Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Apr 2017

Tony Romo Retiring, Replacing Phil Simms at CBS

Maybe the Tony Romo saga doesn't end in Denver or Houston. Then again, maybe it does. With no trade interest, the Cowboys were apparently set to cut Tony Romo today. But now reports say that Romo will retire instead in order to pursue a career in broadcasting. In fact, he's wanted so badly as a color commentator (by both CBS and FOX) that it's possible a deal already exists and will be announced today.

On the other hand, Romo is apparently saying he'll retire "for now." Does that mean this is just a head fake to force a better deal from Denver or Houston? Is he waiting to come back when some team loses its quarterback to a preseason injury? Or is he only willing to come back if the quarterback lost to injury is Dak Prescott? If the Cowboys put Romo on the reserve/retired list today instead of releasing him, then another team would have to make a trade in order to get his rights.

UPDATE: Sports Business Journal is reporting that Romo has a deal in place with CBS to replace Phil Simms as their No. 1 color analyst. Our long national nightmare is over.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 04 Apr 2017

118 comments, Last at 22 Apr 2017, 4:25am by Jerry


by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:20am

If he's done, it's been one of the great non-HOF careers, especially given it started as an undrafted free agent. He had the good fortune to be paired with Parcells for his start, and the bad fortune to be paired with Jerel, who didn't let his son start getting complimentary talent around Romo until Romo was a beat-up 32-33 years old.

Context determines how these careers are viewed more than we imagine, even among those who are prepared to evaluate careers through that prism. If Romo had been signed by Baltimore, to just pick one example, I think there's a decent chance Romo is seen as a certain HOFer.

by rfh1001 :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:30am

If he ever got to play. That's the thing that's so crazy about QBs. I *guess* most of the really good ones to find their way through eventually, but you've also got to guess the odd potential HOFer just never got out there, or didn't get out there at the right point in his career.

(Or got put out there at the wrong time and didn't develop offstage.)

(Or a thousand million other pointless counterfactuals.)

by ChrisS :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 11:36am

Replacing Phil Simms is the kind of accomplishment that should make Romo a certain HOF'er.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 11:53am

HOF?!!! Hell, give Tony the Nobel Peace Prize!

by andrew :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:20pm

Then why isn't Jeff Hostetler in Canton?

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:13pm

nto sure what t. room did to deserve #1 spot alreayd. but okay. maybe he will be food. did nto think p. simms bwas bad but many nfl watchers seem to dislike p. simms. very rrarely do I get botherd by crappy announcing,.
ex-chief B. Maas was bad. ex-Raider M. Millen was pompous blowhard as annopucner. thought j. lynch sucked. D. Johnston never shuits up

if rating those four 1-4 with 1 being 1976 Buccs and 4 being 1976 Raiders or like typical movie ratings where you go 1-4:

Maas- 1
Millen- 1
Lynch- 1
Johnston- 1.5

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:20pm

Well, I actually watch most games with the sound muted, because it is rare that the announcers deliver any value to me. I miss some injury updates, but not much else. On those occasions when I've heard Simms, he combines a lot of nonsensical assertions, and a less than pleasant sounding voice.

by ChrisS :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:57pm

As a Lions fan whenever I hear Millen announcing I think, what makes anyone think you have anything of worth to tell me? And a voice in my mind keeps echoing "0 and sixteen", "0 and sixteen",..... It is quite unenjoyable.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:03pm

The funny thing about Millen is that before he was hired by the Lions, he was seen as Madden's eventual successor at FOX; his work in the booth was that highly regarded. I don't really remember it, other than he being better than most at detailing line play. I wonder if putting about 50 million or more in his bank account to ruin the Lions destroyed any incentive he had to work hard for the annoucer's gig, and he is now worse at than he was prior to the Lions.

by andrew :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:32pm

Dr. Z consistently rated Millen as one of the top guys in the booth pre-lions.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:23pm

what got me mad about m. millen was late in year or two before Loins job he told play-by-pklay guy that he didn't care about playhoff tiebreakers. this was during opening talk just before start of the game. millen just wanted to wait to see what would happen. he was claling a game involving oen or two playoff hopefuls and could not even be bothered to try to explain tne one team's (or both of them) path to playoffs. that was utterly ridiculous. not prepared to clal a game and telling fans to figure it out on their own. moist of us at this sitwe probably jknew what the tiebreakers were that day but his attitude ab out it was wrong.

ion general htough, thought he was blowhard, although he did say good thongs here and there

by BlueStarDude :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 7:50pm

lol at "good thongs"

I remember liking Millen as an announcer pre-Lions and thinking he was one of the better ones. But something tells me that if I could go back in time I might smack my younger self in the head and say "What’s wrong with you?"

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 2:35am

What? I can't remember actually seeing a game he called, but I'm certain Millen has TONS of knowledge to share! After all you learn more through defeat than through victory, right? It's why all the super bowl winners suck!

