If you assumed that everyone dislikes Phil Simms as an NFL analyst on CBS, you’d be wrong.
If you’re think the powers-that-be with CBS are interested in replacing Simms with someone else, you’d really be wrong.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus spoke to reporters during its NFL talent meetings on Tuesday and referred glowingly to his presumed top analyst who calls games alongside Jim Nantz.
“I think he had an outstanding year, and I think he is right up there with the best of the NFL analysts.”
We’ll give you a moment to compose yourself. Then, we’ll continue.
“Listening to it with a very critical ear, I think Phil is vastly under-appreciated and part of that is the overreaction to social media. If you listen to what he said during some of the biggest moments of the season—he was the first one to say if Denver won the Super Bowl, Von Miller would be MVP, and he was the first one to criticize Cam Newton for not jumping on his fumble toward the end of the game. He was on top of most of the storylines for most of the game, and that’s part of the reason we won the [Sports] Emmy [for Outstanding Live Sports Special]. I would just suggest that if people listen to Jim and Phil with an open mind, I think they would recognize what a good job they are doing.”
The problem for McManus is that people have been listening to Simms for a long time and most of them don’t seem to like what they hear. We’ve bemoaned how NFL fans deserve better, especially at the Super Bowl. Others have wondered “how someone can be so boring and so irritating at the same time.” And of course there are Facebook groups and Twitterfeeds dedicated to Simms’ anger-inducing style.
— Phil Simms Quotes (@philsimmsquotes) February 8, 2016
Many in the industry thought that CBS might consider moving on from Simms for the upcoming season since lead-time NFL broadcasters usually set contracts to expire after their network televises the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning was even considered to be a likely replacement. However, the economics behind hiring popular former athletes has changed drastically from the time Simms retired to today and it’s harder for a network to land a big fish like Manning.
For better or worse, many would say worse, NFL fans will just have to deal with Simms for at least another season and more likely until CBS’ next Super Bowl broadcast, which will be 2019.
“This is a very subjective business,” said McManus, “whenever you are that expressive with your opinions, you will get a lot of criticism.”
When it comes to Simms, McManus is right about that.