Rumors About Romo's TV Future Draw Varying Reactions
Rumors have been growing louder that ESPN could make a run at hiring CBS' Tony Romo for its "MNF" booth, and many columnists are weighing in on the situation. SI.com's Jimmy Traina wrote Romo should "stay with CBS," as the job he currently has as the net's No. 1 analyst is "infinitely better than the ESPN job." Romo every week "calls the best AFC game," and when that game kicks off at 4:25pm ET, he also calls the "highest-rated game of the week." By comparison, the ESPN schedule is "always mediocre and brings in significantly less viewers than the CBS game." At CBS, Romo "calls three playoff games each year," but at ESPN, he would "call one." CBS also is "in the Super Bowl rotation" with Fox and NBC, but ESPN is not. Traina: "It would make no sense for Romo to leave CBS unless the money is completely out of control" (SI.com, 1/13).
GET IT DONE REGARDLESS OF PRICE: In DC, Cindy Boren writes the reported $10-14M price per year for Romo "would be worth it" for just about any network. That is especially true for ESPN and Disney, as such a financial outlay "would be mere couch change." With the top NBC and Fox booths set, signing Romo "would make sense if ESPN hopes to move into the Sunday afternoon market at some point with games on ABC and Romo filling other roles on the cable network as well" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/13). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth wrote he would "endorse a booth refresh" for "MNF" that would "deliver a sparkling bouquet of soon-to-be free agent Tony Romo, best paired with a robust return of the beautifully bland Sean McDonough" (L.A. TIMES, 1/13).
NO ONE IS WORTH THAT MONEY: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes there is "no question" Romo would "improve things" for the "MNF" booth. However, it would be a "mistake -- on multiple levels" -- to offer Romo eight figures per year and "make him the highest-paid sports announcer in history." Few would "object to replacing so-so analyst Booger McFarland," but few fans "tune in to a game just because of who's calling it -- and no one skips a game he or she wants to see just because of who's in the booth" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/14). In Pittsburgh, Tim Benz wonders for as "much of an improvement as Romo may be, is he really going to encourage more people to watch the games?" Benz: "I simply can’t imagine watching a Monday night game for one minute longer -- or tuning in at all -- just because Romo is on the call. ... I simply don’t see the return on investment being worthwhile unless he is woven into the fabric of ESPN on a far greater level than only 'MNF'" (TRIBLIVE.com, 1/14).