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Being an impartial fan of any football after December 20th, it has been a truly fun January to watch in both college football and the NFL. Disastrous officiating calls aside, we as fans have seen both nail biters and blowouts. Blown refereeing calls have cost sides a Super Bowl, while blown play calling has ensured that sides don’t progress through.
Sideline play calling has been on and off throughout this month, yet the play calling from Tony Romo has been almost perfect. If you need an example, just look at the overtime period between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.
After retiring as a Dallas Cowboy in 2017, Romo went straight into the announcing booth for CBS. It was a move that was slightly criticized, with some asking as to why Romo went straight into the number one color analyst spot. Replacing Phil Simms, Romo ended up getting praised to the highest degree for his ability to call plays on the fly through reading the offensive line up. His ability to read defensive sets ended up getting praise from fans all over the country, also adding an enthusiasm that had seemingly been lost with Simms.
From a neutral’s perspective, someone like Tony Romo is a blessing for any viewers who don’t have a clue about formations or play calling. His ability to “dumb it down”, especially during the overtime period, allowed everyone to look for what play and who would be involved. The two plays down the middle for Edelman, as well as the straight route for Gronkowski were just beautiful to watch. It was even better hear the plays come out of Romo’s mouth for the viewers to enjoy in amazement.
That performance alongside Jim Nantz will now give the commentary duo the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl LIII. Romo spoke to Newsday.com and it would seem that he isn’t too concerned, comparing the nerves to that of a player before a game.
“I don’t know really know how I’m going to feel until that day, but I think there’s always a little bit of nervousness before every game, whether you’re a player or an announcer,” he said recently (via Newsday). “I think that’s good. I think that’s healthy. In some ways it makes you feel the importance. But I don’t know. I’d be guessing if I told you exactly what I’m going to feel beforehand. But I’m excited.” – Extract from Washington Post.
This is a man, a former player who allegedly used Madden as a means of preparation for his commentary debut in 2017. Twitter went crazy over his debut, and they went crazy over his performance in the booth during the AFC Championship game.
QBs that @TonyRomo is having a far better first half than: Big Ben, Cousins, Tom Savage, Stafford, Dalton, McCown, Glennon, Ryan.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) September 10, 2017
That was 2017, his debut. This is 2019.
Confirmed: Just called Tony Romo to see where I’m going to play next year. #YoureAWizardTony
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) January 21, 2019
ESPN tried to follow this formula by bringing in Jason Witten as a color analyst for Monday Night Football, a move that hasn’t quite worked out in the same facet. It was a double edged sword for Witten, who not only had the comparisons of Romo to deal with but also was replacing Jon Gruden.
Gruden was over the top, with little nuisances that would get his analysis over with a good majority of the viewers. That combination has brought Witten with a tag of just… boring. A mix of Witten being unable to actually get his words out, as well as having the comparison of Gruden and Romo to boot.
“Every possession is so critical when you’re going up against Sam Rodgers.” – Jason Witten pic.twitter.com/lHAUxvdbHI
— Patrick Keane (@phkeane) October 16, 2018
Tony Romo brought the knowledge of the game, as well as some much needed enthusiasm to the commentary box for CBS. His ability to call plays and read formations leads for a much better viewing experience, as well as a better way to teach potential players the game. After his performance in the AFC Championship game, it is pretty easy to say that Romo is the best thing to have happened to NFL commentary for a long time.
Picture Credit – Yahoo Sports