Millen should know more than anybody by now!

by rageon :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:07pm

I will not miss Simms at all. That said, I find it hard to believe that of all the people in the world, Tony Romo is the most qualified to take his place.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:17pm

He is highly qualified in the area his new employer deems most important; he'll draw eyeballs for at leat one season, as people satisfy their curiosity. His employer is rolling the dice on whether he;ll be so bad as to drive eyeballs away. They lived with Simms for years, so maybe the risk isn't all that high.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:00pm

Does anyone actually tune into a football game because of the announcers? Maybe the announcers' mothers. I'll watch a game if I'm interested and mentally block out the announcers if they're bad. I may bitch about Simms or Buck, but I'll still watch a game I want to see. I think the only time it matters is on Sunday night football where potential viewers may be casual fans deciding on whether to watch football or the Simpsons.

by dryheat :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:10pm

My thoughts exactly. I can't imagine anybody watching a game they weren't going to watch anyway because of the announcing crew. Probably not even the sad Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Miller experiments.

Meanwhile, I don't know for the life of me why Tony didn't wait for his release first.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:33pm

You aren't a 35 year old woman with a very casual interest in football. That's who drives the hire of Tony Romo. The Limbaugh and Miller experiments were a different strategy, an attempt to make Monday Night an event again. like Cosell did in the '70s. It didn't work, because you can't have televison events with 500 channels like you could with 3 or 4.

by dryheat :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:40pm

With 500 channels, the amount of 35 year old women with a very casual interest in football who are going to tune in because Tony Romo, and not Phil Simms, is doing the color commentary, can probably fit into my kitchen.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:43pm

Yep, and the hiring decisions are made with that small marginal improvement in mind, because your viewership is taken for granted.

by BJR :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 10:34am

You're not wrong. A couple of years ago here in the UK, Thierry Henry was employed as a lead pundit on the main network covering Premier League football, in spite of having zero broadcasting experience, and English not being his first language. As you might imagine, he is no good at it, but as a formerly great player the network were able to extract some publicity out of the appointment. And my wife's reaction when she found out was along the lines of "ooh, he's nice". If she's more willing to tolerate the games being on in our living room, that's a huge win for the network.

Women aren't tuning in to ogle Phil Simms, or enjoy his accent, that's for sure.

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 10:39am

well, jeeeem...

by doktarr :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:02pm

I certainly wouldn't watch a game just for the announcers, but I would be more likely to casually watch a game while doing other things if it has Collinsworth and Michaels announcing it than I would if it had Aikman and Buck. It does matter.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 2:41am

I was wondering if anybody else was thinking this exact thought like I was :)

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:28pm

You are on this site. That means you are a hard core fan. You aren't the person that television executives have in mind when they hire people to call games.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 7:07pm

I disagree. I'm a hard core fan of the Packers and have a casual interest in other games. I'm also here because I like this site's football analytics (I'm a bit of a statistics geek) and I enjoy the civilized debate between knowledgeable, mostly respectful fans - not to mention the humorous ways the site deals with out-of-control arguments (e.g., the long-running irrational Brady-Manning thread). I might watch a Lions-Vikings game, but I'm more likely to turn it off if I find the announcers annoying rather than start watching it because I really like the announcing team.

I think there are far more potential viewers like me than there are of someone debating whether to watch SNL vs Dancing with the Stars. It's the matchup that matters (Pats-Steelers will attract more viewers than Jags-Browns), not the talking heads.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:21am

Howard, Giff, and Dandy Don were often more interesting than the games they worked.

by RickD :: Thu, 04/13/2017 - 12:47am

That's a hella rationalization.

More likely somebody well-placed at the network is a Romo fanboy.

You don't think anybody actually ran the numbers on this, do you?

The affront is to all the other announcers who have been working for CBS for years, many of whom are undoubtedly better at the job than he will be.

by IrishBarrister :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:13pm

"Romo will be retiring ..."
Oh, that's kind of a bummer. He was a good QB, and I hoped he'd have one final run with a good team.

"... and replacing Phil Sims."

by Theo :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:41pm

Very much my thoughts too.

But I was interested to see him play - he could still be better than a lot of other other NFL QBs.
I guess sucking for 4 games and sitting out 12 with injuries would hurt his legacy and bargaining leverage for an announcing job?

by andrew :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:23pm

So will Simms will still be doing color, just not on the #1 team, or is he gone from CBS?

