Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick are helping create the new era of Thursday Night Football on Amazon

Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick

4 August 2022 | By Justin Kirkland, Copywriter and Dora Wang, Content Marketing Manager

When your on-air talent includes one of the top hosts in sports television and a Pro Football Hall of Famer/veteran analyst, what do you do to make the team even more exciting for fans?

Add two of the most storied NFL players from the last decade, of course.

In June, Prime Video announced three additional members of its on-air talent team for the wraparound coverage for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video. Charissa Thompson will host and, alongside Tony Gonzalez (who joined as an analyst in April), provides a seasoned sports media presence that will create a strong foundation for the TNF pre-game, half-time and post-game shows.

Joining Thompson and Gonzalez will be Sherm and Fitz—aka free agent cornerback Richard Sherman and former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, two veterans with extensive history as players in the NFL. Though legends on the field, both men are rookies to the analyst role, bringing a fresh perspective that will help propel TNF coverage into the new era of the NFL.

Before the season begins, get to know the two players-turned-analysts joining the team and how their specific strengths will help make TNF the must-watch game of the week. With a growing audience on streaming that includes more younger adults,1 Thursday Night Football is bringing on a couple of new voices to help make Thursdays the best night of the week.

Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks legend

The moment that solidified Richard Sherman’s place in Seattle Seahawks history came on 29 January 2014.

It was the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game – the game that would decide who represented the NFC in Super Bowl XLVIII – and the Seahawks led by six points with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter. Standing between Seattle and victory were the San Francisco 49ers, who were 18 yards away from scoring a touchdown that would (along with a successful extra point) win the game for San Francisco.

Unless, of course, the Seahawks defense could take possession of the football.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick fired a pass toward his receiver, Michael Crabtree, in the end zone, where Sherman was on coverage. He had only an instant to react.

Sherman leaped, using his impressive wingspan to deflect the ball away from the 49ers receiver and into the hands of Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith. “The Tip”, as it came to be known, sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history.

While it might be one of the most famous moments in Sherman’s NFL career, The Tip is just one of many highlights from his decade-plus in the league. He is a Super Bowl XLVIII champion, 3X First-team All-Pro, and a founding member of one of the greatest defences in NFL history, nicknamed the “Legion of Boom”. Since leaving the Seahawks, Sherman’s defensive prowess has been on display with the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Never one to hide his opinion (of game performance or another player), Sherman has always been an electric player, both on the field and off.

Starting this September, Sherman will add TNF analyst to his resume.

What Sherm brings to TNF on Amazon

Though he undoubtedly is a world-class athlete, Sherman readily admits that he isn’t the fastest or strongest player in the NFL. His greatest weapon on the field may be his brain.

For fans watching TNF on Amazon this autumn, Sherman brings an analytical approach to the game, as well as current NFL playing experience (Sherman remains a free agent and hasn’t ruled out a return to the field). He’ll be able to deepen fans’ understanding of the game of football while also helping newcomers learn the sport.

“I feel like it's important for players to continue to push the game forward and educate the fans through real experience and real intellect and trying to take them even deeper into the game,” Sherman said. “I think you try to simplify it as much as you can for them, but I think the more informed and educated the fans are, the better the experience is.”

What’s more, he’s proven to be quite the storyteller throughout his career – maybe it’s that communications degree from Stanford University. That skill promises to be an insightful, accessible component of Sherman’s role on the analyst desk.

Consider his retelling of this play from the 2015 Wild Card playoff game between the Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings, where Sherman combines his storytelling prowess with his cornerback expertise. On this early January day in Minneapolis, the temperature was –6°F (–25°F wind chill).

I looked into the shadows toward the quarterback and I couldn’t see anything. Between the sun and the fog on my frozen visor, I was blind. It was like I was staring straight into a sheet of ice.

But below the frost, through the bottom of my face mask, I could see the receiver’s legs – his purple and white socks popped off the green turf. I had watched the Vikings run this screen pass a few times on film, and I did a quick calculation in my head and figured that the ball should be coming in right about... now. So I reached out and grabbed the receiver.

My timing was perfect. I hit him just as the ball got there and he dropped the pass.

Incomplete.

That eloquence is just one of the qualities Sherman has to offer in the analyst role. He also brings camera-ready charisma and the quick wit of a player who’s never shied away from speaking his mind, whether on camera or on the field. We look forward to being entertained during TNF’s wraparound coverage just as much as the games themselves.

The man, the myth, the legend – Ryan Fitzpatrick

When Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the post-game presser following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ triumphant 2018 week two victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, he refused to remove his large sunglasses. After all, it was part of a larger ensemble including a tight half-zipped bomber jacket and several chains adorning his bare chest.

When asked about the impressive display he’d shown on the field, Fitzpatrick – without even the suggestion of a smile – said, “I think we just have to stay humble.”

The room erupted in laughter. “We’ve got to make sure we know how to handle success and all those things, so we can’t change who we are.”

That moment back in 2018 is the encapsulation of the nickname “Fitzmagic”: playful, confident, and a little bit self-deprecating. The quarterback earned the nickname due to his Herculean ability to break records against the greatest of odds (example: the 400-yard season opener passing record he shares with only Cam Newton and Tom Brady).

This fall, he’ll join the TNF analyst desk, bringing that signature humour, 17 seasons’ worth of experience, and a little bit of that magic to viewers across the country.

What Fitz brings to TNF on Amazon

As a rookie in the NFL, the Harvard-educated quarterback quickly made a name for himself as one of the smartest players in the league. Upon entering the league, Fitzpatrick took the well-known Wonderlic test – a cognitive problem-solving assessment used across all different industries – finishing in nine minutes with a near-perfect score. For reference, Wonderlic suggests a 12-minute time limit and reports a 20 as an average score. Fitzpatrick holds the record for third-highest score ever in the league with a 48.

That intellect, paired with a wide range of experience across the league, makes Fitzpatrick unlike any other player in an analyst role.

Seeing the opportunity to continue his career off the field, Fitzpatrick told the New York Post earlier this summer, “Amazon jumped out at me. In terms of it is something that’s fresh and new. It just made a lot of sense of what I was trying to get into.”

Though Fitzpatrick retired in the 2022 off-season following a hip injury, he remains one of the most cerebral and intellectual players of the modern era, with a keen understanding of how the game has evolved over the past 20 years. As the only player to have started as quarterback on nine different teams, Fitzpatrick doesn’t come to the analyst role just as an expert of the game, but as an expert of the league’s culture.

With all nine of his previous teams on the TNF schedule this season, Fitzpatrick stands to be one of TNF’s secret weapons.

As congenial as he is clever, Fitzpatrick is a young gun whose playful demeanour will surely make TNF a must-have part of any football fan’s weekly schedule. As for whether the iconic beard and multiple chains will come along for the ride – well, you’ll have to stay tuned for that.

Before the season kicks off, learn more about how your brand can be part of the night with Amazon Streaming TV ads.

12021 TNF Viewer Study, Kantar 2021