CBS aired the Bucs’ win over the favored Chiefs last night in Tampa. Jim Nantz called his sixth Super Bowl and his second with partner Tony Romo.
Here are some of my thoughts as I watched the game. Remember, CBS faced the challenge of having to produce television’s most watched program of the year amidst a pandemic and related restrictions on communication.
- Tony Romo early on questioned the mobility of Patrick Mahomes with an apparent toe injury. Nantz chimed in quickly that the toe would require surgery in the off-season. In the post season press conference, Mahomes was asked about it and didn’t deny that a procedure is being considered.
- Romo astutely alerted the audience that when there is a defensive penalty on a drive, the offense scores 70% of the time. Of course Tampa scored after an unsportsmanlike conduct flag was thrown against the Chiefs.
- Late in the game, Nantz commented on the tragic Britt Reid car accident. Britt is the linebackers coach for KC and the son of head coach Andy Reid. Jim voiced his thoughts and prayers for the two little girls hurt in the accident, one very critically so. It was a class act by the always thoughtful Nantz. This said, Twitter was critical of both Nantz and Romo for not getting to it earlier. The personal life of the elder Reid hasn’t always been blessed. He lost a son several years ago to a drug overdose.
- Nantz nicely captioned a camera shot of the mother of Bucs’ coach Bruce Ariens. Catherine is 95 years young. It was she who encouraged Bruce to get back into coaching after a one year hiatus during which he tried broadcasting, working for CBS for that matter. Jim, of course, reminded everyone that Ariens still has his CBS logo blazer in his closet.
- Let’s give former Steelers coach Bill Cowher some credit for being the only CBS analyst in the pregame show to predict a Tampa Bay win. He said that the Bucs were finally hitting their stride and were fully healthy. Impressive too was the fact that Romo predicted the Tampa Bay-Kansas City matchup back in November when the two teams met during the regular season. Yes, last November the Chiefs won 28-24 which dropped Tampa Bay to 7-5 at the time.
- Nantz shared a nice stat about Tampa Bay’s fortunes since that November loss when the Bucs fell behind big early. The Bucs had outscored the Chiefs 55-19 over last 6 quarters.
- Wonderful use of the Venice Camera by CBS. The cinematic feature and closeup views that fans enjoyed, both during the game and post game were mesmerizing. Look for more and more use of this specialty camera in many sports events going forward.
- When a fan ran on the field, CBS didn’t dignify it. Viewers saw the offender for a split second and that was it. The network immediately pulled away, Nantz quipped, “one of the great runs of the night.”
- Our columnist, Rich Podolsky liked Nantz’ line in the first half, “It’s the Brady – Gronk- Antonio Brown reunion tour.”
Next year, the Super Bowl moves to Los Angeles. It will be NBC’s turn and for now it appears that it will be Al Michaels’ last. He’ll work with Cris Collinsworth.
Assuming NBC renews its Sunday night package with the NFL, Mike Tirico will take the reins. Al will be 77 next year and the oldest play-by-player to call a Super Bowl.