Is it possible the ways Simms called games was the way he was asked to by CBS? Will they be bringing in a coach to get Romo to call them like Simms did?

by johonny :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:09pm

It seems unlikely as Dan Fouts has always been good where every he's been, even CBS. Phil Simms just isn't that good at it and somehow CBS never seems to get it.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:19pm

I'd take Fouts over Collinsworth, who has become a ridiculous hyperbole factory.

by Bjorn Nittmo :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:48pm

Surprised to her positive reviews of Fouts. Every time I hear him his analysis seems limited to telling the viewer what just happened and is obvious from the instant replay.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:58pm

If liking guy A more than guy B, because A keeps his mouth shut more often, is a positive review, so be it. I really hate, above all else, excessive yapping. Collinsworth is starting to act like he gets paid by the word.

by Theo :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 4:32am

I find him knowledgable and often funny.
The use of hyperbole doesn't come to mind with him so much, I think it's just his genuine excitement.
"Hyperbole" comes to mind when talking about Jon Gruden who thinks everyone is the best ever in everything. Or at least; every player is at least the best at something.
I don't mind announcers so much, until they go yapping idiotic stuff that just doesn't make sense or is on a knowledge level of a casual fan. I expect an ex NFL player to know more of football than me.

by Denaina :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 5:05pm

Agree, Fouts is just awful. Collinsworth has been quite good in recent times. I can't quite agree with Simms being the worst, Fouts is worse than him now, Bryant Gumbel was horrific in the first season of TNF on NFLN, Tony Kornheiser was awful on MNF, and Buck is at least on par with Simms. Gumbel, Kornheiser, and Fouts, in that order, to me were the worst all time

by BlueStarDude :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 7:55pm

Double agree. Cannot stand Fouts. Even worse than Simms.

EDIT p.s. If talking all time, I think you have to invoke, as RaiderJoe did in a comment will above, Bill Maas. Also when Dan Dierdorf and Boomer Essiason were together in the booth on Monday nights that was a train wreck.

by doktarr :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:04pm

Collinsworth is way over the top, for sure, but he spots the stuff in a play (e.g. blocking schemes, coverage assignments) that casual fans don't see and that bad announcers don't show them. Listening to him has made me a smarter fan.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:23pm

Agree with all of this. Collinsworth notices things and points out details most people just skip, and I'd listen to him above pretty much anyone else these days.

by Dave Bernreuther :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 1:43pm

I won't argue with anyone who finds him unlikable, but I will argue vehemently with anyone who thinks he isn't far and away the best and most informative color guy in the game, with Mayock a somewhat distant second.

Nobody else sees and points out what anywhere near as much of what's actually important as he does. Not even close.

by mrh :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 4:11pm

Collinsworth's good points are offset by his:

1. Constant yapping.
2. Apparent belief that he is smarter than everyone else.
3. Identifying one occurrence as a trend. This annoys me most of all and is something he did even before he moved to SNF.

I do think Simms, Collinsworth, Buck are the most hated because they are the most heard. The #5 crew at CBS and Fox is generally really bad but most of us have them on when we're atching our favorite team, not because it's the prime time or game of the week.

by Jerry :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 6:34am

I do think Simms, Collinsworth, Buck are the most hated because they are the most heard.

Yeah. With very rare exceptions, constant exposure doesn't wear well. Things that sound insightful when a commentator first says them become trite by the hundredth time. And since having a stable signature lead voice is valuable to networks, their top guys become overexposed.

by doktarr :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 2:59pm

The third is a real thing, but the first two are more things that annoy you because you're already predisposed to be annoyed by him. I don't begrudge you that but it's hard to really lay into a color commentator for talking a lot or for projecting confidence in his opinions.

I do take your point that if I had to hear, say, John Lynch do a ton of big games, I might get as tired of him as I do of Simms. However, I find Simms to be particularly lacking in insight, and he has a strong tendency to fall back on the same bromides over and over again. I know he's not really mailing it in, but it feels like he is.

Buck is the play-by-play guy and therefore gets evaluated on a different set of criteria, but I find his delivery to be extremely uninspiring, to say the least. At times, it seems like he takes pride in not modulating his delivery to the emotion of the moment. As cliched and corny as Jim Nance can be, he at least acts like he cares.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 2:47am

Re: hyperbole factory

Huh that's kind of true isn't it. But how much is him and how much is him being pressured to hype up games? It's not like he's totally off-base, but I'd agree he's prone to exaggerate to the point of hyperbole

by Cythammer :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:22pm

Disappointing. Really wanted to see how Romo would do this season, especially if it was for the Texans. The broadcasting would presumably still be left waiting for him, so I wish he had decided to keep playing.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:32pm

Tony Romo could have explosive diarrhea into the microphone for the full length of every game this season, and he would still be better than Phil Simms.

by LyleNM :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:47pm

I thought that was what Phil Simms WAS doing into the microphone...

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:51pm


by barf :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 2:17pm

There should really be a rating system for posts, because this is outstanding stuff right here, JEEM. Heh.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 2:48am

So says barf, I guess

by andrew :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:33pm

Supposedly he's leaving the door open so that if some team has a Bridgewater injury he could be coaxed back...

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 2:01pm

If that is the case, I'm really surprised that he doesn't see the Texans, right now, as about as good an opportunity as he is likely to get via random injury. Execellent defense, decent o-line and some good people to throw to. How likely is that to be topped?

