The drama surrounding CBS commentator Tony Romo and NFL audience’s reaction to his recent broadcasting work hit a fever pitch on Thursday after The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand said that CBS executives attempted an “intervention” with Romo during the last offseason to discuss the diminishing returns of his performance.
“Tony Romo needs to study more,” Marchand said on this week’s episode of The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast. “He needs to be better prepared. As you move away from the sidelines, you need to do more work. I know CBS is aware of this. They tried an intervention last offseason. They knew, they anticipated this. That’s a credit to them, the people in charge there. But it has not gotten better.”
That tidbit spread across the internet with lightning speed as the NFL world debated what was going on with Romo, who has traded in his early prognostication skills for overexuberance, strange noises, and weird phrasing.
Marchand added more context to the report of an “intervention” late Thursday, saying that it consisted of separate visits from CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus and CBS’ lead NFL game producer Jim Rikhoff to Romo’s home. The NY Post reporter says that the meetings included tape review, dinner, and discussions around the broadcast.
A CBS Sports spokesperson disagreed with the idea that this was part of an “intervention,” however.
“To call this an intervention is a complete mischaracterization, we meet regularly with our on-air talent,” CBS Sports spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle told the Post.
Regardless of the context surrounding the meetings, it’s clear that Romo’s reputation has soured in the minds of NFL audiences (and executives) since he signed a 10-year, $180-million contract in 2020. While he does still have his fans, it’s clear that further conversations with the former quarterback are in order if CBS wants to feel better about its investment.