Man, I thought I was Phil Simms’ biggest hater. I would do a lot to get him out of my ears on Sunday morning, but quit my job? That’s a bit further than I’d be willing to go. So the title of “biggest Simms hater” has to go to Tony Romo, who just retired from football in order to usurp Simms’ gig in the CBS booth.
Forced out in Dallas by super-rookie Dak Prescott, Romo’s landing spot was the hottest question of the NFL offseason. In a sparse free-agent QB market, Romo was like a flashy used Ferrari: while it might fall apart as soon as you drive it off the lot, if it doesn’t, you’ll be able to challenge anyone off the line.
If Romo’s retirement sticks, we’ll never learn how much was actually left in his tank. But now that he’s traded his hand-warmer for a headset, we’ll get answers to questions we didn’t even know we had!
Will Romo make a fool of himself in the booth? Will he try to capitalize on the nation’s illiteracy by starting his own steak-house? And, most importantly, will we ever see him back on an NFL field? The odds on all of that and more are just a new-signature-catchphrase away.
Tony Romo Retirement Odds
Over/Under on the length of Romo’s CBS broadcasting career: 2.5 years
The under here is tempting because we often hear about recently retired players yearning for the sport. They’re usually too old or too beat up to make a real comeback. That might be different for Romo. His game was never dependent on his athleticism and, in reality, his body is only going to heal more with another year off. Just what are the odds we see a comeback? …
Odds Romo plays another snap in the NFL: 4/1
That’s a 20-percent chance of a return. I’d set it higher, but it’s tough to think of a better situation for him to walk into than the 2017 Broncos. Unless Prescott goes all RGIII on us, opening up the Dallas job, odds are that Romo’s done for good.
Odds on the next NFL player who retires to become a broadcaster
- Brandon Marshall (Giants): 3/2
- Jason Witten (Cowboys): 5/1
- Josh Norman (Washington): 7/1
- Philip Rivers (Chargers): 12/1
- Aaron Rodgers (Packers): 99/1
Marshall’s lust for the camera is not a secret and he’s already 33. But there’s also a chance Witten follows his former QB into the booth; he’s a couple years older than Marshall and definitely not in a romantic relationship with Tony Romo.
But seriously, Witten is a savvy football mind and comely enough to be on screen. He’d continue a long line of Cowboy greats to enter the booth, including “Moose” Johnston, Troy Aikman, and now Romo.
Odds Romo’s 2017 broadcasts will average higher ratings than Simms’ 2016 broadcasts: 1/3
The games, themselves, will largely determine viewership. But you can expect a Romo-bump in the first couple weeks of the season from curious fans. That should be enough to carry him through the season.
Odds Romo appears on SBD’s 2018 Sports Fool of the Year bracket: 19/1
There were numerous broadcasters on this year’s bracket, but Simms was the only former QB. That’s not a coincidence. You have to be uber-intelligent to run an NFL offense. Scratch that, you have to be uber-intelligent to run an NFL offense well. (See Vince Young for a case-in-point.)
Odds on Tony Romo’s signature catch-phrase
From “boo yah” to “boom goes the dynamite,” all the best broadcasters have a signature catchphrase. Ok, maybe the “boom goes the dynamite” guy isn’t quite on the level of the late, great Stuart Scott, but I digress. What will Romo’s catchphrase be? Probably nothing. But that’s not fun. He should try one of these…
- He could. Go. All. The. Way … to Cabo: 200/1
- That was more difficult than holding a snap: 400/1
- Ow, my back: 500/1
Odds Jim Nantz brings up Romo’s lack of SB rings on air: 19/1
I highly doubt Nantz would do it intentionally, but sometimes words just come out when you’re live.
Over/Under total words Romo “fumbles” on air in 2017: 4.5
This number may seem a little low for a rookie broadcaster, but you have to understand Romo is working as an analyst. He’s not responsible for calling every play. Romo has the luxury of collecting his thoughts and speaking when he’s ready to. The pressure of the fourth quarter isn’t as intense from booth. And something tells me Jim Nantz won’t be breathing down his neck, ready to clobber him if he doesn’t make a decision quickly.
Over/Under total Cowboys games Romo is assigned in 2017: 1.5
The number would be higher if Jerry’s team wasn’t always playing in prime time.
Odds Romo says something negative about Jones or Prescott on air: 49/1
He’s a classy dude. I’m sure he’ll only share the tale of how Jones forced him into retirement behind closed doors.
Longshot odds on Romo’s next endeavor
- Becomes a contestant on Dancing with the Stars: 12/1
- Starts “Tony Romo’s” steak-house: 19/1
- Comes out of retirement to join the Cleveland Browns: 100/1
- Obtains his PGA Tour card: 500/1
Odds on what Phil Simms does in 2017
- Works as CBS’ no. 2 (or worse) analyst: 2/3
- Gets hired by another major network: 14/1
- Does not broadcast NFL games for a major network: 2/1
- Takes the backup QB spot in Dallas: 1,000/1