Maybe Jerel extracted a promise from him to not compete in Texas againt the Cowboys, for the media spotlight.

by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 2:07pm

As much as Simms sucks, he is not even close to the worst part of that duo.

Nantzy sucks at golf broadcasting- and that's a sport he actually understands.

Anyone who calls for a 4th down spike has no business ever doing another game. He isn't even convincing pitching those chuck Lorrie laughtrack CBS turds.

The standard is the standard!

by JohnxMorgan :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 2:57pm

Thousands of Americans could be competent color commentators. It's not a hard job. DFW tried to make talking into a microphone seem like a hard job in his essay Host, but that's just a Zeno-like trick of elaboration. List every possible step and tying your shoes becomes painting the Sistine Chapel.

But very few of those former players and coaches who attempt color commentating are at all good at it. Simms truly was not the worst. He could in his own peculiar way enunciate, and he was rarely victim to the disturbing slurring, incoherence, tangents, sudden shifts of tone, utter silence, and forgetfulness that's pretty common among the lower level color commentators. The overlap of eligible to do it, willing to do it, and qualified to do it is pretty small.

Unless Romo is a natural, CBS didn't invest in his ability to color, contextualize and enrich the game. CBS invested in his high profile, popularity and connection to a super popular franchise. This is Simms redux, a further devaluation of the skills of the position, and one step closer to a Players Only style broadcast, in which fame and reality-show bickering, drama and talking over each other replaces all semblance of journalism.

Commentary matters. Mike Mayock's commentary added something so cool, so genuine and enthusiastic, yet something intelligent and nuanced to the Beast Quake. I can hardly think of the play without hearing him say "get off me!" in my head. Journalism matters. Simms seat was vulnerable, and CBS could have sought an accomplished analyst. By hiring Romo--again, unless there is real reason to assume Romo will excel at the job--CBS bet that reputation and fame trump substance and experience.

by dryheat :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:14pm

Simms truly was not the worst.

Verily, I say to you, he was. At least since Beasley Reece was retired. And the fact that he was on their #1 team, and sometimes had two games per week, is one of life's great mysteries.

by andrew :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:51pm

The NFL requires networks to assign their #1 team for Thursday Night Football...

That being said, I'll hold Mike Goldberg's short-lived stint in the booth as the worst we have seen in the booth. Phil Simms probably aggravated more by doing it for so long...

by Bjorn Nittmo :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:15pm

What's this saying about ex-Giants behind the mic? You could throw in Frank Gifford too. Michael Strahan at least had the good sense to go into morning TV.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:29am

Frank Gifford was not bad. His job was to do the play by play, be the straight man, and keep Cosell and Meredith from getting too far off track. I think he did that admirably.

by RickD :: Thu, 04/13/2017 - 12:50am

Gifford deserves some kind of medal for working with those two and making MNF into what it was.

by James-London :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 5:27am

+ 1,000,000

Simms is the worst commentator in sport, or at least any sport I watch, and Christ the bar is low

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 8:13pm

I... think Alan Green annoys me more. But it's really close.

by doktarr :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:10pm

This may be a minority opinion, but I actually like the Fox #1 team less than the CBS #1 team. Both are possibly the worst teams of their network, though, which is remarkable.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:25pm

Simms is the worst. I still think Dan Dierdorf is the worst I've ever heard, because all he did was talk about how player X was so great and the best ever at Y and I to this day refer to any announcer spouting stupid platitudes about a player being overly-great as "Dierdorfing".

Mayock was great, but he didn't cheerlead at all, and he didn't have a chance. I watch NFL Network's draft coverage because I get to hear Mayock. Well, and I get to not hear Berman, McShay, and Kiper.

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:29pm

It's actually pretty hard. After the 100th inside run, just like after the 1st, you have to say something. The reason why many of these guys sound so stupid is because intelligent people keep quiet when they don't have anything interesting to say. Commentators can't ever do that. They need to go on and on and on and that causes them to fall back on cliches and easy analysis and generally brings out the stupid in them.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 8:15pm

You know, cricket commentators have to report on a lot of batsmen leaving an outswinger alone outside the off stump, and yet cricket commentary is by and large outstanding.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:05pm

Havebo idea what forst half of that sentence is aboug

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 04/09/2017 - 10:31pm

An outswinger is a fastish ball that deviates laterally in the air away from the batsman's body. It's the stock delivery for right arm fast medium bowlers - the most common type at the professional level. A really good one should pitch roughly in line with the off stump (the one furthest from the batsman's body) and move away just enough for the batsman to be unsure whether it will hit or miss the stumps. In practice, bowlers tend to err on the side of pitching a little too far outside, and good batsmen in most circumstances will not attempt to hit those balls.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 04/10/2017 - 10:56am

thanks for expalnation

by aga :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 3:50am

Something similar can be said about professional chess. I watch it quite often, and imho most of the time, the commentary is at least good, and quite often even outstanding (there are a few guys who are commenting often enough and are really amazing - enjoyable, knowledgeable and can explain what is going on on the board - and this is very important in a sport like chess).

by Guest789 :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 9:50am

K, I like chess too, and normally I hate this debate, but it is not a "sport".

