AFC Championship broadcast sets internet ablaze

Tony Romo is more than comfortable talking into a microphone, as evidenced by his game-changing football broadcasts. Tune in to hear his innate ability to predict plays seconds before they happen, Sunday, Feb. 3 for the Super Bowl 53 on CBS. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

In today’s media business, a gimmick gets you everywhere.

With things “going viral” and turning into memes, the average Joe can say or do the funniest thing, and if someone films it and posts it online, they can become an overnight sensation.

Tony Romo isn’t anywhere close to an average Joe, but his broadcasting calling card reached all-time high levels during last weekend’s NFL coverage on CBS television.

It was the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, and Romo and Jim Nance, the company’s #1 N
FL broadcast duo, were on the call.

With his signature genuine fervor, laugh and uncanny football knowledge, Romo became national headline fodder thanks to multiple plays where he instinctively predicted what happened before the ball was snapped.

It was so detailed, he even dissected players going in motion, run-pass options and busted out “Ball Don’t Lie” in reference to instant replay.

For all you old-school psychic lovers, Tony added a “Miss Cleo” reference.

It was hard to focus on the actual game at times, because Romo displayed this Howard Stern-like quality where you couldn’t believe what was coming out of his mouth, yet you kept attention to hear what he would say next.

 

Dance with what brung ya

The revolutionary dialogue conjured memories of 2017 when Romo hit the broadcast scene.

In his first game in September, he correctly called plays before they happened, causing a positive uproar on social media sites like
Twitter and Facebook.

Accoring to online sources, CBS ‘tamed’ Romo’s predictions, fearing it took away from some of the drama of the broadcast.

But in true Romo form, the humble, small-town guy from Burlington (1998 Burlington High School graduate) returned to rare form.

He brought a fresh take and caught the attention of national media outlets, everyone from Peter King of Sports Illustrated to the Boston Globe to ESPN, where each talking-head, shock-jock show praised Romo’s unique style and listenability.

“Tony Romo called maybe the greatest game I’ve ever heard,” said ESPN journalist Stephen A. Smith, co-host of the popular show “First Take.” “You know what: the coach that needed to be hired in the NFL is Tony Romo. Listen to this man. This is pure football genius. He’s calling, literally calling, plays before they happen.”

 

Springboard for something bigger?

Romo says he is focusing on family with his three sons and wife Candace now, along with his broadcasting career, but it’s hard not to imagine a world where the 38-year-old, still young by NFL quarterback standards, suits up to play one more time.

OK, that could be a stretch, but Smith points out Romo’s passion for the game of football, and it would make a lot of sense for the former Pro Bowl passer to return to the field.

Whether it be as a coach in the front office, Romo would thrive for any NFL team, and the fact his parents still live in Wisconsin could point to a Green Bay Packers opportunity.

But the fact he lives in Dallas would suggest a team in the south.

Who knows, maybe Sunday’s game was an aberration, and the rest of America will be on to the next thing soon and forget Romo’s sheer brilliance.

But chew on this: Romo will be at his first Super Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 3, in Atlanta, with Nance for the CBS broadcast, which usually kicks off around supper time.

Could another epic performance lead to a cushy ESPN talk show position?

Or even a nationally-syndicated podcast?

The possibilities are endless for the multi-talented Romo, who stepped away from the game in 2017 due to a multitude of injuries in his 30s, most notably several back surgeries.

For now, Romo is the talk of national sports media.

He is changing the game in his second career.

 

 

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