Fans of the New York Football Giants now have another reason to hope for a good season. Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated confirmed that veteran sideline reporter Pam Oliver will be replaced by Erin Andrews on Fox Sports number one NFL announcing team this fall. Andrews will team up with lead announcer Joe Buck and analyst Troy Aikman in covering NFC teams this year.
Deitsch received the news in an exclusive interview with Oliver on Sunday night. Oliver has been a sideline reporter for Fox Sports for 19 years and was hoping to complete a 20th NFL season as the lead sideline reporter. But Fox network executives originally met with Oliver in April to deliver surprising news, according to Deitsch. The initial plan for the network was not only to elevate Andrews to the first NFL announcing team, but to remove Oliver from sideline reporting altogether.
According to Deitsch, "After a painful couple of months, Oliver said the disappointment of that news has subsided and that she has accepted her new professional reality. But it was a shock last April when Fox Sports executives traveled to Atlanta, where she is based, to tell her in person that she would no longer hold the job that has been her professional life for two decades. Oliver says that while she respected Fox Sports president Eric Shanks and executive vice president of production John Entz delivering the news in person, she was stunned when they initially informed her that not only was she being removed from Fox’s No. 1 NFL team, but also that she was being taken off the NFL sidelines completely in 2014."
But Oliver and her agent discussed moving on to another network, but she eventually re-signed with Fox to complete her 20th campaign on the sidelines. "Oliver signed a new multi-year contract for Fox Sports last week and will be doing long-form pieces, specials, major interviews and some producing as well. She will continue her work on Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports," Deitsch wrote.
Oliver's colleagues on the second broadcast team include Kevin Burkhardt and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers' and Denver Broncos' safety John Lynch. Ironically, Erin Andrews may have received her initial baptism under fire when she was the receiver of the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman's rant against Michael Crabtree after the NFC Championship game.
Andrews has been a versatile figure in her career, handling college football and baseball assignments at Fox and ESPN, as well as appearing on Dancing with the Stars. She was also in attendance when her boyfriend Jarret Stoll won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in June.