In covering BCS championship games, including Florida's 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in the 2008 final, Fox didn't have a clue. Fortunately for viewers, ESPN has taken over the BCS coverage.
But when it comes to covering the NFL, Fox is at the top of its game. The network turned in a stellar performance in covering Super Bowl XLV on Sunday night from Arlington, Texas. The low-key announcing team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman covered all angles with their usual expertise, and they didn't overwhelm viewers with a lot of meaningless facts.
After the Packers jumped to a 14-0 lead, Aikman noted that the more experienced Steelers appeared to be jittery. “The Packers seem to be much calmer in their approach,” said Aikman, who led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles.
Late in the game, after the Steelers rallied to cut the lead to 28-25, the Packers responded with a lengthy drive and a 23-yard field goal for the final 31-25 score. “The Packers really answered the bell on that drive,” Aikman said.
The pair summed up the Packers' first Super Bowl title since 1997 succinctly after the game. Buck said, “This game was everything anybody could have hoped for and maybe even more so coming down to the last possession for the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Said Aikman: “Aaron Rodgers was sensational. When you look at all the injuries in the ballgame for the Packers to overcome – like all season – it's pretty fitting. It's well-deserved by Mike McCarthy and his staff.”
In the fourth quarter, Fox had a nice clip of Packers linebackers coach Kevin Greene exhorting linebacker Clay Matthews by shouting, “It is time! It is time!” Matthews responded by forcing a fumble on Rashard Mendenhall that changed the game's momentum.
Fox also didn't overuse NFL Rules expert Mike Pereira, bringing in him on the only coach's challenge. Pereira correctly noted the pass to the Packers receiver Brett Swain was incomplete.
Chris Myers and Pam Oliver concentrated on the sideline reporter's most important role, supplying injury reports. Fox provided solid information on the numerous injuries, including two to the Packers defensive backs. They didn't conduct those silly interviews with the coaches after the first half.