When I spoke with Adam Amin in June, he was already evaluating the Bears schedule, trying to guess what game (s) he might call for Fox Sports.
“Maybe it’s me trying to make it exist,” Amin said, “but I have a good feeling our team could meet Bears games this year.”
Amin is the Bears’ pre-season voice on Fox-32, but he has yet to call for a Bears regular season game. Fox Sports did not give him one last season, his first with the network.
According to a source, Amin is not expected to call Bears games on Fox in weeks 2-4. Could his first game come in Week 6 against the Packers at Soldier Field? Surely that would be nice for the old man from Addison Trail High School.
But his guess is as good as mine, which gives me comfort in my annual predictions about which TV crew will call every Bears game on Sunday afternoon. We know the advertisers of the prime-time games and the Thanksgiving game, and I was able to unearth the Bears’ first three Fox games. The rest is my guess.
Week 1: at Rams, 7.20 p.m., Ch. 5 – Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.
Week 2: vs Bengals, noon, Fox-32 – Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin. Sanchez, the former Jets quarterback, is in his first year with Fox after two years with ESPN. It occupies the place left by Chris Spielman, who is now at the Lions front office.
Week 3: at Browns, noon, Fox-32 – Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver. The Browns likely helped lure Fox’s No.2 crew. Olsen, the Bears’ 2007 first-round pick, is in his first full-time year with the network. Fox clearly thinks highly of him.
Week 4: vs Lions, noon, Fox-32 – Gus Johnson, Aqib Talib, Megan Olivi. Johnson is Fox’s main voice for college football, but he will also be calling some NFL games. Talib left a favorable impression in two games last season. He brings a unique voice that is both playful and analytical.
Week 5: at Raiders, 3:05 p.m., Ch. 2 – Let the guesswork begin! Dolphins-Buccaneers should attract the best crew from Jim Nantz and Tony Romo. Browns-Chargers, starring Baker Mayfield vs. Justin Herbert, figures to get the No.2 Crew. Bears fans should see the delicious and exciting Kevin Harlan with Trent Green.
Week 6: vs. Packers, noon, Fox-32 – It’s not a Fox Double Show week, so Joe Buck and Troy Aikman’s top crew only call for Thursday’s game. Burkhardt and Olsen could call Rams-Giants for the country’s two main markets. That means (drum roll, please) Amin gets the Bears with Mark Schlereth.
Week 7: at Buccaneers, 3:25 p.m., Ch. 2 – An NFC match on CBS is sacrilege for some. Imagine it was the 1980s, if you can. Even though Nantz and Romo were in Tampa two weeks ago, this is their window. Plus, they can’t get enough of Tom Brady.
Week 8: vs. 49ers, noon, Fox-32 – With Buck and Burkhardt on duty for the World Series (Game 5 is scheduled), Fox will have to mix up the crews. Amin would probably come over to call Bucs-Saints on “America’s Game of the Week”. If this game stars Trey Lance against Justin Fields, we could get Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma.
Week 9: at the Steelers, 7:15 p.m., ESPN – Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, Brian Griese and Lisa Salters.
Week 10: Bye.
Week 11: vs Ravens, noon, Ch. 2 – Would it be fun to see Fields and Lamar Jackson try to fight each other? It would be even more fun to have Nantz and Romo calling the party.
Week 12: at Lions, 11:30 a.m., Fox – Buck and Aikman will call the Thanksgiving game, and it appears to be their only game Bears this season. For many of you, this is a relief.
Week 13: vs. Cardinals, noon, Fox – Would it be fun to see Fields and Kyler Murray try to fight each other? If Burkhardt’s team gets Bucs-Falcons, Amin could walk to work again.
Week 14: at Packers, 7.20 p.m., Ch. 5 – Michaels, Collinsworth and Tafoya.
Week 15: vs. Vikings, 7:15 p.m., ESPN – Levy, Riddick, Griese and Salters.
Week 16: at the Seahawks, 3:05 p.m., Fox-32 – How much fun that would be… wait a minute. Right now, the Bears’ playoff hopes may fade, squeezing some juice out of a Fields-Russell Wilson game. Fox has a solid roster this week, and that could leave the Bears with Chris Myers and Daryl Johnston.
Week 17: vs Giants, noon, Ch. 2 – If these teams are doing as well as most tipsters think, expect a reduced crew here. At least maybe Greg Gumbel could return home, alongside his new partner Adam Archuleta.
Week 18: at Vikings, noon, Fox-32 – This one is the trickiest as two games this week will move to Saturday on ABC / ESPN. But those games will have playoff implications. So maybe this one isn’t that hard after all. Johnson will need something to do with the end of the college season.
- Bull diffusers Adam amin and Stacey King will call the White Sox-Royals game Friday night on NBC Sports Chicago. Amin called the MLB games for ESPN and Fox, and King… well… no. But he coached his sons’ travel baseball team at the time. Maybe we’ll hear stories.
- Longtime Chicago Radio Voices that of George Ofman podcast, “Tell Me a Story I Don’t Know,” begins its third season Tuesday. The first two interviews are in two parts with the radio voice Bears Jeff Joniak and former host of The Score and ESPN 1000 Dan McNeil.
- Chicago-based ESPN reporter Michele Steele will anchor “SportsCenter” over the Labor Day weekend. Steele will appear at 8 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday.
FOX BROADCAST TEAMS
(Play-by-play, analyst, journalist)
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver
Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Shannon spoke
Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Sara Walsh / Lindsay Czarniak
Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Jennifer Hale
Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
Gus Johnson, Aqib Talib, Megan Olivi
CBS BROADCAST TEAMS
Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson
Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn
Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins
Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta and AJ Ross
Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Spero Dedes, Jay Feely
Tom McCarthy, Tiki Barber
Additional play-by-play: Beth Mowins
Additional reporters: Sherree Burruss, Amanda Balionis