Remember back in April when CBS made a big move to hire Tony Romo as its “A” NFL on CBS analyst? It displaced Phil Simms, who had been CBS’s top analyst dating back to 1998, and sent him to the studio at The NFL Today. After years of traveling from game-to-game, Simms got a new routine and a new set of broadcast partners, joining host James Brown, Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, and fellow NFL Today newbie Nate Burleson.
Simms said he loved calling games with Jim Nantz, talking with players and coaches, and staying connected with the NFL. But overall, Simms is enjoying his new role. However, instead of focusing on one game, he has to focus on Sunday’s entire schedule and condense his opinions into studio-friendly sound bites.
“I wake up in cold sweats on Friday,” Simms joked. “I could talk for 10 minutes about each game, but you end up whittling down to a couple thoughts on each side of the ball you think are really cool or different.”
While Romo has received massive praise for his work in the booth, Simms has seemingly made an easy transition to the studio. Not only has he worked every Sunday on The NFL Today, he’s continued his work on Inside the NFL on Showtime with Brown, Esiason, and Michael Irvin.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus says he’s enjoying Simms in the studio:
“He’s remarkably unselfish, and he’s just as comfortable setting someone up for a good comment as he is giving a good comment himself,” McManus said. “He’s also got a very good sibling rivalry with Boomer, which we sometimes actually have to rein in because it can get out of hand sometimes.”
But while Simms is enjoying his time in the studio, he also is looking inward and outward. He realizes that Romo taking his spot in the booth is part of the business:
“Hey, it’s just the way it is,” Simms said. “I took [former NBC announcer] Bob Trumpy’s job one day, and this time it was time for me to move on.”
And he’s looking at potentially hosting a sports radio show after getting the bug guest-hosting Boomer Esiason’s WFAN radio show:
“It’s fantastic. I love it, I absolutely love it,” Simms said. “I get to really talk, and we get into conversations I’d never get to anywhere else in public.
“One day, I’m going to host a show. It’s a must. I will absolutely do talk radio.”
Can you imagine Simms hosting a sports radio show? Maybe one day, he’ll succeed Mike Francesa as the newest Sports Pope.