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Old 09-11-2017, 08:06 PM   #1
Forum Veteran
Join Date: Jan 09, 2001
Posts: 24,212
Default Tony Romoís Debut Introduces Exciting Possibility That NFL Commentators Donít Have to

...Be Terrible

By Ben Mathis-Lilley

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo retired during the offseason and was immediately hired as CBS's top NFL color analyst. This seemed like a bold move given that Romo had never announced a game before on account of he was always playing in them, but his debut covering Sunday's RaidersĖTitans game went very wellóso well, in fact, that there is a viral supercut of it:

As you can see, Romo not only repeatedly predicted exactly what was about to happen in the game but explained what was happening on the field that tipped him off. For comparison, here is a clip of CBS's previous top NFL analyst, Phil Simms, explaining that forward passes go forward.

It's not completely unheard of for color analysts to get insightfully technicalóNBC's Cris Collinsworth and Fox's Chris Spielman are both experts at making football concepts accessible to the layperson, while ESPN's delightful Hubie Brown has immersed viewers in basketball wonkery for years. But the average color commentator is still much closer to Simms than to Romo. It doesn't need to be that way! Phil Simms was an NFL quarterback, too, and presumably also knows that quarterbacks sometimes decide where to throw by looking at what a particular defender is doing. Ex-players or coaches whose analysis relies on concepts like "toughness" and "momentum" are merely adopting the language of sportswriters (who may have never really understood their subjects at a granular level to begin with) in an attempt to appeal to casual fans. Because of the rise of obsessive online coverage, though, the average fan today is more knowledgeable now than he/she was 20 years ago, and hopefully the positive feedback Romo has gotten will encourage sports TV producers to give their color guys and gals freer rein to go deep.
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