Erin Andrews replacing Pam Oliver on Fox NFL’s top broadcast team

Erin-AndrewsErin Andrews is taking over as Fox’s top sideline reporter for the 2014 season. Andrews will replace Pam Oliver and work with the broadcast duo of Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, while Oliver will join Fox’s No. 2 team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch for her 20th season with the network.

Oliver, who said she was very disappointed to hear of the news, told Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch that this upcoming season will be her last as a sideline reporter with Fox. She said Fox Sports executives traveled to Atlanta last April to give her the bad news in person.

“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver explained. “I said I wanted to do a 20th year [on the sidelines]. I expressed to them that I was not done and had something to offer. Again, I think it was predetermined coming in. Not at that meeting, but two years ago it was determined that no matter what I did or did not do, a change would be made for this year.”

One anonymous veteran NFL reporter told Deitsch that he believes the change has to do with looks.

“She’s not blonde, nor is she in the demographic,” the reporter said. “I’m not naïve and I understand it’s a business, but I think that Fox did not treat her as befits a woman who has been the female face of their sports operation for the past 19 years.”

Oliver turned 53 in March. Andrews is 36. It was widely assumed that Andrews would one day be Fox’s top sideline reporter when the network hired her away from ESPN. Andrews will now get to enjoy more of this craziness from Richard Sherman.

And Oliver didn’t exactly enjoy her best season as a reporter last year:

Pam Oliver hit in face by Chandler Harnish throw (Video)

Pam Oliver hit faceStanding on an NFL sideline is always a risky proposition, especially if you are not paying attention. FOX NFL reporter Pam Oliver knows all about that.

Oliver was on the sidelines during pregame warmups for the Indianapolis Colts-New York Giants game on Sunday and was hit in the face by a throw from Colts backup quarterback Chandler Harnish. Harnish, last year’s Mr. Irrelevant, went over to give Oliver a hug to apologize for the throw, which was just out of the reach of his receiver.

Head on a swivel at all times, Pam. Head on a swivel.

Pam Oliver Interview Video: Struggling with Question for Greg Jennings

No matter the profession, everybody has bad moments. It’s particularly awful when you suffer one of those screwups on a big stage, as Pam Oliver did during Super Bowl XLV. Oliver is usually fantastic at her job — concise and to the point with her reporting, while building a strong rapport with her interviewing subjects. Unfortunately she had a gaffe after Joe Buck threw it to her for an on-field interview with Packers receiver Greg Jennings. In one of those naked-at-school nightmare moments, Oliver literally did not have a question for Jennings:

“Just you know, everything this team has been through, umm, I can’t even begin to, you know, I don’t know where to start with that, where do you begin to, uh, just talk about everything you guys have been through, and now, look at this moment.”

Man, Oliver seemed more overcome by the moment than even Jennings. It really felt like she was overwhelmed because she had been around the team all week and had grown so close to them that she was speechless after they had won. I’ve never been a fan of sideline reporters, and this doesn’t help matters one bit. I guess the good news is at least Jennings didn’t hit on her like this guy.