Bob Raissman: Tom Brady survived the celebrity roast, but will he beat the heat in the Fox booth?

NEW YORK — The blow-back Tom Brady received from his celebrity roast will be nothing compared to the heat he will take from those watching his every move on Fox Sports' No. 1 NFL team.

Those who doubted whether he would make it to the booth on time can relax now that the Foxies have revealed the Hall of Fame-bound quarterback will make his regular-season debut Sept. 8 on the network’s Cowboys-Browns telecast.

The league decided not to give CBS a national doubleheader game in that window to maximize Fox’s audience. Typically, both networks get a national doubleheader game in week No. 1. With the national spotlight on Brady, NFL fans and the media will be dissecting every observation and replay analysis he offers. Can Brady measure up to the high bar (10 years, $375 million) Fox has set for him?

The critics, social media experts and designated detractors who want to see Brady fail on the big stage will be all over him from the second he appears on camera with play-by-play voice Kevin Burkhardt. Brady’s hair, his clothes, his broadcast game will be nitpicked week after week.

Other than Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, Brady is the biggest star in the NFL and he doesn’t even have to put on a uniform. Broadcasters, even former stars, usually don’t move the ratings needle, but at least early on in his Fox tenure, the wave of curiosity engulfing Brady-as-broadcaster will help drive the ratings.

How will he get to that point?

Fox suits seem to have passed on any chance of Brady/Burkhardt rehearsing in a live game setting during the United Football League season. This is a missed opportunity for Brady, who has never broadcast a live football game. While it appears he has been in the studio working games off a monitor, that is akin to a novice golfer hitting balls into a simulator rather than on the actual course.

Do the Foxies ramp things up and have the duo rehearse privately during each of the three weekends the NFL plays exhibition games? That kind of practice would be helpful. And by the second Sunday in September Brady may well have the mechanics down.

Does Fox dare unveil Brady/Burkhardt by having them work the one preseason game that each network rights holder is entitled to broadcast in August? Nothing like a soft launch to ease into the role. But the dogs would be howling if Brady turned in an underwhelming performance. Also, prepping for two rosters filled with unknown players is not ideal.

Unlike the greatest NFL TV analyst ever, the late John Madden, Brady will not have the luxury of getting his rhythm down in the first year on the job by working a regional schedule. Much like his playing days, those watching will expect him to produce from the get-go.

Maybe in the beginning he comes out taking a minimalist, man-of-few words, approach. Or maybe, like Tony Romo, who was in a similar situation at CBS, he comes out with a gimmick, like predicting plays.

There are many roads he could take. Yet just waiting for the next chapter of his career to start won’t be easy. It could be a long summer for Tom Brady.