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 3:01am

What? Who cares?

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 11:30am

I'm not saying it's not possible, but it's certainly not easy. In Mexico they have two teams, one for each network, and I find them both very entertaining. They are capable or original thought, they joke around, and they are not morons (mostly). Those who think Simms is the worst -and he's certainly annoying- have never had to experience the ESPN Spanish team. Oh, the horror...

by doktarr :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 2:53pm

Yeah, this is what makes Al Michaels so good in my opinion. He does a lot of preparation and comes to the booth with a bunch of stories and anecdotes that he can pull out when there isn't anything important to say about what just happened. It can be a little annoying at times when they start to sort of ignore the action on the field, but he mostly manages to avoid saying dumb or repetitive things about the action on the field, which is an achievement.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Wed, 04/12/2017 - 10:30am

"After the 100th inside run, just like after the 1st, you have to say something."

No, you really don't.

We used to mute the TV and listen to the games on AM radio when I was a kid - and all you got on the radio was "Cunningham off-tackle to the far side, tackled for a 4 yard gain at the 45 by number 23."

And it was fantastic - and empty airtime is a lot more of a worry on radio than TV.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 04/13/2017 - 4:09am

FWIW NBC tried airing a game without announcers in 1980


Just seeing that one play shows how difficult it might be to watch for three hours.

But I reckon it's balance. You need some commentary that adds value, not just fills airtime.


by PatsFan :: Fri, 04/14/2017 - 4:52pm

What so hard about it? 68000 people times 16 watch announcerless games every week of the season.

by LionInAZ :: Mon, 04/17/2017 - 11:21pm

How many of them are actually listening to commentary on their devices. People back when used to listen to broadcasts on portable radios at the stadium.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 3:06am

Too bad this doesn't work anymore. The TV and radio feeds are usually unsynchronised by 15 to 30 seconds, and it doesn't matter which feed is earlier, it's a headache inducing experience

by PatsFan :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 5:12pm

I always wonder how much of announcer badness is the announcer and how much of it is the suits at the network ordering the badness.

The example I like to give is Jaws. Over on Edge Matchup (or whatever it was called) he was an intelligent being who knew what was going on. When he was on MNF he was a garden-variety moron.

There's no way he lost a zillion IQ points. He had to have been ordered to dumb it way way down.

by CaffeineMan :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 8:34pm

Yeah, this. Dr. Z basically said something similar about Simms a long time ago. As I recall, Dr. Z. basically said that Simms started out well, but at some point he dropped off. He put that down to the producers basically telling him to "hype the stars". I'm not trying to excuse Simms' issues in recent years, but to support what PatsFan says above.

This Dr. Z column is from 2008, although it's not the one I remember, it still has Dr. Z talking about "plugging the stars".


by ggoldhagen24 :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 9:14pm

Simms has gotten much worse. Also a Pats fan here, so I get tons of him. From when I can remember (about 2008 on), he was mediocre, made some good analysis but also said some stupid things, at first. But it's been downhill from there. Despite the relief in seeing him gone, and being spared of his constant idiotic comments and lack of any serious analysis, I will miss making fun of his apparent lack of basic knowledge about football. Oh well. Let's hope Romo is better, though can't really count on it.

by Dave Bernreuther :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 1:46pm

on Edge his segments were scripted and planned beforehand too. In-game it's improv.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 04/04/2017 - 7:09pm

Just saw a great topical meme: Tony Romo injured after tripping during walk to the podium to announce retirement.

by MC2 :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:34am

In all this talk about the worst color analysts ever, I can't believe no one has mentioned Theismann. He's right up there (down there?) with Simms and Dierdorf as the worst I've ever had to endure.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 8:48am

Whoever put together the team of Theismann, Maguire, and Patrick committed a war crime.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 9:28am

I had forgotten about Theismann, and just spent an hour curled in a ball sobbing since you reminded me. BASTARD.

