The Tom Rinaldi era is officially underway at Fox Sports.
In one of the more notable sports media transactions to begin 2021, Rinaldi — a veteran reporter and journalist — left ESPN for Fox. Rinaldi debuted at his new network alongside Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, along with Erin Andrews, in the NFC wild-card round.
In a recent interview, Rinaldi explained how crucial Andrews — his former ESPN colleague — was in the days leading up to his first game at Fox.
Tom Rinaldi just joined Fox from ESPN
After growing up in Cresskill, N.J., Tom Rinaldi became a household name for his storytelling and reporting at ESPN.
Rinaldi joined the Worldwide Leader in 2002 and primarily saw his action on the network’s football and golf coverage. When Rinaldi appeared on one’s screen during College GameDay or Sunday NFL Countdown, viewers knew that a heartwarming, heart wrenching, or story involving a combination of the two was coming their way.
Rinaldi will continue in similar roles at Fox Sports. After nearly 20 years at ESPN, Rinaldi appeared on the network one last time on January 2.
Rinaldi is working with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman right now
Tom Rinaldi began his tenure at Fox Sports in a major way.
Rinaldi’s first on-air assignment was the Rams-Seahawks wild-card round game on January 9. Rinaldi joined Erin Andrews, his former ESPN colleague, as co-workers.
Those two work with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, who form the network’s No. 1 broadcast team. That crew will work the Buccaneers-Saints game — which could be the final matchup between Drew Brees and Tom Brady — on Sunday, January 17.
Pink served as the second sideline reporter for the No. 1 team throughout the 2020 season on Thursday Night Football broadcasts.
Tom Rinaldi had major praise for Fox colleague Erin Andrews
For all intents and purposes, Tom Rinaldi’s arrival in Seattle before the wild-card game officially marked his start at Fox Sports.
Andrews spent the week leading up to the Rams-Seahawks game providing Rinaldi with contacts and even gave him foot warmers to put inside his shoes.
“The last thing she did before I got on the plane to come after the game was to call and ask if everything felt good. We talked throughout the game. She just was just fabulous to me.”
Andrews and Rinaldi will again work together in the NFC divisional round. It is not yet known if Fox will use both as sideline reporters on the No. 1 broadcast team next season.
Fox has traditionally only used two sideline reporters for Thursday Night Football games — those games are co-produced with NFL Network — and the Super Bowl.