Romo’s informal CBS audition came two years ago

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New CBS lead NFL analyst — only the fifth the network ever has had — Tony Romo apparently didn’t have a formal audition for the job. But he did have an informal one.

As noted recently by Richard Deitsch of SI.com, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus became convinced Romo could do the job after meeting him at a Super Bowl XLIX party in Arizona. During the conversation, Romo provided 10 minutes of analysis regarding the upcoming game between the Patriots and Seahawks.

“I didn’t realize I would get an audition,” McManus said, via Deitsch. “I walked away from that conversation and said . . ., ‘Someday that man is going to be a lead analyst.'”

Someday was Tuesday, and in an offseason where Romo’s next football destination was believed to be one of the top storylines, his new job at CBS and the manner in which it all fell together has become nearly as big a story.

And for good reason. At FOX, Romo would have been sliding in to the spot vacated by John Lynch, with no one being supplanted and without the pressure and scrutiny of being in the center of the spotlight. At CBS, Romo has bumped Phil Simms to the curb, and in turn Romo has put himself in position to be criticized for anything and everything he says, by fans that don’t like the Cowboys to fans that don’t like him to fans that like Phil Simms to fans that don’t like the perception that people are getting things without paying the dues to people who like to see rich and famous people fail to fans who simply like to not like things.

The placement of Romo and the praise he has received will serve only to accentuate those feelings.

“What are the attributes that led us to believe Tony was perfect for this role?” McManus said, via Deitsch. “First of all he is remarkably articulate. Having had a lot of conversations with him and not just about football but about life, he has an uncanny way of expressing himself in an amazingly understandable way. He is passionate about the NFL and if you are not passionate about the NFL, you have no shot at being an NFL analyst. That passion will come through in his commentary and I think it is a really important part of what makes Tony Romo. He is very likeable and you can’t teach that. You are either likeable on television or not likeable on television and Tony both in person and on television is an incredibly likeable young man.”

It’s important for McManus to think those things, since he’s the guy who hires the analysts. But it’s also important for the fans to agree that Romo will meet those expectations.

No one will know whether he does until September 10, when Jim Nantz and Tony Romo get a high-profile game right out of the gates on the first Sunday afternoon of the regular season.

19 responses to “Romo’s informal CBS audition came two years ago

  1. Doing ten minutes of analysis for a fascinating SB matchup is hardly the equivalent of 3 hours of color commentating for a lousy TNF game. NFL fandom is pretty varied and while all those ‘by fans that don’t like…’ reasons may apply to some, most of us are prepared to see him sink or swim based on his own merits…or lack thereof as the case may be.

  2. “…in turn Romo has put himself in position to be criticized for anything and everything he says, by fans that don’t like the Cowboys to fans that don’t like him to fans that like Phil Simms to fans that don’t like the perception that people are getting things without paying the dues to people who like to see rich and famous people fail to fans who simply like to not like things.”

    That’s almost everyone

  3. I’m loving the “Romo has NO experience and he’s getting the #1 analyst job.”

    Yeah. How much experience did Simms have?
    ———
    He worked at ESPN in the studio before joining the broadcast booth for CBS.

  4. Why do I get the feeling that Mr. Florio is already setting Romo up for failure? Then again, it would just be in line with his treatment by people while he was in Dallas, so he’s used to it.

  5. There is no single profile in sports higher than being the quarterback for the Cowboys. Almost no one feels nothing for Dallas. Either you love them or hate them. Tony is used to being subjected to criticism on a regular basis, I doubt seriously he gives it much thought.

  6. This is getting like 7th grade girls. Just stop it already. If Romo sucks (he wont) he will be gone. It’s a grown up world, people get replaced, without notice and others may not like that–waaaahhhhh. Stop this already. There are plenty of unhappy loser/whiners–comments on this page are proof enough, dont inflame them or make more with blog posts that invite more.

  7. So much press about something so unimportant…he might be a nice guy, a decent enough quarterback who never won anything and was best known for his many 4 th Qtr successes and many failures when the game was on the line.

    who cares if he is a success or failure in the booth. I care about the game I am watching

  8. How about we let him do the job once or twice before we start counting the ways he’s going to fail?

  9. what is with this narrative you’re pushing that Romo is going to be under immense criticism and pressure and scrutiny. A QB’s performance is discussed by every football fan every Monday morning at the water cooler. The casual fan could not care less how awful today’s announcers are. If more than 5% of actual fans cares, I assure you, Joe Morgan would not have been in the Sunday Night Baseball booth for 20 years before finally getting canned.

  10. He worked at ESPN in the studio before joining the broadcast booth for CBS.

    _______________________________________

    Studio vs. Broadcast booth?

    That comparison is not even close. In the studio, you have a “script” of what is going to be covered and when. There are production meetings in which an order will be given regarding games and special interest stories. In those meetings, each segment is discussed and what each person will bring to the table.

    In the Broadcast booth, you may have some points you may want to cover, but you have to react to the action at hand. Two different worlds.

  11. I cant think of anyone who was disappointed by the removal of Phil Simms that doesn’t have the surname Simms.

  12. Romo getting a top broadcasting job with no experience isn’t really much different than a CEO’s son getting installed as President of a large company immediately upon graduating from college, even though he has zero experience working in that particular field. It’s called “knowing the right people”.

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