I still think Dierdorf is the worst ever, largely because he was the #2 guy for so long, so he'd get big games and he'd just ramble. Horrible. Theismann is a close second. Phil Simms might be next (I'm sure Jerry Glanville needs a mention somewhere), but isn't even in their area code comparatively speaking.

by ChrisS :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 1:02pm

Glanville was bad in a whole other way, that was actually somewhat entertaining.

by James-London :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 5:25am

That is all

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by Theo :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 5:07pm

Time to lose the signature.

by James-London :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 5:06am

Why? He's still a cretin (THE Cretin); I just don't have to listen to him anymore.
Signature stays in memoriam; lest we forget

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by Lebo :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 8:26am

It will be fascinating to see what the Texans do from here. I believe that John Elway has confidence that the quarterbacks already on his roster can play well enough to go deep in the post-season. However, I can't imagine that Rick Smith feels the same way about his quarterbacks, Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden. So, does Smith bring in one of the notable veteran free agents: Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Colin Kaepernick? Or does he draft a rookie who might be ready to play soon, like Mitch Trubisky? And if he does draft someone, does he wait to see who falls in his lap or does he trade up in the first round to secure someone he covets? As someone who's equally as interested in off-field strategy as on-field performance, I'm quite excited about this situation.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 8:44am

I think there is a chance that the coaching in Texas could really get a lot out of Kaepernick.

by Lebo :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 9:58am

I've thought the same thing about the Cardinals staff. He seems like an especially good fit there, since he could back up Carson Palmer for a year and learn the system.

by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:37pm

Oddly enough, the coach that I think would be most likely to be a good fit for Colin Kaepernick is Kyle Shanahan, who got the most out of Robert Griffin, a similarly athletic-but-unable-to-make-reads young quarterback, in Washington.

Kaepernick is an okay quarterback if he's mostly handing the ball off or running and using play action. If you want him to read defenses or throw reliable midrange passes, you should probably look elsewhere.

by Sixknots :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:49pm

Yes, but I'd guess that his sit-for-the-anthem reputation will make him too toxic for a Texas team.

by theslothook :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 11:20am

Interesting comments. The worst tier are thiesman, Mcguire, and Dierdorf. The next worst to me are fouts and gruden. Tbh I thought simms said a ton of dumb things, but in a funny what will he say next way and he did a good job w emphasizing his excitement. I think people are way too harsh w him. With Gruden, you get the same stupidity but his over the top personality makes him come off as the ultimate phony. Espn's crews have always been the worst for me.

Like people mentioned above, the job of a commentator is not to intelligently analyze the game but to engage the casual fan by emphasizing the obvious and reciting clichés. It's a big reason why I didn't want Peyton Manning to be a broadcaster. I couldn't bear the thought of my favorite player reciting a series of banal comments over and over and over again.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 10:50am

yes, most intelligent commentary on football doen afgter games on sunday nights on nfl network ro espn and then on Monday programming leik Monday night countdown (when they are not being goofy). during telecasts, play by play guy ahs to spend time tlakign about newst crap show on FOX or latest police show or time travel shwo on CBS. color guy can do some analysis but nto as great as nerds and guys like Jaworski wgho spend 17 hours looking at sunday games to then comment on stuff three days later. so what we get is guys siorta being somewhat clown-like and sayhing obvious stuff and stuff like that,.

baseball commenting much better beucause easier sport to explain to casual fan, and sport has different type of down time so tjhat stories can be told. best announcer right now might be Keith Hernandez for mets games on TV. Will talk about tufted titmice in backyard , poke fun at scott garrelts ("he wore glasses. goofy looking guy)" , and openly complain about a game being played poorly by btoh temas or moaning about a game taking too long and he wants to go home

by RobotBoy :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 4:14am

After running Babelfish on your comments, Raider Joe, I generally agree with the reason behind every malapropism and maimed word. I Can't agree however with 'baseball commenting much better beucause easier sport to explain to casual fan, and sport has different type of down time so tjhat stories can be told.' Explaining even five percent of what's going on in a single AB is incredibly complex, especially when you consider how much more deeply analytics have penetrated general baseball conversation - pitch rotation, pitch selection, hit zone, park dynamics, the list goes endlessly onwards. Most broadcasts make at least some attempt to include analytics to some degree but mostly it's just used to sex up home runs. Baseball's leisurely pace and apparent inaction seem an awfully tough sell to a casual fan, and filling all that dead air would be more terrifying to me than rattling a bit of context after even 'three yards and a cloud of dust.' Not to mention doing it a hundred-fifty plus times a season! (Counting nationally broadcasted games but leaving out playoffs). The Boston crew of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy handled the task with grace and humor, until NESN in its infinite arrogance canned Orsillo.

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 10:44am

yeah, guess people could argue baseball ins ome ways more complex than football. personally think foootball has mnroe going on (more player son field),. down and sdistance, clock, timeouts remaining, etc. but yes, if saying count is 1-1, runner on 2n d, lefty batter, starting puitcher left handed, history of that batter vs pitcher, what piutch might be thrown next, what is hititer thinkuign, is defense in shift or not, etc.

your other point about total games of announcing is good. even if for sake of argum,ent, we all agreed football announcing more difficult to do a game and do it well, then sheer number of baseball games might still come out in end as more difficult volume of work for season. so if argue other way tjhat baseball is harder to broadcats, then number of games would make it like more than 10 times harder

by the way, joe buck has new hsow on Audience channel. doubtful I will watch, but dfor those who like buck, here was your notice

by ammek :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 2:09pm

Wondering what qualifications Romo might have, it did occur to me that he has at least one thing in common with Simms as well as with fellow 'color' commentators Collinsworth, Aikman, Gruden, Theismann, Jaworski, Maguire, Rich Gannon and Doug Flutie. It's somthing he also shares with high-profile play-by-play broadcasters like Joe Buck, Al Michaels, Kevin Harlan and Jim Nantz.

We need a Rooney Rule for the announcing team.

by theslothook :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 2:14pm

But apparently, this phenomenon does not extend to the half time crew which has had - Michael Strahan, Shannon Sharpe, Deion Sanders, Cris Carter, Ray Lewis, Keyshawn Johnson, Bart Scott and others I'm forgetting. On NFL Network - their entire crew is black.

Aside from Aikman and Romo - who are qbs and stars, the rest had to work their way through broadcasting that amounts to being on the road and commentating for three + hours plus all the prep work that goes into it. It may just be that they didn't want to go through that amount of headache.

by ammek :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 2:48pm

Too much of a headache? I hope you're joking.

By my count, last year just four or five of the 22 or so color commentators on the networks and ESPN were African-American. All were in the middle or at the bottom of the hierarchy. Almost all color commentators are ex-players or coaches, in a sport that is majority African-American. (In fact the announcer with the lowest profile as a player is probably Charles Davis.) There is a clear disparity between the bodies that play the game and the voices that announce it.

by Raiderfan :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 3:32pm

Well, almost all the color commentators are ex-QBs or coaches, the vast majority of whom are not African-American.

by MC2 :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 7:43pm

What a silly complaint. If you'd like to point out a specific analyst that you feel is being held back because of discrimination, fine. But to argue that they should use some racial quota system to ensure that we have the "right amount" of each race is just ridiculous. They should hire the people who can do the best job, just as they do with players ... or perhaps you are outraged at the lack of white cornerbacks, or black kickers, or Asian wide receivers, or whatever. Sheesh.

by ammek :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 3:57am

Romo has zero experience of commentating.

If Simms was doing "the best job" then heaven help us.

Why are ex-QBs and coaches deemed better at color commentating? Collinsworth – whom I like, and agree is the best of the lot – was a wide receiver.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 10:46am

Coaches and QBs are typically thought of as the people who understand strategy best, as they're far more responsible for execution than other players. Also, they're significantly higher-profile, so far more casual fans are going to know who the 16th-best QB is than, say, the 5th best WR. Makes for far easier marketing.

Also, I don't really agree there's a higher number of QBs and coaches; sure, Simms, Fouts, Trent Green, Boomer Esiason, plenty of other QBs, but Ronde Barber, Charles Davis, John Lynch, Strahan, Howie Long . . . it's a pretty set of roles in terms of the positions players come from.

by theslothook :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 1:59pm

One thought - a job as a broadcaster is to speak with clarity and consistency. Now this will come off as inflammatory but its not meant to be. But think about which groups have a harder time speaking that way. The black people who are hired as broadcasters are all able to do that(Here I am referring to the broadcasters who do live games specifically). Charles Davis, Solomon Wilcots, Ronde Barber. Btw - if you think there are incoherent speaking white broadcasters(and here I mean in terms of English, not inane commentary), I'd be happy to hear that as a counterargument.

By in large, african american athletes do not speak proper English very well. This is not an indictment against black people, this is more of the sad reality of our horrible education system for low income groups, the failed war on drugs, the terrible incarceration system that ensures a generation of kids will be without a father. If you happen to have been in the penal system, you are now basically unemployable. A social and economic disaster!

Where I live and work, these views are often considered inflammatory and borderline racist and offensive - but they are not meant to be. I try to argue it as dispassionately as I can. Consider - if you did cross sectional studies of educated black groups with two parent households and stable employment - the racial gap virtually disappears. You do this for women, controlling for education, work hours, and job status - the pay gap disappears. Put simply, if you come from an educated household, regardless of color or gender, you are going to do a lot better. If you don't, life is exceedingly tough. But that's true of any group.

Racism is the easiest thing to claim and I don't deny there is a fair amount of racism in our country. But - in todays world, most of the time, its socioeconomic factors that are to blame.

by RobotBoy :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 4:39am

Your analysis misses the mark entirely. If you're working-class African-American growing up in anywhere in this still extremely segregated land of ours, it's not likely that you will, at any point as a student, have access to quality education.
Public schools in large cities are so inadequate that even a straight 'A' kid from an inner-city school will be years behind a prep-school kid, not to mention the access to extra-curricular benefits that come with being at least upper-middle class. Through blind luck I stumbled into an elite college after a childhood spent in dreadful inner-city. And stumble is what I continued to do for my first two years there as I struggled with financial and educational issues that the rich kids around me didn't even know existed.

