Daily Dirt: Whoa! Can Brady possibly be worth that Fox contract? … and reconnecting with memories of Debra Winger


Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy (1980) Paramount

Daily Dirt for Wednesday, May 11, 2022

I think Debra Winger and I could have been a match. That’s all I’m saying … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 283 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Admittedly, I kind of shook my head when Tuesday I saw Tom Brady and Fox Sports had reached a 10-year, $375 million contract.

Brady will be the lead NFL analyst for the network once he (finally) retires as a player. That’s $37.5 million a year. That’s double what any other elite NFL analyst will be making.

The bottom line? Look for more commercials during your Fox NFL broadcasts, which will likely make what was once a 3-hour broadcast years ago more like a 4-hour marathon. For the record, I stopped attending NFL games many moons ago, mainly because those tiresome TV timeouts seemed to drag on forever.

Salaries have to be paid, and commercials are the primary selling points for the networks. I’m old enough to remember being to watch NFL games on television that ended in 2 1/2 hours. Believe me, we’ll never see that again.

According to industry reports, these are the announcers/analysts next in line to Brady when it comes to the ka-ching department:

Troy Aikman, $18 million.
Tony Romo, $17-18 million.
Joe Buck, $15 million.

I’m most surprised Fox would pony up all that kind of dough to an unproven commodity. Granted, Brady is popular, well-spoken and comes across well when on camera — but can he dissect a game with the personality of Romo or Aikman? Will he have the same charismatic tone of Buck? I’m guessing next season will be Brady’s finale as a player, so we should not have to wait too long to find out.

2. Birthday wishes today go to

  • Stevie Wonder turns 72 on Friday. It’s hard to believe his first No. 1 single was back in 1963. 
  • Former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman will be 61, also on Friday.
  • George Brett will blow out 69 candles on Sunday. The Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer had a .305 career batting average.
  • Actress Debra Winger will be 67 on Monday. Her best film? For me, it will always be “Urban Cowboy”. I had a crush on her for years (OK, decades) after seeing that movie.
  • Singer Janet Jackson turns 56 on Tuesday. My favorite Janet Jackson song? That would be “Again,” circa 1993.

3. Here’s how The Daily Dirt ranks the best and worst MLB teams this week:

The top five

  • 1. New York Mets: The difference between the Mets and their two closest pursuers in this poll is simple: The Mets can hit. And one more reminder that Jacob DeGrom will be returning in about a month. If DeGrom remains healthy, the Mets could win as many as 60 games over the second half of the season.
  • 2. Los Angeles Dodgers: The lack of offense from this club is a true mystery. That is obviously worrisome, and in a way so is Clayton Kershaw’s outstanding start. Kershaw cannot be counted on to be THAT dominant the entire season.
  • 3. New York Yankees: Speaking of teams that cannot hit, the Yankees’ lineup is another major puzzle. But New York can certainly throw the ball, and when the other team can’t score it tends to overshadow the offensive concerns. One of the most improved pitchers in MLB is lefty Jordan Montgomery.
  • 4. San Diego Padres: San Diego has been kind of sleeping in the weeds, with the Dodgers garnering most of the NL West attention. The rise of Makenzi Gore, overall ability of Yu Darvish and steadiness of Joe Musgrove provides an outstanding top of the rotation. And the offense has been surprising, led by MVP candidate Manny Machado. Like the Mets and DeGrom, the Padres are about a month away from reinserting their own injured superstar, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., into the lineup.
  • 5. Los Angeles Angels: That combination of Shohei Ohtani-Mike Trout is the best one-two offensive punch in MLB. Oh, and that Ohtani guy can also pitch. (Yes, I know Houston is ahead of the Angels in the NL West. I’m looking long-term here.)

Honorable mention: Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays.

The bottom five

  • 1. Cincinnati Reds: The team’s alleged ace, Luis Castillo, returned this week. But even if this club had Cy Young as its ace it wouldn’t really matter.
  • 2. Detroit Tigers: I was trying to think of something nice to say about the Tigers, and the best I could come up with is the team has a nice cap.
  • 3. Washington Nationals: If slugger Juan Soto was removed from the Nats’ lineup, why in the world would anyone want to pay to see this moribund bunch?
  • 4. Kansas City Royals: The Royals have some guy named Jake Brentz on the 10-day IL. I have no idea in the world who Jake Brentz is.
  • 5. Boston Red Sox: Left-handed ace Chris Sale’s return has been delayed, which is more bad news for this unexpectedly bad team.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Despite popular belief, Steve did not sing backup on “Again” by Janet Jackson.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He has already asked to be paid Brady-like money.

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