Tony Romo was everything viewers have come to expect during the Eagles’ disappointing loss to the Patriots on Sunday. Just don’t give him a cheesesteak.
Romo, in his third season as an NFL analyst for CBS Sports, impressed viewers once again during Sunday’s broadcast with his psychic-like ability to predict plays. At one point, former Eagles defender Chris Long dubbed Romo “Megamind,” calling the former Cowboys quarterback one of just a few announcers "telling you the right stuff as a fan.”
One example came during a Patriots drive in the third quarter. Facing a long third down attempt near the Eagles end zone, Romo pointed out to broadcast partner Jim Nantz that it’s “about time for the Patriots to dial up a cool play here,” predicting it would be “unique.”
Seconds later, the Patriots ran a trick play that ended with wide receiver Julian Edelman throwing for a touchdown.
Even Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is aware of Romo’s reputation. During a second-quarter officiating review, Wentz asked a CBS cameraman if a fumble in the end zone recovered by the Patriots would be overturned into an Eagles’ touchdown. When Wentz found out that Romo thought it was a touchdown, the Eagles quarterback responded, “Well, Romo’s always right.”
“Why doesn’t he tell my wife that?" Romo joked.
Romo’s knack for correctly predicting plays is part of his larger ability and enthusiasm to educate viewers without leaning on football jargon. In the third quarter, Romo walked viewers though a scene on the sideline involving Tom Brady and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels designing a play on the fly. Judging by the conversations, Romo said it appeared they were putting together a pass play to a running back. Once again he was proven right, with the Patriots gaining a first down on an a 11-yard pass to running back James White.
“Tony Romo is a game-changer in NFL media,” Andrew Brandt, the director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for Sports Law at Villanova, wrote on Twitter. “Learn so much with him calling the game.”
Despite his knowledge of the game, one Romo trademark is that he likes to have fun in the booth. After the Eagles scored a touchdown in the second quarter, he mocked Doug Pederson’s fist bump as “very average” and play-acted an imagined discussion between Brady and McDaniels.
Then there’s the aforementioned cheesesteak, a mandatory addition to just about every national sports broadcast that takes place in Philadelphia. During the fourth quarter, CBS came back from a commercial break to show Geno’s Steaks, prompting Romo to admit he didn’t eat a cheesesteak because it would have forced him off the air and into the bathroom.
“If I did that, I wouldn’t still be here right now, I’d be in the back,” Romo said.
• Longtime Inquirer sports columnist Bill Lyon died on Sunday at the age of 81 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. My colleague Mike Sielski wrote a fitting tribute to Lyon’s legacy, where he described the beloved scribe’s avoidance of hot takes as a “counterbalance to the anger and outrage and warped perspectives."
• Does NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Michael Barkann — who sported a new beard Sunday night — look like a stand-in for CNN’s Wolf Blitzer? Crossing Broad’s Kevin Kinkead might be on to something here: