Report: CBS attempted an “intervention” with Tony Romo before 2022 season

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Although the top games on CBS and FOX draw major audiences during the regular season, the numbers grow — and the attention spikes — in the playoffs. So does the scrutiny of the people calling the games for those networks.

This year, Greg Olsen of Fox is up. And Tony Romo of CBS is down. The former Cowboys quarterback, who burst onto the scene in 2017 as a breath of fresh air, has quickly assumed the aroma of rotting rock bass, based on the instant assessments made during every game on social media by fans and pundits alike.

Romo has taken repeated body blows in the aftermath of Sunday’s AFC Championship. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post said on his podcast with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal that CBS has been aware of Romo’s slippage.

Specifically, Marchand said that CBS attempted an “intervention” with Romo during the 2022 offseason, but that things “did not get better.”

“There’s kind of a fine line between unconventional and undisciplined,” Marchand said on the podcast.

It’s unclear what has happened with Romo, who was given a curve-shattering, 10-year, $180 million contract by CBS in 2020. Is he not working as hard to prepare? Is he less familiar with the players and coaches, now that he has been out of the league for six full seasons? Is he less curious than he should be about the details and nuances of the game he’s about to call?

Or have the tastes of the general public changed? Has Romo’s routine simply gotten stale?

Via Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post, Romo recently addressed the status of his broadcasting career as part of a promotional campaign. And while he didn’t mention any intervention or other issues, he acknowledged that he remains a work in progress.

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.”

Sometimes it doesn’t. That’s part of the problem. Calling a game in front of 30 million (during the regular season) and more than 40 or 50 million (in the postseason) may not be the ideal time to experiment.

“I mean, the ability to adapt and learn, if you never try to change at all — I just think like the best players in the world aren’t afraid of failure,” Romo said. “You’re going to fail all the time, but at the same time, you succeed because of that, as long as you think about it and try to understand how to improve and then go about the process to make that happen, which is work ethic and commitment. But you got to have a plan for it before.”

There’s a subtle inconsistency lurking in that explanation. The greater a person’s commitment to work ethic and planning, the less likely the person will be to take chances with the fruits of that labor. The greater the commitment to work ethic and planning, the more often comments that seem spontaneous or risky will work.

Who knows how hard Romo really is preparing? Maybe he likes the rush of flying by the seat of his pants. Of improvising. Of the thrill of the inherent roll of the dice that comes from real-time trial and error.

Or maybe he’s just gotten complacent, now that he has gotten paid.

“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,” Romo said. “You don’t always get it right, but I do think more often than not, just the people that come up to you all the time. I mean, it’s quadruple from my first two-to-three years, of how many people come up to me on the street and want to talk about it and how they loved it and stuff. So it’s really rewarding for that.”

That said, the real truth usually falls somewhere between the endless vitriol from keyboard warriors and the face-to-face fawning by strangers who smile and say without specificity, “I enjoy your work.”

Romo added that his work isn’t stressful, and that he’s always trying to improve.

“I just love showing the emotion of that, the fans and just letting them know how big this is to these players, to these coaches,” Romo said. “It’s life changing for a lot of people. . . . I just think it’s really enjoyable to kind of share some of that emotion with people. I’m was trying to improve and get to a level that people enjoy sometimes once in a while.”

Frankly, I’ve done a 180 on Romo. When he was the fair-haired boy of broadcasting, I didn’t get it. Now that people seem to be getting sick of his shtick, I’m used to it. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. His unbridled enthusiasm and stray sound effects and non-sequiturs are like an old friend whose flaws are more endearing than irritating.

Still, maybe Romo needs to ask himself whether he’s gotten too comfortable, whether he’s truly putting in the work the way he should. Whether he can improve. Whether he even wants to. If he has sufficiently thick skin, he can ride out the balance of his deal doing things his way, cash every check, and then see what’s next for him.

He won the race more than two years ago. He alone can decide whether he wants to keep running as fast as he can.

55 responses to “Report: CBS attempted an “intervention” with Tony Romo before 2022 season

  1. I don’t think he’s changed very much. I think the schtick has gotten stale and he hasn’t developed serious analytical talents. I think of a guy like Troy Aikman, who was not great when he started in the booth. It took both him and Moose Johnston together to complete a decent color commmentating team. But he kept at it and worked hard and is now one of the best in the game.

  2. Maybe he just isn’t very good. I never understood what people saw in him. He always talked too much. Vic Ketchmen, a sports writer of 50 years, called him chatty and I agreed with the nickname. Less would be more with Romo.

  3. Romo has always managed to come across as both superficial and highly annoying. And Jim Nantz’s syrupy sappy “Hello Friends” attitude wore thin a while ago. Greg Olsen is a well prepared analyst, gets in and out of his points quickly, and doesn’t have a shtick. I always liked Moose Johnson and I think he has worn well over time. Jonathan Vilma does a steady, unspectacular job as an analyst. For my money, Kevin Burkhardt is the best at play by play these days.

    And Al Michaels should have retired five years ago…

  4. Think the days of the quarter million dollar QB and the mega million dollar announcer may be nearing its end, neither seems to work out.

  5. He has ALWAYS been annoying. Aikman is, and always will be, much better. He’s a gd pros pro that doesn’t make any stupid sounds. Romo has kinda of squeely, nasally voice that is grating. He’s squeals like a pig. Aikman is composed and acts like a man

  6. I prefer Romo to Aikman or Olsen. Aikmen says “he does a good job” every other breath. Olsen is boring, his voice is boring, he’s delivery is dry. His insights are better than Collinsworth. Romo is entertaining like Madden was entertaining and is probably the heir apparent. He’s going to draw increased scrutiny and criticism because of it. He needs a more interesting partner than Jim Nance.

  7. People spend too much time gossiping about announcers. Just watch the game and tune it out.

  8. I watch the games with the sound turned off so they are wasting their money as far as I am concerned.

  9. Romo was best at calling the plays before they happened. He doesn’t do that anymore and his rah-rah approach wears out. He got paid and that’s it. Aikman and Olsen are much better. Burkhardt is below average and if they pair him with Brady it’s going to be a tough watch.

  10. Romo is good. This is a silly week of Romo bashing for no apparent reason.
    Olsen seems like a nice guy but is pretty boring. Like he would be fine calling a Texans-Falcons game but the Super Bowl?
    One of these networks should bring back Gruden, man. He was great!

  11. Romo was never good. He called a play once before it happened. Most likely with the info he got in the production meeting before the game. Or he got lucky.

  12. steelcitywhiner says:
    February 2, 2023 at 5:18 pm
    Kevin Harlan is the best play-by-play man in the business.

    No, that honor goes to Paul Allen.

  13. Combo of things. His voice was always bad but now his predict the play stuff is old. Now he mumbles doesn’t finish a thought and seems lost. He’s terrible.

  14. Tony needs to take a breath during the game. Especially bigger games. It’s as if he’s allergic to natural sound. His style means he has to study more tape. If you’re going to predict a formation will result in a certain result, you better be right more than you’re wrong. Tony has been going in the wrong direction when it comes to his predictions

  15. Romo has had a weird career arc in the broadcast booth.
    When he started he was a breath of fresh air giving predictive calls before plays and solid analysis afterwards. But now he’s just a generic former athlete who cheerleads for certain players and adding nothing to the game. He’s tedious and boring now.
    Which is a strange development.
    I’m not sure that as his time away from the game grown, this has left him less informed as to what will or has happened, but he definitely has becoming less interesting as a broadcaster the more years he’s spent in the booth. His greatest asset was providing information to the viewer that they likely didn’t know or didn’t see, whereas now he just endlessly prattles on about his latest QB crush.

  16. I always thought an by play guys..had to be neutral in their board cast of the games..Romo and his partner definitely show who they want to win..I thought when Mahomes got hurt against Jacksonville..he was gonna run down to the bench and wrap his ankle..

  17. Olsen could reel it in a little before he goes full Romo. Aikman is the best, Collinsworth is just way too much. Love Burkhardt and Harlan.

  18. Romo is a very good announcer if you don’t like his style turn the volume down or change channels

  19. i dont care. The best thing about the last two weekends of football have been no Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Olsen, Romo, Nance…whoever….much better than the duo who dominated the weekends for years

  20. I really appreciated Romo’s ability to call the plays when he first came out. It was refreshing and it was nice to get the perspective of a player, especially one that was semi current. I guess he’s worn out his welcome for some. Quite frankly I don’t pay much attention to the game announcers anyway. Except for maybe Collinsworth. But that’s only because time a really, really past him by. And his pushing PFF constantly is really annoying. His kid is pretty good tho…..

  21. Romo is the worst! He is literally the guy you don’t want to sit next to at a football game or a movie. He has no off button and doesn’t understand the value of silence. Guessing the play call was never enjoyable and it’s just so annoying. Please retire or take your job more seriously.

  22. Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell Dandy Don, Pat Summerall, John Madden…boy, we had it so good then.

  23. Romo is OK if you like to hear someone hyperventilating for 3 hours. He needs to slow down and talk a lot less.

  24. Romo is still so much better than Olsen. Greg tries way too hard. I think Romo has gotten a little comfortable now and doesn’t do his pregame homework like he used too and that’s his problem

  25. I can’t stand Olsen . His voice makes me want to smash my tv. I refuse to watch any game he does. He is horrible

  26. Romo has changed so much. Like a different guy. He should watch old tape of himself, see if he can find ‘it’ again.

  27. It’s funny that according to the thumbs up and down, rating the broadcast teams, everyone doesn’t like anyone. Welp. I like most of them but I don’t like Moose Johnson because he isn’t very inciteful. I don’t like Romo; he gets too excited and loud and he’ll still be chattering when the ball is snapped. He talks too much. I did not like Madden for the same reasons as Tony.

  28. Aikman, Johnston, Olsen, Harlan are some of the best. Buck, Romo, and a couple others are the worst.
    Years ago, Harlan was the play-by-play guy for the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves. He was the one and only announcer I ever tuned in a game to hear over watching the team play. The Wolves were horrible back when he covered them, but he was hilarious and fun as H*** to listen to. He could mercilessly mock a player or team without being mean spirited or nasty. I forget the player he was mocking on the Wolves, but the line he delivered was a classic. He said, in all seriousness, “You can not stop him! You can only hope to contain him!”

  29. The problem is ALL OF THEM! They all sound like they’re getting paid by the word, just chatting non-stop and don’t let the play breathe. I want to hear the crowd, the sound of the tackles, the QB’s cadence. I don’t want to hear Collinsworth or Buck or Romo constantly yapping! There needs to be a no-announcer only audio track for these games, please we have the technology!

  30. Reading these comments makes it clear that everybody seems to disagree about which announcers are good and which are bad. We all have our individual preferences, but none of these guys provide much in the way of unique insight – they all just cheerlead and won’t criticize very much because the NFL doesn’t want that and the networks are afraid to upset the league and risk not getting their deals renewed.

  31. pryrates2023 says:
    February 2, 2023 at 5:16 pm
    I prefer Romo to Aikman or Olsen. Aikmen says “he does a good job” every other breath. Olsen is boring, his voice is boring, he’s delivery is dry. His insights are better than Collinsworth. Romo is entertaining like Madden was entertaining and is probably the heir apparent. He’s going to draw increased scrutiny and criticism because of it. He needs a more interesting partner than Jim Nance.

    That’s exactly right, Joe.

  32. Though Tony Romo is not perfect, I think he is better than most of the announcers on the air. I do wish he would go back to predicting the offensive plays before they happen like he used to do. At least he didn’t arrange to get his son a pre-game analyst job on the same network.

  33. I always look forward to Tony’s broadcasts. He just provides a fresh outlook and attitude.

  34. I’ve seen the change.

    Romo used to practically call the offensive and defensive alignments and would guess the play a lot of the time. He was so recently removed from running an offense and reading the defenses that it was very informative.

    Now he talks about as much, but that level of insight and information isn’t there anymore. When players get older, they have to start using their brains and experience more to replace aging athleticism. When players become broadcasters, they can either study new offenses and defenses just like he did before as a QB, or they have to transition to a new set of skills that appeals to the viewers.

  35. It was all downhill after Madden and Summerall.

    For my team, I started muting the game last year and now listen to two guys on YouTube. Sure I miss a few in game details but I don’t have to put up with an always seemingly biased, one way or the other, announcing team.

    When I do watch standard broadcasts, it always feels like the announcers are enamored with one team or player over another. Romo is definitely guilty of that and it’s not the way announcers should act.

  36. I think the problem is more with the corporate suits who want these color analysts to stick to a formula. They were willing to put up with Romo’s unscripted demeanor as a “breath of fresh air,” but only because there was an expectation that he would be “tamed” eventually. Since that’s not happening, they’re trying to restrict him.

    He’s fine, actually. He’s not great, not terrible, and he certainly brings insights to the broadcast. Let’s not outsize the problem.

  37. Romo has gotten a little too comfortable with his job, to the point where he’s just winging it every game. He doesn’t do his homework beforehand, and it shows. He also NEVER shuts up. There’s your 180 million dollar guy, CBS. He’s turning viewers off left and right. I don’t know how Jim Nantz can stand it.

  38. Almost every announcer gets a lot of hate from fans. I don’t get it. I never like Dan Dierdorf back in the day, but I like Aikman, Moose, Romo, etc. I prefer a former player who can give insight, and I think Romo does a good job of that.

    And, CBS wouldn’t have given him that contract if they couldn’t afford it. Don’t try to paint them as victims because of the deal. They offered it, he signed it.

  39. I really liked Romo when he first started out, but it’s obviously he is mailing it in at this point and does not prepare like he should. All year he’s been making blatantly incorrect statements like he is making stuff up on the fly.

    One recent example, was during the Dolphins-Bills wild card game, when he repeatedly said that Mike McDaniel had just recently taken over play-calling duties during the last few games of the season. Anyone who knew anything about the Dolphins would know that this wasn’t even close to true. Not only did McDaniel call plays for every game this season, it was one of the first things he talked about at his introductory press conference back when he was named head coach.

    It’s annoying when the color commentators who are supposed to be providing insight, can’t even get basic stuff like that right.

  40. Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Frank Gifford, John Madden, Pat Summerall, Keith Jackson, Dick Enberg, Jim McKay, Brent Musburger and Bob Trumpy are just some of the greats from the past. There’s hardly anyone going today that can hang with those guys and Romo isn’t one of them. For one thing their hands are tied by our woke society which puts them in conservative, apologetic mode and another problem is they don’t work at their craft the way the legends did.

  41. Romo and Collinsworth both started out well but have both become guys that force me to mute the TV. In my opinion the best NFL broadcast team is Kevin Harlan and Trent Green.

  42. I can’t stand Romo! He just goes on and on about nothing! He never shuts up! Nance does a way better job.

  43. I thought he did fine in the AFCCG. Granted, I had the sound off and was drinking heavily, but still…

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