You state that 'socio-economic factors' are the primary cause of disparity. Yet historic and enduring overt and institutional racism mean that a far greater proportion of African Americans are trapped in the underclass. Given that out of all industrialized nations, the U.S. now has the lowest rates of social mobility, it's unlikely that things are going to change for African Americans any time soon.
I understand that FO discourages political commentary and I refrain from raising these issues. However, when reading something so dangerously uninformed, it's difficult to remain silent.

by theslothook :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 8:31pm

You threw a lot in there.

Let's start with income mobility. Yes its true that income mobility has been in sharp decline, those trends are there in all industrialized nations. This has been because of technological change that has altered the skill requirements in the labor force. Those factors are not from racism, slavery, or anything like that(not sure if you implied this, but I decided to clarify nonetheless).

I'm not quite sure why you think my views are so misguided. I said as much that our rotten education system is one of the leading contributors to this horrible unforgivable malaise. But its not the only reasons and there's evidence to show this.

I'm going to assume you think the reasons are because of deep racial segregation. I don't deny theres a fair amount of racism still left, I just don't believe that it is is the MAIN driver of it.

If you look at other minority groups that started out at the so called bottom of the rung - almost none of them have had the persistent rates of absolute poverty the way African Americans have. These include Chinese laborers in the 1940s, the refugees from Korea in the 1960s, the Vietnamese in the 1970s, etc etc. Another example are the Gujaratis who were stripped of all their resources in Uganda and forced into exile to the US and UK. They ended up out of poverty rather quickly. So its not a simple matter of minorities in a lousy education system being condemned to permanent poverty.

If you think its about being black, theres evidence to show its not that either - given cross sectional studies of poor African immigrants vs African Americans, its the immigrants who show much better attendance in school, grades, higher rates of college attendance, lower incarceration, lower instances of drug abuse and alcoholism, lower rates of single family households. Just better statistics across the board. These aren't my opinions, these are the facts.

If you think its something specific to African Americans due to slavery, then we can look at cross sectional studies of educated two household African Americans vs similar groups. There appears to be almost nothing in the data today to show income disparity, disparity in living standards and even a slight uptick in life expectancy for educated African Americans vs other minority groups in the US.

So what is different about poor African American groups? A few different things. Economist Roland Fryer did some analysis on the "acting white" phenomenon among inner city youths and found it highly prevalent among African Americans and latinos, but absent among whites, asians, and immigrant minorities. These are also facts, not opinions - suggesting on top of the schools being lousy, there are within group effects that further discourage achievement.

There are also other issues. African American men are more likely to end up in jail. That makes them basically unemployable. Many have children who will now be raised fatherless. There's a lot of evidence that being raised in a single family household has huge detrimental effects. Being within the penal system absolutely destroys any career prospects. The war on drugs has sent a generation of black men into prison. Can you imagine what that will do for the next generation?

These are all socioeconomic and cultural factors at work.

I also find the statements "uninformed and dangerous" rather shocking. My views are hardly the status quo and its the status quo that has been for 30 + years of dismal failure. The comments I made in the prior post and this one are apolitical. My views are based on research I have had to read on growth, poverty traps, and income dynamics.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 3:24am

I hear white commentators speaking nonsensical English ALL THE GODDAMN TIME! Do you even listen? Your entire post is based on stereotype more than observation.

by theslothook :: Fri, 04/21/2017 - 5:59pm

Care to name them? And just to reinforce the point I made above - there's a difference between stupid, inane, thoughtless commentary that lots and lots of broadcasters are guilty of and incoherent speech.

"If you think there are incoherent speaking white broadcasters(and here I mean in terms of English, not inane commentary), I'd be happy to hear that as a counterargument."

I can't think of any incoherent black announcers either btw - I take that as a sign that you need to speak proper english to be a broadcaster.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 3:21am

Are you seriously arguing that white people are inherently better announcers than black people?

Also, it's clear that the networks DO NOT hire the best person for the job, I'm certain that not one person here will argue that. If it takes a Rooney Rule to get better commentators on TV, I'm all for it.

by theslothook :: Fri, 04/21/2017 - 5:56pm

"Are you seriously arguing that white people are inherently better announcers than black people?"

No - and this is the kind of conclusion you reach when you don't see the nuance on my argument. I said - on average, white people speak better english than black people. That's an incontrovertible fact. Now, is that inherent? Absolutely not. Its explained by a lousy education system for poor people.

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 3:20pm

Speaking of NFL Network, I'd love to see Jamie Dukes get a shot. He's knowledgeable, witty, and a former OL to boot. I don't even know if he's still with them, but I've always enjoyed him on shows.

by PatsFan :: Thu, 04/06/2017 - 2:39pm
by Michael.Edits :: Mon, 04/10/2017 - 9:43pm

Phil Simms will be the new spokesman for Beano.

by Jerry :: Sat, 04/22/2017 - 4:25am

Simms will join the studio show.


I used this link because it quotes Simms, but watch out for SI's obnoxious autoplay video.