Every season you see the major networks alter their graphics and presentation a bit. Sometimes the changes are minor, sometimes they are a pretty large overhaul. Fox seems like they recently went for the large overhaul. They have a new score graphic that is absolutely outstanding in it’s placement and simplicity. Seriously, look how clean and perfect it looks. It isn’t fancy, doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, and looks honestly perfect. They’ve also started doing extremely short comedy skits in commercial bumpers before halftime. These are universally complete garbage and when I see their pathetic attempt to make me giggle I want to find the writer to these shows and uppercut their solar plexus.

But the new aspect to Fox’s presentation that has garnered the most discussion is the player graphics. Instead of using a normal photoshopped cutout or greenscreen graphic video of the player that they can throw next to stats or presentation material, they elected a more unique route. They are using artwork. They are essentially just traced versions of actual QB promo photos, but they went the extra step to make them art. This honestly is kinda nice. There are just two major problems with the drawings:

1 – I was not the person contracted to make them
2 – They are all hilariously buff

Tom Brady does not have biceps larger than his head. Philip Rivers is not sculpted like DK Metcalf. Taysom Hill does not throw the football. The inaccuracies just pile up.

I found most of these renditions amusing but not particularly awful. Fox may have had to make these artwork pieces because they probably couldn’t get the players in for promo material in the age of social distancing and covid precautions, so they decided to get creative and likely get someone in the art department to churn out these works. That’s why they are clearly just explicit almost traced copies of actual promo photos. They obviously aren’t actually traced, because again, Tom Brady does not have arms bigger than his head. But the artist likely used the old promo material as a base for turning them all into beefcakes.

I think the Rivers pic broke me though, and might be the worst one. The longer you look at it, the less sense it makes. His broad shoulder sleeves imply the existence of shoulderpads. Yet his massive round pecs imply he is just stacked instead. Worst of all, his jersey becomes body paint down his torso. Instead of falling loosely over the top of the pants, the way a jersey does, because it is a loose, large shirt designed to fall that way even when properly tucked in, Rivers’ jersey simply becomes abs. Nobody’s jersey is tight enough to perfectly form around their abs. Not even the players with massive abs (DK Metcalf) have tight enough jerseys to show that off. I can forgive beefy arms. I can’t fathom why the artist turned a loose jersey into under armor, especially on a player like Rivers. In the entire NFL, only Ben Roethlisberger probably has more of a dad-bod than Philip.

The drawings are honestly fine, they are a bit too safe but Fox wasn’t going to have cartoons with any edge for their football broadcasts. I just can’t get over Rivers Abs. What a weird artistic choice.