Tony Romo set to follow dazzling AFC title with first Super Bowl

Tony Romo insists he doesn't feel any additional pressure to pull off an encore of his work in the AFC Championship Game during CBS' telecast of Super Bowl LIII (Sunday, Feb. 3). The analyst dazzled viewers Sunday by seemingly forecasting every play-call, especially at key moments down the stretch.

"I don't go into any game saying I have to do something," Romo said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. "I didn't try to do it in the last game. I did a bit more (forecasting plays) because you felt like the moment demanded it. But you don't analyze it and come up with a plan (going into a telecast). You let your instincts take over.

"As for the Super Bowl, usually if you're good at your job, you figure out a way to make things work."

Romo clearly is very good at his job. His partner, Jim Nantz, maintains what viewers heard on the CBS telecast of the New England Patriots' overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs wasn't unique for Romo. He has been doing it all season.

"This wasn't any different than Week 5, Week 8," Nantz said. "Tony did what he does all the time. This was such a high-profile occasion and people noticed it more."

Indeed, thanks to 54 million viewers tuning into the telecast, social media went viral with comments about Romo's performance. It is hard to remember another analyst in any sport who generated such a strong positive reaction.

Even baseball star Bryce Harper, a free agent, lauded Romo's forecasting ability in a tweet:

"Confirmed: Just called Tony Romo to see where I'm going to play next year. #YoureAWizardTony"

Romo said the Harper tweet made him laugh. Wednesday, he also had fun with a question asking if he got any job offers since Sunday, with the implication being as a football coach or general manager.

"Yes, from CBS. They said I could work the Super Bowl," Romo joked.

Romo seemed to be taking the praise in stride Wednesday, saying he is happy his CBS team is getting recognition for its strong showing. He also gave credit to Nantz, producer Jim Rikhoff, director Mike Arnold, and the entire crew for giving him the foundation to flourish in the booth. Romo, though, clearly has natural talent. His work is affirming bold decision by CBS to insert him fresh off his final NFL season into its No. 1 analyst role in 2017 without any previous broadcast experience.

Nantz thinks what Romo is doing in the booth is an extension from his days as the Dallas Cowboys' star quarterback.

"I chalk a lot of it up to the fact that he and Tom Brady are seeing the same thing," Nantz said. "People think this is fortune telling. This isn't guess-work. This is a testimonial to a guy who spent a lot of time in his career figuring it out. He took the time needed to completely solve the puzzle."

Romo's other strength can't be taught. He brings an unbridled passion to every telecast. His enthusiasm for the game resonates with viewers.

It all boiled over on Sunday. Sounding like a kid getting his ultimate Christmas gift, Romo gushed at the beginning of overtime, "Oh my gosh, Jim, Tom Brady has the ball at the 35 to go to the Super Bowl!"

Romo explained how he gets caught up in the moment.

"The passion side of it -- I know how important one football game is, much less a championship game to go to the Super Bowl," Romo said. "I love people who are able to do something special. I want to communicate that to the viewers.

"When you're talking, and the game is going the way it is, you don't really think of the fans. You're almost talking to a friend sitting next to you. 'Oh wow, can you believe he did that?' It just comes out of you a little bit, I guess. That's the part that is rewarding. You feel like you're witnessing something special."

Romo now is gearing up to call his first Super Bowl when the Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, where the audience will be double of what it was for the AFC Championship Game. He knows his emotions will be running at an all-time high.

"I'm anxious to see the feelings going into it because I've never broadcasted one, but I know how I felt going into the AFC Championship. That was such a big deal," Romo said. "It'll be ramped up even more than that."

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