Family ties run from the broadcast booth to the Atlanta sideline on Sunday.
The NFL coaching fraternity is a relatively small one, with coaches across the league interconnected in multiple ways. Former coaches and players turned announcers also often have relationships with individuals in the games they broadcast. But Sunday's color commentator for the Falcons-Seahawks game is particularly close to Atlanta head coach Mike Smith.
With the No. 1 team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling Saturday night's game, Brian Billick will be with Thom Brennaman on the FOX broadcast Sunday. Could there be a slight conflict of interest for Billick, whose brother-in-law happens to be the head coach for the home team?
Brian Billick, calling Sea-Atl, is Mike Smith's brother-in-law. Interesting move by Fox...— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) January 13, 2013
Smith was also a coach on Billick's staff in Baltimore. The former Ravens coach will likely play it straight, offering up trite plaudits for both sides. But FOX could have easily avoided any accusations of favoritism or partiality by assigning another broadcast team.