Social Media Played Significant Role in Tony Romo Getting Paid: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. What happens on Twitter normally doesn’t translate to what is happening in real life.

It’s been proven time and again that when it comes to viewership, tweets don’t equal ratings. Whenever you think Twitter may matter in the real world, just remember that it doesn’t.

As with anything, though, there are exceptions to every rule. In the case of Tony Romo becoming the top television analyst in the NFL and parlaying that into a $17-million-per-year megadeal that broke Friday night via New York Post sports media reporter Andrew Marchand, Twitter had a legit impact on two fronts. 

(Listen below to Marchand on a bonus episode of the SI Media Podcast taped Monday morning on all things Tony Romo or download the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.)

Recall that Romo became CBS’s lead analyst, going straight from the field to the booth with Jim Nantz because the network had demoted Phil Simms from the gig. If you think ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew takes a beating on Twitter, then you don’t remember the Phil Simms days. Over the last two or three years of his career calling games, Simms took a relentless beating on social media. His work had slipped and Twitter wasn’t shy about pointing that out every single Sunday. There is no doubt social media was a factor in CBS removing Simms from the gig.

Enter Romo. Very few announcers in any sport become a darling of social media. Romo did it instantly. Viewers quickly realized Romo analyzed a game like nobody else. Viewers appreciated Romo’s uncanny knack for predicting plays while perfectly blending being a football guy and Joe Fan. So fans quickly jumped on the Tony Romo bandwagon, en masse.

Again, does Tony Romo lead to actual ratings points? No. People are going to watch a 4:25 pm ET Patriots-Steelers game on CBS no matter who is calling it. 

Does being a fan favorite in the country’s No. 1 sport in a day and age when most fans can’t wait to fire off a 240-character missive to talk about how much they dislike an announcer mean anything? Hell yes. 

It means fewer headaches for CBS to deal with. Just look at what ESPN is going through with Monday Night Football. Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland are under contract for the 2020 season, yet every single day there is speculation about the changes that will be made to the broadcast.

It also means that CBS can tout the fact that it employs the best and most popular analyst in the sport when it comes time to negotiate a new TV deal with the NFL—and that is extremely important to the league.

Obviously, the buzz surrounding Romo’s new contract is the stunning salary. CBS was going to battle with ESPN for Romo’s services, although I said numerous times that Romo wasn’t going to leave such a good thing at CBS, so it had to overpay. Finding No. 1 analysts is not an easy thing. Finding a No. 1 analyst who is a smash hit with fans is certainly not an easy thing. You can’t blame CBS for overpaying to avoid having to go through the process of finding another one after hitting the jackpot with Romo in 2017.

Romo got paid for all of these reasons and, most importantly, because he IS the best analyst in the sport. And also, in my opinion, because of Twitter.

If you polled 99% of the people who call games either doing play-by-play or color commentary, they’d tell you they hate Twitter. Tony Romo clearly would be in the other 1% after agreeing to his new deal.

2. Julian Edelman needled Tom Brady about staying with the Patriots over the weekend and attempted to cash in on the quarterback's free-agent status.

3. Sunday night's Curb Your Enthusiasm was basically about the Jets being an embarrassment and sucking for a long, long time. No spoilers in case you haven't watched it yet, but if you're someone who doesn't mind spoilers, then enjoy the clips below.

4. Every year, NFL Network host Rich Eisen runs the 40 at the combine. And every year, he does it for charity. As of this writing, Eisen's run over the weekend has raised more than $820,000. Well done.

5. Speaking of the combine, Washington offensive line prospect Trey Adams was asked if he could change anything about himself, what would it be? His answer was, um, let's just say, very revealing.

6 If you're someone criticizing LeBron James about mentoring young players who are not on the Lakers, he'd like you to "kiss his ass—with a smile."

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Before Tony Romo, there was John Madden. Here's Madden breaking down a Gatorade dump before the Gatorade dump was a big thing.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.