harlan, and Greg Gumbel.


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Troy Aikman

Even though Romo will be the focal point of this year’s NFL championship game, another former Dallas Cowboys quarterback has served as the lead color analyst for FOX’s game broadcasts since the year 2002. In the past two decades, Troy Aikman has been able to witness many of the most important games from a front-row seat, and he has built a unique collaboration with Joe Buck, who is the lead play-by-play man for FOX. 

Aikman was one of the most well-known athletes of the 1990s thanks to his time spent with the Cowboys, who finished the decade as champions of three Super Bowls. Alongside Buck and analyst Cris Collinsworth, he called his first Super Bowl in 2005, which was the New England Patriots victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fullback Daryl “Moose” Johnston, who played with the Cowboys with Aikman for many years, has also worked as a game announcer for FOX for a considerable amount of time.


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Jason Witten

It seems inevitable that we will circle back around to talking about an America’s Team alum with Jason Witten after taking a brief vacation from discussing the Dallas Cowboys. It is currently unknown whether or not Witten will return to broadcasting following his time with Monday Night Football during the 2019 season. 

Witten had recently announced his retirement from the National Football League after playing for the Las Vegas Raiders for a single season. After CBS hit the jackpot by signing the tight end’s former NFL teammate Tony Romo, ESPN was hoping to strike gold with Witten after CBS had won the jackpot by signing Romo, but things did not exactly work out that way. 

The longstanding Cowboys star was teamed up with the veteran play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and Anthony “Booger” McFarland, but the three of them did not achieve the level of success that was anticipated at the outset. In terms of career receptions, Witten is now ranked fourth in the National Football League, after just Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald, and Tony Gonzalez.


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Phil Simms

Phil Simms had a very successful career as a quarterback in the National Football League with the New York Giants from 1979 to 1993. During that time, the Giants won two Super Bowls with Simms at quarterback. On the other hand, his work on CBS broadcasts is likely to be what fans of a younger generation remember him best for. 

Simms worked for NBC Sports for a brief period in the middle of the 1990s, but he has been employed by CBS ever since 1998, and he and Jim Nantz have held the position of the top color analyst at the network. On the other hand, when Romo joined CBS in 2017, the network was forced to choose the former quarterback for the Giants. After being moved to a different position, he was sent to the pregame program on CBS, where he has been ever since.

Dan Dierdorf

After playing on the offensive line for the St. Louis Cardinals for 12 seasons and earning a spot in the Hall of Fame, Dierdorf spent the next 30 years working as a color analyst for Monday Night Football on CBS and ABC. Throughout the course of his career in broadcasting, he consistently demonstrated an uncanny ability to say what he thinks without being offensive. Dierdorf currently serves as the color commentator for radio broadcasts of Michigan athletics, his alma mater.

Pat Summerall

Madden’s longtime colleague played as a kicker for ten seasons before beginning his career at CBS in 1962 as a color commentator. In 1974, the network made him the play-by-play announcer, and he went on to become a legendary figure in the industry. 

Not only did Summerall call NFL games, but also The Masters and the U.S. Open tennis tournaments. He was known for his calm demeanor. In addition to that, he covered sports such as baseball, hockey, boxing, and basketball. No one else on this list of broadcasters has collected such a varied body of work as he has.

John Madden

In 1958, Madden was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the draft; however, a knee ailment prevented him from ever taking the field. Following his retirement as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, John Madden joined CBS and quickly became the most well-known color commentator in the history of the National Football League (NFL). 

In addition to being the only person who has ever been the top color commentator for all four networks, Madden’s impact can be seen in video games, broadcast gimmicks, and the mannerisms of other analysts. He was also the only person to ever hold this position for all four networks.


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Cris Collinsworth

Collinsworth established himself as a natural broadcaster throughout his nearly 30-year career even though the fact that he was a very talented wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals during his playing days. He has worked for FOX’s “Inside the NFL”, and the NFL Network, and in his current employment with Al Michaels on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” he has been one of the game’s top commentators and its Jiminy Cricket without being overbearing about it. His current gig is with Al Michaels.

Paul Christman

Christman began his career in the National Football League (NFL) after graduating from the University of Missouri. He played for the Chicago Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers over the course of six seasons. He threw for 7,294 yards and 58 touchdowns with his arm. 

