At one point during the Super Bowl broadcast, CBS’s Jim Nantz and Tony Romo joked around using the term making lemonade out of lemons.
In the biggest spots, they failed to do this as the game turned from “one for the ages” to a dud.
Nantz and Romo whiffed when CBS’s production team handed over some TV magic. All they simply had to do was stop talking.
With 13 seconds remaining in the first half and Tampa Bay in the red zone, the Bucs took a timeout, CBS’s field mics picked up Brady yelling at his own sideline to stay with a play.
“No! No!” Brady implored his coaches. “Same! Same!”
Nantz talked over Brady. For some reason, Nantz brought up “crazy things happening” the last time Tampa had a Super Bowl in 2009 when the Steelers James Harrison returned an interception for a touchdown. He also mentioned his buddy Al Michaels’ call of the Harrison play.
Everyone may want to cover sports media, but that was not the time. Romo never said a thing about what we were hearing from Brady.
Because the game was already turning into another coronation of Brady, we could eavesdrop into his in-game mindset.
Nantz and Romo received a mulligan at the end of the game, but kept talking.
On the final series, CBS had its mics on Brady again and Nantz even said, “Listen to him imploring that team.” And then Nantz kept talking. CBS pulled out of the shot. (In fairness, the network might have been scared that Brady was swearing.)
When the final whistle blew, Brady and Mahomes met for a hug. At the top of the broadcast, Romo had simply, correctly, called the matchup Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James. Here we were at the end with a chance to hear the respect the two stars had for each other.
But Nantz and Romo did not stop talking. We heard a little of the conversation with Nantz catching Brady saying, “Keep in touch.”
Romo chimed in, imagining one of them was saying, “Here’s looking at you kid.”
It may seem like an odd concept, but sometimes the best broadcasting from a booth is silence.
The other big miss for Nantz, Romo and CBS was ignoring the Britt Reid story until less than four minutes remained in the game.
It is an ugly situation that has left a 5-year-old girl in critical condition because of a car accident involving Reid, the Chiefs assistant linebackers coach and Andy Reid’s son. It is a difficult topic — especially with charges possible and the unknown factor of how much alcohol may have played a part — but it has to be mentioned earlier.
It took CBS far too long to show Bucs’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
Bowles, the former Jet head coach, was shutting down Mahomes. In a world where new Jets coach Robert Saleh’s stock was helped by his constantly being shown on TV and where CBS’ pregame gave substantial time to the lack of minority head-coaching hires, it seemed like a miss not to showcase Bowles.
Bowles is not animated, like Saleh, but he deserved credit since the Bucs defense was maybe the most important factor why Tampa won.
CBS’ big “Stand By Me” opening at 6 p.m. featuring players’ families, including Tom Brady’s and Patrick Mahomes’, was excellent.
Host James Brown had one of the best and worst segments of the four-hour pregame. His interview with commissioner Roger Goodell was a waste of time. It is not really Brown’s fault, as the idea that CBS, in the midst of negotiating to pay the NFL billions to retain its future rights, would challenge Goodell is laughable. Brown, as he complimented Goodell, even said, “No need for me to be a PR agent …”
Too late. Nevertheless, Brown had a really well done and strong commentary on the lack of minorities in leadership positions. He called it “pitiful.” Credit for CBS for allowing it.
We watch all the pregame shows so you don’t have to. Generally speaking, CBS doesn’t try to out-wow everyone. Its 5 ¹/₂ hours leading into the game were very solid.