Tony Romo’s singing, meandering Super Bowl broadcast left us wanting … less


In the closing moments of the Chiefs’ thrilling Super Bowl win, Tony Romo fumbled and took us on a long, meandering road to who-knows-where.


Amid a season filled with criticism, Tony Romo had one last chance − on the biggest stage of all − to go out on top.

But like a snap on a crucial field-goal attempt, Romo fumbled with the game on the line.

The Kansas City Chiefs scored a thrilling victory in Super Bowl 58, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime. But after CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz crisply called the game-winning touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Mecole Hardman, Romo picked up the call like that football in the 2006 NFC wild card game and took it on a long, meandering road to who-knows-where.

Less than three seconds after Nantz gave one of his signature closing lines − “Jackpot, Kansas City!” − Romo failed to give the historic moment time to breathe, immediately jumping into an analysis of the playcall, the midseason trade for Hardman and Mahomes’ place in history.

Over that same 29-second span, the broadcast showed images of Taylor Swift celebrating in her suite, dejected 49ers players and coaches, Hardman reveling in the moment and Chiefs coach Andy Reid receiving congratulations. The full spectrum of emotions that are usually the focus in the Super Bowl’s immediate aftermath.

It was perhaps a fitting conclusion to an up-and-down broadcast for Romo and Nantz.

Tony Romo sings!

The game started slowly with a scoreless first quarter, so Romo tried to add a little fun to the mix in the second by singing along with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” as CBS faded to commercial.

But Romo didn’t stop there. Though he showed restraint by not referring to Taylor Swift − jokingly or otherwise − as the “wife” of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, Romo did break into song again over a camera shot of Swift with Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” playing in the background.

Romo’s key observations

As for the game itself, Romo correctly identified the fact that Kelce was on the sidelines on a crucial fumble by Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco. But he seemed to downplay the sideline confrontation between Kelce and coach Andy Reid after the play.

Early in the fourth quarter, with San Francisco facing a fourth-and-3 at the Chiefs’ 15-yard line, Romo insisted the Niners should go for it rather than attempt a game-tying field goal.

He turned out to be right as the Niners converted on fourth down and scored the touchdown that put them up 16-13 just two plays later.

Romo and Nantz also seemed to get in each other’s way a couple times down the stretch. Once in trying to figure out if the Chiefs had time for one more play in the final seconds of regulation to either go for a touchdown to win or kick a field goal to tie. (Harrison Butker ended up converting a 29-yard field goal with 3 seconds left.)

The other instance was Romo’s rather lengthy and convoluted explanation of the NFL playoff overtime rules and what happens if the quarter runs out at the end of the first overtime period. That problem was solved when Mahomes hit Hardman for the winning score with 3 seconds remaining in overtime.

Romo calls ‘partial streaker’ on the field

Of course, the Super Bowl broadcast wasn’t all football analysis (and singing). There was a moment of levity during the third quarter when two people ran out onto the field.

“We got people on the field,” Romo alerted the audience, which Nantz confirmed.

“There’s a partial streaker. Shirt off,” Romo added. “But we can’t talk about it.”

In the end, the quality of the game itself generally overshadows the quality of the announcing − especially when a network can throw all of its resources into the broadcast.

Super Bowl 58 was filled with dramatic moments, especially in the second half and overtime. The camera work and direction were outstanding. Nantz was his usual understated self. And Romo had a decent game overall, but him talking over the game-winning TD celebration − one of the cardinal sins of broadcasting − is what TV viewers will remember most.

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