Christman started his career in broadcasting by calling Cardinals games for CBS when he retired, and he later collaborated with Curt Gowdy to offer color commentary for American Football League games. His distinguished career in broadcasting includes calling both the Orange Bowl and the Rose Bowl. He also called it the first Super Bowl. 

Despite Paul Christman’s success on the field, the 1948 Leaf Paul Christman rookie card is considered to be a “common” card in the set. This issue of Leaf cards was the only one of its kind to include both professional and collegiate athletes. Despite this, because of the age of the 1948 Leaf set and the fact that it was so popular, all of the cards in the set typically go for more than one thousand dollars when they are in mint condition, as graded by Professional Sports Authenticators.

Paul Maguire

Not only did he perform the duties of punter for his squad, but he also took on the responsibilities of linebacker, as did many other specialists of his day. Maguire was taken by the Los Angeles Chargers as the first overall pick in the first-ever American Football League Draft. The master of the coffin corner, who was more accomplished as a punter, helped the Buffalo Bills win the American Football League championship in 1963, 1964, and 1965. 

After that, in the 1970s, he began his career in the broadcasting industry by joining NBC. After that, he became a commentator for ESPN, where he called games at the CFL and NCAA levels. The most important part of his career came in 1998 when ESPN hired Maguire to be the play-by-play announcer for the newly established NFL Sunday Night football games.

Don Meredith

In 1970, when “Monday Night Football” first aired, he was hired on as a color commentator for the program and given the nickname “Dandy Don.” Meredith’s demonstration that it was possible to deliver an analysis of the game and be hilarious at the same time was one of the many ground-breaking aspects of the broadcast. Since that time, many people have attempted it, but only a select few have been successful. Nevertheless, Meredith demonstrated that it was doable.

Terry Bradshaw

Following his retirement from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1984, Terry Bradshaw began working alongside Verne Lundquist as a color commentator for CBS broadcasts. Bradshaw became an instant sensation thanks to his witty one-liners and insightful observations. If he had been in the booth for a longer period, he would most likely be ranked higher on this list. Despite this, CBS elevated him to the position of co-host of its pre-game show in 1990, and he has remained in this role ever since joining FOX in 1993.

Frank Gifford

After hanging up his cleats with the New York Giants, the future inductee into the Hall of Fame transitioned into a career in broadcasting for CBS. The following year, in 1971, he began working alongside Don Meredith and Howard Cosell on the ABC program “Monday Night Football.” 

Gifford was the steady hand among the array of characters that have filled the longest-running primetime sports broadcast in the history of television. This role lasted for the following 27 years and was held by Gifford. To give you an idea of how versatile he is, he worked as a play-by-play announcer before making the transition to color commentary in the year 1986.

Al DeRogatis

In the second round of the 1949 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected the defensive tackle who had spent his collegiate career at Duke University. He had been a member of the Duke Blue Devils football team. In his second and third seasons in the league, DeRogatis was named to the All-Pro team. After playing with the Giants for four seasons, he was forced into early retirement because of an old knee problem from his college days. 

When DeRogatis first started broadcasting, he and Marty Glickman called Giants games on the radio together. DeRogatis is known for his courteous and gentlemanly demeanor. In 1966, he joined NBC as a collaborator with Curt Gowdy and brought his talents with him. He was the play-by-play announcer for three Super Bowls and several Rose Bowls. 

Many people believe that DeRogatis is one of the very best football announcers in the history of the sport. The fact that DeRogatis simultaneously maintained a profession with Prudential Insurance for 33 years is undoubtedly evidence of how the business of sports has progressed over the years.

Joe Theismann

Even though he changed the way he pronounced his last name so that it would rhyme with “Heisman,” the Notre Dame graduate came in second place in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1970. Theismann got his start in professional football playing with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League before moving on to the National Football League and winning a Super Bowl there. 

Even though the Miami Dolphins picked him in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL Draft and the Minnesota Twins picked him in the 39th round of the 1971 MLB Draft, he was unable to come to an agreement with the Dolphins on his financial terms. The negotiations came to an impasse, and Theismann accepted a contract with the Argonauts. In his first season with the team, he guided them to victory in the Grey Cup. The rights to Theismann were finally acquired by the Washington Redskins through a trade, and Theismann joined the NFL team in 1974. 

Theismann launched his career in broadcasting in 1985 when he became the first active player to call a Super Bowl alongside Frank Gifford and Don Meredith. After that, he became a commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football and then moved on to the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football coverage.

