Behind the Scenes with FOX’s NFL crew: A cross-country trek, a story of two QBs

By Richie Zyontz
FOX NFL Lead Producer

Editor’s Word: Richie Zyontz has been an NFL producer for FOX since 1994 and the lead producer for the final 20 seasons. He has greater than 40 years of expertise overlaying the league and has produced six Tremendous Bowls. All through the 2022 NFL season, he’ll present an inside look as FOX’s new No. 1 NFL workforce makes its journey towards Tremendous Bowl LVII.

For anybody thinking about driving from Philadelphia to Santa Clara, California, it is a mere 2,900 miles because the crow flies. In case you’re in a rush and drink a lot of espresso, you may make it in 43 hours, assuming you are compliant with velocity limits.

And we at FOX Sports activities have Ike to thank for that info.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s Interstate Freeway Act of 1956 helped construct our nation’s main thoroughfares. I feel it is truthful to say it made our nation entire, permitting individuals and merchandise to maneuver effectively and speedily all through this huge nation for a lot of many years. 

One group very important to our operation, a gaggle that spends lots of time on Ike’s highways, is our crew of truck drivers who steer the tv cell items from recreation to recreation.  This week, they had been those cruising from The Metropolis of Brotherly Like to Santa Clara, within the coronary heart of California’s Silicon Valley.

King of the highway

Our lead driver is Jim Gove, a golf-loving native of New Hampshire now residing in Wrens, Georgia 30 miles west of Augusta. He works with a workforce of 5 different drivers overseeing three massive cell items. Jim works for Recreation Creek Video and has been a part of our crew for eight years. 

Jim Gove of Recreation Creek Video, a kind of accountable for driving the FOX Sports activities vans from recreation to recreation.

Whereas overlaying FOX’s prime recreation is an honor for many of us, the schedule usually does not make geographic sense. We’re usually on the east coast one week, the west coast the subsequent. We usually comply with the most effective groups and acquire frequent flyer miles alongside the way in which.

For the blokes hauling these massive rigs round, the schedule is usually a burden.

With two drivers per truck, it is 10 hours on, 10 hours off, with the off time spent within the small mattress within the rear of the cab. The lodging aren’t precisely as much as Ritz Carlton requirements, and sleep does not come simply. And Ike’s beloved highways are sometimes both underneath building or badly in want of restore. This isn’t a straightforward job. As somebody who cannot parallel park, I am in awe of how anybody can maneuver these behemoths.

Sleeping lodging within the vans, full with a proud emblem from Octobers previous.

However as all the time, our vans arrived safely in California by Wednesday afternoon and had been up and operating by Friday. 

Jim and his crew carried out step one within the means of broadcasting this recreation.

I by no means take their function without any consideration!

Going residence 

Tom Brady grew up in San Mateo, California. That is a 30-minute drive from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, and a stone’s throw from Candlestick Park the place he rooted on his beloved 49ers. 

With all of the glory Brady has achieved in his legendary 23-year profession, this was solely his second go to to play within the San Francisco space. And after our video chat with him, it was evident it had particular that means.

Talking from the coaching room on the Bucs’ observe facility, the place his private coach Alex Guerrero was massaging his Corridor of Fame arm, Brady nostalgically described his boyhood taking part in soccer within the streets, the love of his mother and father and rooting for his hero Joe Montana.

This dialog revealed Brady to be right down to earth, humorous, and profane — in my thoughts, all admirable qualities. It was a personal take a look at a really public individual.

A story of two quarterbacks 

Sadly, the general public Brady on show Sunday at Levi’s Stadium suffered via an sad homecoming. Taking part in earlier than 100 friends, together with his mother and father, he was always hurried and harried by the stout San Francisco protection.

Our cameras picked up Brady slamming his hand right into a defender’s helmet on a move try, inflicting him seen discomfort. Lots of his passes had been inaccurate. 

The great Brady storyline yielded the highlight to the rookie quarterback in purple throughout the sphere, San Francisco’s Brock Purdy.

Thrust into motion final week after an damage to beginning quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy was making his first profession begin. Oh, and by the way in which, it got here towards Brady, who was main the Patriots earlier than Brock had celebrated his first birthday.

We had been advised by head coach Kyle Shanahan that the younger quarterback had moxie. 

On our video name with Purdy, it confirmed. He was assured, nearly cocky, however in a great way. It appeared he was prepared for his closeup (though this film was directed by Wealthy Russo, not Cecil B DeMille — Sundown Boulevard reference for you children).

‘I’ve a lot assist round me’: Brock Purdy talks after the 49ers’ win over the Bucs

Brock Purdy talks to Erin Andrews about how a lot the San Francisco 49ers’ veterans have helped him after his first profession begin and defeat of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And what a recreation he had!

Taking part in like a seasoned professional, Purdy led the 49ers to 4 touchdowns within the first half, turning the sport right into a rout. Our digicam crew had well timed reactions from the Purdy household watching from the stands. Our low end-zone digicam maestro Andy Mitchell captured his dad, Shawn Purdy, with tears of pleasure flowing freely. It was the shot of the day!

The sport was by no means unsure as San Francisco rolled to a 35-7 victory.  However not less than one storyline performed out to perfection as the child beat the legend. 

Oh yeah, one different storyline did not fairly work out both. 

After their 2900 mile drive this previous week to the west coast,  Jim and the truck drivers have to saddle up and head again throughout the nation to Jacksonville, Florida the place the Jaguars host the Cowboys subsequent week.

So if you end up on interstate 10 within the subsequent few days and also you see these Recreation Creek vans rolling down the freeway, give the boys a wave.

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