Did CBS mistreat Phil Simms by replacing him with Tony Romo without giving him any notice? Phil’s son Chris Simms seems to think so. But Phil Simms knows something about broadcasters changing jobs without any notice — because he did it to ESPN at the outset of his career.
Immediately after he retired from the Giants, Simms was hired as a studio analyst by ESPN. He was shaky and visibly nervous on air at first, but he grew into the role, and ESPN had plans for him. Although he hadn’t signed a contract beyond the 1994 NFL season, ESPN said it had an assurance from Simms’ agent that he would be back at ESPN, unless an opportunity arose for him to return to the NFL as a player.
The next thing ESPN knew, Simms was appearing on NBC, which made the surprise announcement that Simms had been added to its No. 1 broadcasting team for the AFC Sunday afternoon package. Simms had never called a game before, and now he was thrust into the top commentator job for AFC games — sound familiar?
Simms stayed with NBC until 1998, when CBS took over the AFC package. He’s been at CBS as the top AFC analyst ever since. And now, according to Chris Simms, he’s been demoted without any notice. Chris thinks that was unfair to his dad. Perhaps it’s a case of what goes around, comes around.