To say the bloom is off the rose of Tony Romo’s luster as a lead NFL analyst would be an understatement. And even Jim Nantz has to know it.
Romo’s career skyrocketed during his first couple of seasons alongside Nantz on CBS. But once considered a football prophet, Romo now sounds more like Captain Obvious, assuming he’s able to push through his audible grunts and shrieks to say anything at all. And at one point during the highly anticipated Buffalo Bills–Cincinnati Bengals divisional playoff matchup on CBS, Romo struggled to say anything at all.
During a brief break in the action in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, CBS cameras turned to the booth as Nantz asked Romo about Patrick Mahomes suffering a high ankle sprain earlier in the weekend.
What was Tony Romo eating yesterday? pic.twitter.com/2BG8iWrguQ
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 23, 2023
“You’ve dealt with a high ankle sprain before, what does he face this week,” Nantz asked Romo of Mahomes.
But instead of immediately answering the question, Romo was initially silent as he stood on camera chewing something. After a few seconds of awkward silence, Nantz laughed at his broadcast partner before Romo began stumbling through a response. What was Romo eating during the broadcast? PG answers only.
Al Michaels famously eats a lavish dinner during his NFL broadcasts, but at least he does it during halftime. I can’t imagine Romo indulged in a full meal during the fourth quarter of a Divisional Round NFL Playoff game. Was Romo packing lip again? Maybe it was just a sunflower seed, cough drop, or a piece of gum.
But why did Romo wait until after Nantz asked his question to start furiously chomping? It seemed like Romo wasn’t expecting Nantz to direct the question to him. And as soon as Nantz stopped talking, Romo had a brief look of “uh-oh.”
We can certainly point to Romo’s shrieking, hyperbolic stating of the obvious, or fanatically zoning in on certain players as reasons to prove his recent decline in the booth. But Nantz laughing at Romo as he awkwardly eats on camera and maniacally attempts to say something is a great representation of where that broadcast is at right now.