Report: CBS Execs Staged “Intervention” With Tony Romo Over Performance
CBS executives reviewed tapes and discussed game broadcasts with the ex-QB
Hailed as a football soothsayer for his ability to accurately predict plays and viewed as a breath of fresh air after he arrived in the CBS broadcast booth alongside Jim Nantz in 2017, Tony Romo was rewarded with a record-breaking 10-year contract approximately three years ago that pays him upwards of $18 million per year. At the time, the deal seemed like a no-brainer, as Romo was a key component of the network’s most-watched programming. Now, three years later, some are calling Romo’s deal the worst contract in football, as many feel that his performance in the broadcast booth has slipped and he’s been underprepared ever since he signed his mega deal.
Some executives at CBS apparently fall into the camp of those who feel Romo’s performance has fallen off, as at least two top network execs met with Romo prior to this season and “staged something of an intervention” that involved reviewing tapes and discussing the game broadcasts, according to The New York Post.
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“In an effort to have Romo focus more on being fully prepared and to help him find a way to mesh better with his broadcast partner, Jim Nantz, executives including CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus and CBS’ lead NFL game producer, Jim Rikhoff, flew on separate trips to Romo’s Dallas home,” per the publication.
The meetings — which CBS said should not be characterized as interventions — did not have the desired effect, as Romo’s performance in the booth was routinely ripped this season all the way through last week’s AFC Championship Game between the Bengals and Chiefs in Kansas City.
Speaking on a podcast with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, The Post’s Andrew Marchand confirmed the offseason meetings did not have the desired result. “It did not get better,” he said. “There’s kind of a fine line between unconventional and undisciplined.”
Romo, to his credit, is aware of the criticism and acknowledged he is still a work in progress who doesn’t always “get it right” in the booth alongside Nantz. “I think you’re always evolving,” Romo told The Post. “I mean, some changes are good, some you’re like, ‘Ah, I shouldn’t do that.’ But I always trial and error a bunch and sometimes it works. I just think it’s enjoyable to try and be the best you can be, and the only way to do that is sometimes to trial and error, and staying inside the umbrella of what you think that the viewer wants to help them enjoy the show. You don’t always get it right.”
Right or wrong, Romo is done for the season as Super Bowl LVII is on Fox and Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen — who Tom Brady is theoretically going to replace possibly as soon as next season now that he is retired from the NFL — have the call. Given what 42-year-old Romo is going through now despite his early success as a color analyst, one has to wonder whether 45-year-old Brady is paying attention and if what he’s seeing will influence his decision to head into the booth.
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