SBD/September 11, 2017/Media

Tony Romo Widely Praised For CBS NFL Broadcasting Debut During Raiders-Titans

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Romo impressed in his debut broadcast for CBS and came across as a veteran analyst
CBS' Tony Romo "provided solid insight" during his debut NFL regular-season broadcast yesterday as part of the net's No. 1 team, according to Drew Davison of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. Romo during the Raiders-Titans game "saw things that enlightened your casual NFL fan, and came across as a veteran analyst rather than a guy making" his first call (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/11). In Dallas, Barry Horn writes Romo "really knows" the game, as he "predicted plays and wasn't afraid to first guess." When broadcast partner Jim Nantz "asked Romo about his ability to advance the game numerous times rather than simply review it," Romo "audibly shrugged." He said, "I've seen football in the NFL for 14 years." Two criticisms of Romo are that he "spoke way too fast" and "could have raised the volume a bit." However, Horn writes, "When the CBS coaches grade his work on film this week, he'll get an A. Guarantee it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/11). THE MMQB's Peter King writes Romo "was good, and very good in spots." He was "right in the X’s and O’s, properly enthusiastic and spoke in the kinds of informative staccato bursts that are essential for network color guys." King: "Occasionally, his voice broke, but other than that, Romo sounded like he’d done this before" (MMQB.SI.com, 9/11). NFL Network's Rich Eisen tweeted Romo is "excellent in the booth." Eisen: "Energetic, knowledgeable, concise, likeable. And will only get better." ABC's Jimmy Kimmel: "Nice job by the rookie @TonyRomo calling his first game - oftentimes before the plays even happened." Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith: "Romo correctly identified pre-snap which Titans DB Derek Carr was keying on. I like that kind of insight" (TWITTER.com, 9/10). 

UNDER CENTER: YAHOO SPORTS' Jay Busbee wrote Romo "brought enthusiasm to a job that’s all too often treated as Serious Football Business." He also "brought a recent veteran QB’s knowledge of defensive formations and offensive tendencies, which he broke down time and again before the snap." At other points in the game, Romo "broke down strategic decisions -- demonstrating how teams use one down to set up another, for instance -- and breaking down how a quarterback views a blitz-prep defense and takes immediate advantage of mismatches" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/10). In N.Y., Ari Gilberg writes Romo at times "could see plays before they even happened" and "predicted exactly what would transpire even prior to the snap" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/11). SPORTS ON EARTH's Cy Brown wrote Romo was "comfortable and easygoing," and he was "able to tell fans things we didn't already know, a skill all too often lacking in NFL broadcasters." Romo "didn't seem totally comfortable just yet." He was a "big fan of just yelling 'BOOM' following a big hit or block." At one point, he "eschewed any analysis at all to just shout 'BEAST MODE'" following a Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch run. But he "already has a better analytical eye than most NFL broadcasters" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 9/10). CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora wrote, "Really enjoyed Tony Romo on the call of his first game. Excellent debut." Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson: "I'm seeing a lot of love for Tony Romo the broadcaster in my feed." Bleacher Report's Joon Lee: "Romo is really, really good at this. Incredibly informative and he’s already predicted a few play calls today. Lots of energy" (TWITTER.com, 9/10).

CBS PLEASED WITH ROMO'S DEBUT: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote CBS officials were monitoring Twitter during Romo’s broadcasting debut and "could not have been more pleased by the overwhelmingly positive reaction for Romo’s work." Execs were "particularly surprised (and very happy) to see employees of competing NFL rights-holders praising Romo’s work. CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus: “Was I pleased today that I read some positive things? Yes, I was. But as I’ve said before: There will be a plethora of critics because there always are and I don’t think you should look too closely at social media" (SI.com, 9/10). McManus noted he was "pleasantly surprised" by the positive reaction on Twitter, as social media "by and large is very negative, for everybody, for all announcers and all networks." McManus said, "The fact that it was positive is satisfying for me, but I also take it with a grain of salt." However, he also added, “It’s certainly better to have positive reviews than negative reviews” (NEWSDAY, 9/11).
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