Bob Trumpy

Trumpy was taken by the Bengals in the 12th round of the NFL draft after spending his collegiate career at the University of Utah. He played professionally for ten years and finished with 298 receptions, 4,600 yards, and 35 touchdowns throughout that time. After retiring from playing, Trumpy became a member of the NBC broadcast crew, where he worked alongside Sam Nover, Bob Costas, Don Criqui, Dick Enberg, and Tom Hammond. He was involved in the coverage of four Super Bowls. After that, Trumpy made the transition to the radio booth in 1997, the same year that NBC lost its Sunday games package to CBS.

Dan Fouts

After graduating from the University of Oregon with All-Pac 8 honors in his football career, the unflappable Dan Fouts racked up mind-boggling passing statistics for one of the most potent offenses in the history of the game. During his six-time All-Pro career with the San Diego Chargers, the future Hall of Fame quarterback passed for a total of 43,040 yards and 254 touchdowns. 

Fouts was honored as the Most Valuable Player of the American Football Conference in 1979 and then of the National Football League in 1982. The successful broadcasting career of Fouts has featured several high-profile assignments, including CBS Sunday Night Football, ABC college football alongside Brent Musburger and later Keith Jackson, and ABC Monday Night Football alongside Al Michaels and Dennis Miller. In the film “The Waterboy,” Adam Sandler also made use of the abilities of Dan Fouts to portray the role of himself.

Tom Brookshier

Following his graduation from the University of Colorado, the cornerback was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the tenth round of the 1953 NFL Draft. After serving for two years in the Air Force, Brookshier returned to the Eagles and played for another seven seasons. He took 20 passes away from his opponents and was named to the All-Pro team twice. 

During the 1970s, Brookshier and Pat Summerall, who were both employed by CBS, formed one of the most successful broadcast partnerships in the history of the medium. In addition to calling several boxing title fights and Super Bowls, the Brookshier/Summerall team aired a weekly highlight show for pro football called This Week in Pro Football, which was aired nationally. They also called several Super Bowls. Near the end of his successful broadcasting career, the multitalented Brookshier transitioned into the role of play-by-play announcer.

Bob Griese

During his time at Purdue, not only was Griese a standout as an All-American quarterback, but he also excelled as the school’s kicker and punter, was a standout pitcher for the school’s baseball team, and was a guard on the school’s basketball team. In the 1967 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins picked him up with the fourth overall selection. 

During his Hall of Fame career in the National Football League, he won a multitude of awards, including two Super Bowls, six All-Pro choices, the Most Valuable Player award in the NFL in 1971, and was the quarterback for the Dolphins’ legendary and undefeated 1972 season. According to the numbers, he threw for a total of 25,092 yards and 192 touchdowns. 

Griese started his career in broadcasting in 1982 with CBS, where he also called the Super Bowl XX in 1986 alongside Dick Enberg. In 1987, he made the transition to working as an analyst for the college football broadcasts on ABC, where he covered three BCS National Championship Games. Notably, while Griese was working for ABC, he got praise for providing color commentary that appeared to be objective during several Michigan football games in which his son Brian was playing for the Wolverines.

Red Grange

Grange eventually opted to play football as well after shockingly enrolling at the University of Illinois to simply play basketball and run track. 3,362 running yards, 31 touchdowns, three-time All-American honors, a national championship, and a Time Magazine cover were the high points of his 20-game NCAA career. 

Numerous NFL franchise owners tried to sign Grange to a professional contract even though there was no NFL Draft. At a period when the average player wage was $100 per game, the famous George Halas was able to lure Grange to the Chicago Bears with a deal that included a percentage of ticket sales and essentially amounted to $100,000 for 19 games. In his professional career, Grange won two NFL Championships and was selected for the NFL’s 1920s All-Decade squad. 

Grange attempted a career in Hollywood after his playing days in football and appeared in several silent movies and episodes of The Galloping Ghost. In the 1950s, when televised football games first became popular, CBS used Grange in the broadcast booth to call Chicago Bears games, while NBC used his knowledge to call collegiate games.

Red Grange


The networks tend to make exceptions for players who have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but other people have to create their opportunities to break into the world of broadcasting. Because of their one-of-a-kind perspective and in-depth knowledge of the game, many retired football players go on to become outstanding football announcers. Former quarterbacks are the most common football players to transition into broadcasting once their playing careers have ended.

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