CBS's Tony Romo went back to predicting plays during Patriots-Chiefs and put on a clinic.
1. The muzzle came off and it was beautiful. Actually, it was epic, but that word is so overused it has little impact anymore, but make no mistake about it: What Tony Romo did Sunday night was epic.
After pulling waaaaay back this season on predicting plays (thanks, CBS executives!), Romo's calling card last year in his sensational debut season as CBS’s No. 1 analyst, the former Cowboys quarterback threw caution to the wind Sunday and went nuts with the predictions during the Patriots' overtime win against the Chiefs. This was the Romo we fell in love with last year and were yearning for this season.
But Romo didn’t just predict the plays. He CORRECTLY predicted plays. His predictions became reality every single time. He’d look at the defense and within seconds tell us, in great detail, what the offense would do.
This compilation perfectly sums up Romo's uncanny skill.
The one complaint I saw from some people on Twitter during the game was that Romo was talking too much. I didn’t find that to be the case, but even if it were true, you have to cut the guy some slack.
He's calling his second AFC Championship Game, he’s calling his first Super Bowl in two weeks, you have the greatest coach of all time and greatest quarterback of all time on one sideline, you have the great story of Patrick Mahomes and this high-powered juggernaut offense on the other sideline, he’s in Arrowhead Stadium, one of the iconic venues in the NFL.
It’s human nature to be overly excited and over the top in that situation. The only way any announcer would be able to pull it back and not speak too much would be if they took a couple of Xanax before the game.
And while predicting plays accurately is extremely impressive, Romo is much more than that. He has the ability to drop high-level X's and O's analysis, but make it sound easy for viewers to understand and consume. Most analysts speak inside play-calling language to show you they're smarter than you and that they are experts. Romo doesn't come off like that even a little teeny tiny bit.
His other attribute that makes him a hit with the audience is that one minute he's dropping that high-level X's and O's analysis, but the next minute he says something that makes him sound like a typical crazy sports fan on Twitter who says the first thing that comes to his or her mind. No NFL broadcaster today is as relatable to fans as Romo.
Last thing, and this might be the highest praise you can give Tony Romo. I did not see one tweet—not one—during that entire Patriots-Chiefs game from anyone criticizing Jim Nantz. When Nantz was saddled with having to do games with Phil Simms, Twitter would spend the entire telecast bashing both men.
I'm looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday just as much for Romo as the outcome of Rams-Patriots.
2. There were A LOT of tweets Sunday night about Romo, but I think the best one came from MLB superstar/free agent Bryce Harper.
3. The one thing that got lost in the mayhem of awful officiating, the Pats being the Pats and the Tony Romo Show was Greg Zuerlein's kick to send the Rams to the Super Bowl. Yes, it was indoors, but Zuerlein nailed a 57-yard field goal with all the money on the line as if it were a 25-yard field goal. Look at this kick and listen to how the call sounded on local L.A. radio.
Look how high up on the net that the ball hits. That was right down the middle with about 15 yards to spare. Unreal.
4. Astros outfielder Josh Reddick is a big wrestling fan, so after he tied the knot this weekend, him and his bride came out to their friends and family using the same entrace as current WWE tag team champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable.
5. Marshawn Lynch was a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday and it was something else.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with Bill Walton on life philosophy, going to more than 900 Grateful Dead concerts, his broadcasting career and overcoming back pain that had him contemplating suicide. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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IN CLOSING: Way too early Super Bowl prediction: Rams 30, Patriots 24.