Fox inviting Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen to be a guest commentator for a game during Carolina’s bye week seemed innocuous enough. Olsen is a well-known player, explains the game well, and maybe Fox would find its Tony Romo once Olsen wants to retire.
But the Minnesota Vikings weren’t fans of Olsen’s assignment. Olsen is slated to call the Vikings-Los Angeles Rams game on Sunday. Olsen is also slated to return from injury in time to play against the Vikings on Dec. 10. Hence, the problem.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network that he spoke to Fox and the NFL and told them the team felt it was “inappropriate” for Olsen to call their game just a few weeks before the Panthers and Vikings play. The Vikings requested Olsen be moved to another game, and that was declined, Pelissero reported. To ease the Vikings’ concerns, Olsen will not have access to walk-through practices or production meetings. Players and coaches often meet with broadcasters in production meetings and share information about personnel and strategy that they wouldn’t otherwise share in an open media setting.
Statement from FOX Vice President of Communications Eddie Motl: pic.twitter.com/qBaSgU6k7m
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 14, 2017
Given that Olsen won’t have access to practices and he won’t be part of the production meetings, he probably won’t glean any extra information that he couldn’t have learned from just being in the stands on Sunday or watching film. He’ll be in the booth, however (it kind of stinks for Olsen that he won’t have the advantages of extra time with the Vikings before his broadcasting debut, but having a current player call a game is an uncommon situation).
The Rams also said Olsen won’t be in their production meetings because the Panthers and Rams could meet in the playoffs, Pelissero reported.
This should all blow over, and it won’t have an impact on who wins that Panthers-Vikings game. But it’s a good reminder that NFL teams are paranoid about everything.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Ball, UCLA players to leave China after Trump’s plea
• Power Rankings: NFL’s most surprising team
• Transit strike threatens to derail Super Bowl LII
• Tennessee State player expelled after punching coach