By ROB MAADDI, AP Skilled Soccer Author

Ryan Fitzpatrick is already wanting ahead to the following Black Friday.

The well-traveled quarterback-turned-analyst is a part of Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night time Soccer” group that may air the NFL’s first sport the day after Thanksgiving in 2023.

” It is a wonderful thought. It is a good time to play. Everybody goes to be hunkered down, prepared to look at extra soccer,” Fitzpatrick mentioned on the AP Professional Soccer Podcast. “So I feel that is an enormous win for Amazon and I am actually wanting ahead to it, I am already wanting ahead to what metropolis we will be in for Thanksgiving subsequent yr and which metropolis we will do the sport.”

Fitzpatrick, three-time All-Professional cornerback Richard Sherman and four-time Professional Bowl sort out Andrew Whitworth made a clean transition straight from the sector to the studio this season, becoming a member of Corridor of Fame tight finish Tony Gonzalez and host Charissa Thompson on Amazon’s preview. , halftime and post-game protection.

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Veteran Al Michaels calls the performs with Kirk Herbstreit within the pit and sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung.

Fitzpatrick, Sherman, Whitworth, Gonzalez and Thompson are readily available for many video games. They developed on-air chemistry by spending lots of time collectively off set, together with Wednesday night time dinners earlier than video games.

“I feel that is been a extremely massive half, simply attending to know everybody as people,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “Sure, I knew Tony Gonzalez, the soccer participant, however as I realized a bit of extra about his household, I may hear dad joke after dad joke, type of be taught his character, after which poking him a bit about a few of his quirks after which throwing him again to me. It is lots like a locker room in that regard.

Fitzpatrick, who performed for 9 groups in 16 NFL seasons, referred to as Thompson the group’s QB.

“I feel Charissa has, particularly at first, finished an unbelievable job of conserving us in line,” he mentioned. “We had three new guys on the desk who had by no means finished this earlier than. And she or he did an amazing job directing the visitors and serving to us determine it out. Because the season progressed, the chemistry has improved lots, particularly the on-air chemistry of who’s speaking and when and what factors might be made, how shortly a degree must be made. And so Charissa is certainly nonetheless the quarterback, however having to handle rather less and having to maintain rather less than she did on the very begin of the season.

Sherman, who performed 11 seasons with Seattle, San Francisco and Tampa Bay, loved forming new relationships along with his new teammates.

“It reveals that we love being with one another,” he mentioned. “We like attending to know one another, attending to know one another’s households. And I feel that interprets on digicam.

Whitworth, a Tremendous Bowl champion with the Los Angeles Rams final season, had the least expertise talking in entrance of cameras of any group member.

“If you’re an O lineman, my model of the media is somebody with a tape recorder and the entire locker room is cleared out, and it is simply me and the one tape recorder asking me a number of questions,” Whitworth mentioned. . “There is no strain, no stress and no person actually cares until you say one thing flashy. If you say being uncooked, I actually had no expertise. I feel my greatest press convention was the day I retired.

Whitworth shortly caught on by being genuine.

“I am actually going to be who I’m,” he mentioned.

A part of that’s wardrobe and look. FitzMagic has the large beard. Whitworth wears hoodies beneath his jacket.

“I’ve at all times preferred to put on hoodies. I feel it is the large, outdated neck that typically makes me look awkward in collared shirts,” Whitworth mentioned.

Marie Donoghue, Amazon’s vp for world sports activities video, referred to as Whitworth the group’s coach.

“At our manufacturing conferences, he provides speeches within the locker room,” Donoghue mentioned earlier than the Ravens confronted the Buccaneers in a Thursday night time sport final month. “He virtually made us cry.”

When Amazon and the NFL signed an 11-year deal — the primary time the league bought a set of video games to a streaming service — Donoghue determined to construct a group with distinctive prospects.

“We spent lots of time with lots of completely different abilities,” she mentioned. “We needed power, pleasure and good teammates, individuals who work very onerous collectively and have enjoyable doing it. We needed to carry one thing new to the followers. We shortly centered on the having individuals off the pitch. These guys have gotten higher by the hour, they’re increasingly more comfy. They’ve had chemistry from day one. It has been spectacular. Now we have a really excessive bar. We’re delighted the place we’re and we’re solely bettering.

Comply with Rob Maaddi on Twitter at

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