When Tony Romo turned the most important sensation in NFL broadcasting, it was as a result of he was a gunslinger as an analyst, predicting performs with an unconventional fashion that finally led to a 10-year, $180 million contract, then the richest recognized deal in sports activities media historical past.
Lately, 4 years into that deal, after all of the criticism of Romo, CBS clearly went into his third Tremendous Bowl as a TV analyst on the lookout for a recreation supervisor as a substitute of a recreation changer. However outdated habits die exhausting.
On the ultimate name to finish the Tremendous Bowl LVIII extra time traditional between the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, Romo and play-by-play associate Jim Nantz’s lack of teamwork confirmed up on the worst time.
At first, Romo did a high quality job with the Chiefs down three factors and contained in the 5-yard line late in extra time, explaining that it didn’t matter as viewers watched the clock wind down towards zero — the sport wouldn’t finish and would simply roll right into a second quarter of OT. However Romo stored speaking too lengthy.
This blocked Nantz from correctly establishing the ultimate play. Because the successful landing was scored, Nantz mentioned, “First and aim, Mahomes flings it! It’s there! Hardman! Jackpot! Kansas Metropolis!”
THE CHIEFS ARE BACK-TO-BACK SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS! pic.twitter.com/ZzfhTyUXg9
— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2024
Romo first muttered within the background of Nantz’s name as if he had been a yahoo on native radio. After Nantz completed, Romo began in, “This was the Andy Reid particular. …” After which on and on.
For 30 seconds, as CBS confirmed response, Romo talked concerning the play when the most effective evaluation would’ve been silence, which might have allowed the group and photos to inform the story. It ought to have been Nantz’s broadcast second, if anybody’s.
Nantz and Romo had been as soon as alleged to be the subsequent Pat Summerall and John Madden however have fallen to date that their disjointed efficiency Sunday was one CBS will possible take. Earlier than the ultimate play, the printed was removed from excellent, nevertheless it was principally manageable. Perhaps not one to in a single day to the Sports activities Emmys, however, on the manufacturing facet, it had its moments.
Nantz and Romo make the massive cash — a close to $30 million a 12 months between them — so, like quarterbacks, they obtain probably the most credit score and blame. Their quarterback score was not excessive sufficient, lacking apparent large themes.
The duo didn’t ever clarify why the defenses — particularly the 49ers on Travis Kelce within the first half — had been having their means for thus lengthy with the offenses. In addition they had been very underwhelming when CBS’s manufacturing group expertly noticed Kelce bumping and screaming at his 65-year-old head coach. They not often spoke about line play. And the overarching themes of the sport had been usually missed. There have been no threads.
The grading for the Tremendous Bowl broadcast is the very best degree as a result of it’s the most prestigious project in American sportscasting. Nantz has referred to as the sport six instances, however his companions, first Phil Simms and now Romo, have regressed beneath his watch. A foul pattern.
In the meantime, Romo lacks consistency in his ideas. With 10 seconds left in regulation and the Chiefs on the 49ers’ 11, Romo mentioned, “You probably have six seconds, you are feeling comfy taking one other crack at it.”
After an incomplete cross, there have been six seconds left, and Romo opined, “If he had seven, I’d do it,” including Kansas Metropolis ought to kick.
Umm, however, Tony, you simply mentioned …
By no means thoughts.
The inconsistency occurs an excessive amount of with Romo, inflicting CBS Sports activities executives to placed on a courageous face publicly and privately, defending him, however actions are nearly all the time the place the reality lands, and their truest ideas appeared evident of their method.
Early, it was clear, CBS’s recreation plan was to simplify the offense. Within the first half, it reduce down on the overuse of too many voices, sticking principally to Nantz and Romo. Romo appeared chilled. It wasn’t unhealthy.
The manufacturing group got here up large within the second quarter. After Chiefs working again Isiah Pacheco fumbled, it discovered a sideline shot wherein Kelce accosted Reid.
Travis Kelce seemed lower than enthused pic.twitter.com/yncKhjtNl4
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) February 12, 2024
“He goes, ‘Preserve me in,’” Romo mentioned, apparently lip-reading. “What occurred is, on the fumble, he was not within the recreation. Noah Grey went in, and he needed to block. Noah Grey, the tight finish, needed to block (Deommodore) Lenoir. Lenoir made him swim and really created the fumble. And I believe Kelce is like, ‘Simply preserve me in there, even when we’re working the ball.’”
Let’s put to the facet we would have liked to seek the advice of Google Translate to go from Romo to English to know what, “(Deommodore) Lenoir made him swim and really created the fumble” may imply, the story is Kelce practically flattening his coach.
It wasn’t Latrell Sprewell on P.J. Carlesimo, nevertheless it was Taylor Swift’s boyfriend in entrance of about, give or take, 115 million viewers. We form of wanted the previous All-Professional Cowboys quarterback to weigh in if that was kosher or not.
The very best a part of Romo is his unscripted enjoyable persona. Non-hardcore followers can like him as a result of Romo comes throughout as — and from all first-hand studies is — a genuinely good man. He can be cool to have a beer with, an excellent high quality in an announcer.
Sunday, probably the most persona Romo confirmed was when he sang Adele’s “Rolling within the Deep” to interrupt, channeling one other Cowboys nice turned broadcaster, Don Meredith. Romo would do it once more within the third quarter, making an attempt to entice Nantz — who’s a broadcaster from a Peter Jennings/Tom Brokaw anchor period — for a singalong to Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas.” Romo even did a bit of Beastie Boys late with “(You Gotta) Combat for Your Proper (To Get together)!”
As for Nantz, he sounded additional amped to open the sport, possibly overcompensating for some less-than-enthusiastic early calls within the playoffs. On the 2 Romo-isms of the primary half, Nantz did appropriately problem him. Romo mentioned a fumble is likely to be a lateral within the second quarter, after which late within the interval, with the scoreless Chiefs down 10, he mentioned they is likely to be in four-down territory. Nantz rightly threw the problem flag on each.
Ultimately, the issue with the tandem is that regardless of all their “pal” and “buddy” discuss, to not point out their over-the-top, on-air, “I really like yous,” they don’t sound on the identical web page.
That disconnection reveals up within the largest spots, when the world is watching, when what you could have performed all season is on show.
Nantz and Romo ought to have the printed technique of that final play down. Romo’s enchantment could also be that he’s like a fan, however he’s doing the Tremendous Bowl broadcast and being paid handsomely to take action.
He simply wanted to get out of the way in which to permit Nantz to make his full name, then wait till after the images and sounds had their second to notice that Mahomes is Michael Jordan.
It wasn’t time for the gunslinger. CBS had the correct plan, and Nantz and Romo executed at instances. However, on the most important play of the season, Romo freelanced and misplaced.
(Photograph of Tony Romo and Jim Nantz: Rob Carr / Getty Pictures)