Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chiding football announcer Tony Romo for being enthusiastic during football games is petty nitpicking

Alex Reimer
September 16, 2018 - 8:49 pm

Hopefully those who complain about Tony Romo’s histrionics spent some time watching NFL Red Zone and got to sample some of the sorry announce teams across the league before Patriots-Jaguars kicked off . After being subjected to Daryl “Moose” Johnston stating the obvious and Rich Gannon’s comatose style, you realize there are far worse things than a football announcer getting excited during a football game. 

Romo was sharp and boisterous during Sunday’s telecast, which is par for the course. He begged Blake Bortles to take a timeout, made noises during replays and nearly had a conniption when a Jaguars player jumped offsides during the Patriots’ curious 4th-and-1 punt –– and nobody on the Pats touched him. You’re either going to find Romo’s hysterical routine endearing or nauseating. Two weeks into the season, I fall with the former. 

Romo also contributes much more than sheer enthusiasm. He’s consistently ahead of the action, and on Sunday, he was even ahead of Bill Belichick. It took all of seven minutes for Romo to diagnose the Patriots’ game plan against Blake Bortles, when the much-maligned QB connected with Donte Moncrief for his first of four touchdown passes. Romo pointed out New England placed five defenders on the right side of the field, effectively cutting off the run, and forcing Bortles to go outside. Bortles found Moncrief, who beat Stephon Gilmore in one-on-one coverage. 

Bortles won that battle time and time again. 

On the Jaguars' next possession, Bortles connected with Keelan Cole for a 24-yard score over Eric Rowe –– two plays after Cole did his best OBJ impersonation with a sick one-handed grab. The touchdown prompted Romo to proclaim the Patriots will have to “change their defensive philosophy.”

But they didn’t. With 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, right before Bortles found Cole for an 11-yard gain and first down, Romo was incredulous about the Patriots’ lack of adjustments.

“New England is giving you man to man the whole day,” Romo said. “They’re saying ‘beat us,’ and they are on the outside. They’re taking advantage of Rowe. Same exact coverage, same thing again. … They run the same defense they’ve been running.”

Romo also dished some criticism Jacksonville’s way when warranted. He admonished Jalen Ramsey in the second quarter for granting James White too much space on a completion. “Ramsey, just go up and cover him,” Romo said during the replay. “Let the other guys do their job.”

Given the paucity of coherent, never mind insightful color analysts on this planet, chiding Romo for his exuberance and occasional malapropism –– Cordarrelle Patterson has to “stay athletic a little bit” –– seems like nitpicking. As somebody who also is prone to misspeaking, I'll even say I find Romo's fractured relationship with the English language charming. 

Romo’s insight far outweighs his negative qualities. On Sunday, he appeared to be even more on top of the game than Belichick.