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#pounditThursday, March 23, 2023

Famed NBC executive apologizes for his Tony Romo comments

Tony Romo in a suit

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Television announcer Tony Romo following the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Famed NBC TV executive Dick Ebersol apologized for some comments he made about Tony Romo.

Ebersol joined Chris Wallace on Wallace’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” show on HBO Max. During the interview, Ebersol, the former president of NBC Sports, criticized Romo. Romo is the color commentator alongside Jim Nantz, forming CBS’ No. 1 announcing team for NFL games.

“I’ve known Tony Romo, since he first got to the pros. He’s an unbelievably engaging guy, he should have been a terrific, great broadcaster,” Ebersol said, via the New York Post. “Something’s happened since he got into that chair. And it doesn’t seem like he’s into it. Like he was on his way up. He does not seem to be the storyteller that he should be. The thing that makes [Al] Michaels great, [Joe] Buck great, and all these guys are they’re really, they’re really storytellers. And Tony has gotten further and further away from that I think.”

What’s odd is that Ebersol compared Romo to two play-by-play announcers in Al Michaels and Joe Buck, rather than other analysts.

Ebersol feels that Romo has both stopped preparing as hard and lost passion for the job.

“This is somebody who should be an announcer for the ages, but clearly has lost his passion for it,” Ebersol added.

After his comments began to receive attenion, the 75-year-old Ebersol tried to back off his initial remarks.

“Tony Romo is like a son to me,” Ebersol said in a statement of clarification. “I am truly his biggest fan on and off the field. As a fan, and a producer, I have always been known to offer up unsolicited notes. But this time, after a long day of interviews, I went too far and frankly said things that I do not believe and are simply not true.

“No announcer is more passionate about the NFL than Tony Romo, and I personally cannot wait to hear his call this and every Sunday. He is as good as it gets.”

Did Ebersol genuinely feel he went too far with Romo? Or was he really trying to light a fire under Romo to bring out the best in the former quarterback-turned-analyst? Perhaps this was a strategic move by Ebersol. Or maybe Ebersol just was talking too loosely and slipped up during an interview, and feels embarrassed.

What do you think?


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