Tony Romo never will be everyone’s cup of tea.
For one thing, some viewers do not like his informal, at times goofy personality.
For another, like most modern analysts, he talks too much, which never was more glaring than in the seconds after Kansas City won Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night.
Mecole Hardman Jr.’s overtime touchdown, which gave Kansas City a 25-22 victory over the 49ers, clearly called for the announcers to lay out for a bit and let the dramatic pictures tell the story.
But immediately after Hardman’s touchdown, Romo launched into a detailed X’s-and-O’s analysis of Andy Reid’s play call.
No, Tony. There would be plenty of time for that later.
Let Jim Nantz have his “Jackpot, Kansas City” call to put a bow on the first Super Bowl in Las Vegas and cue the reaction shots of players and a certain Kansas City fan who had flown in from Japan for the big event. (More on that later.)
But with all that said, the game still was a solid B+ for Romo, who after spending much of the past two seasons being criticized from all sides showed flashes of what made him a sports media star in 2017 and ’18.
Throughout the game, he made sharp observations, most of which were proved correct. That included overtime, when he urged the 49ers to stay committed to their running game against a tiring Kansas City defense, which they did on a long drive for the go-ahead field goal.
Romo early on noted the unpredictability of the 49ers’ offense and the challenges that presents for opposing defenses.
He was on top of the 49ers’ advantage on both lines in the first half and explained how they were containing Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, preventing him from getting free to the outside of the field.
After the 49ers took a 10-3 lead, Romo said, “The Niners have [Mahomes] a little rattled at the moment.”
But CBS also noted that Mahomes entered the game 8-2 in playoff games when trailing by seven or more points. Make that 9-2.
Romo advised Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to blitz on a key fourth-quarter third down. He did, and it worked.
Romo showed his playful side going into a commercial break by singing along with Adele. He also referred to a fan who ran onto the field as a “partial streaker.”
Nantz and Romo underplayed a shocking shot of Travis Kelce bumping coach Andy Reid on the sideline when he was upset about not being in for a key play.
Sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson did a good job explaining the incident, but it was dropped until Boomer Esiason returned to it during the halftime show.
“I did not like it,” Esiason said. “That tells me they’re frustrated.”
Esiason also said at halftime that the 49ers should have been called for having an ineligible man downfield on their first touchdown, a point the game announcers and officiating analyst Gene Steratore did not mention before or after Esiason brought it up.
CBS did an excellent job of getting a shot of the 49ers’ Dre Greenlaw suffering an Achilles tendon injury as he simply ran onto the field from the sideline.
Kelce made some big plays in the second half and overtime, which allowed CBS to maximize reaction shots of his girlfriend, singer Taylor Swift, who watched the game from a suite at Allegiant Stadium.
CBS showed her arriving after making the trip from Japan, where she was on tour, then a half-dozen or so more times during the pregame.
Studio host Phil Simms had a good line over a shot of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell greeting Swift. “Roger’s going, ‘Thank you so much,’ ” Simms quipped.
They showed Swift about a dozen times during the game itself, usually only for brief glimpses, and not so often that it crossed the line from novelty to obnoxious.
There were no reaction shots until the second quarter, thanks in part to Kelce ending the first half with one catch for 1 yard.
During the postgame, CBS showed a long, emotional embrace between Swift and Kelce.
CBS mostly avoided gimmicky touches that Super Bowl-level technology offers and even limited the use of its “doink cameras” embedded in the uprights to interesting angles on a couple of long field goals.
CBS’ four-hour lead-in was well-produced but mostly standard pregame stuff.
Among the highlights were an elaborate parody of “The Hangover,” featuring “The NFL Today” cast and a chat with Massapequa’s own Kristin Juszczyk, wife of 49ers fullback Kyle and clothing designer to the stars, including Swift.
Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito even made an appearance, in the form of a Pizza Hut commercial.
The best part of the pregame programming was the 6 p.m. game coverage open produced by Pete Radovich that featured emotional family members of players talking about the shared journey to the big game over Frank Sinatra singing “My Way.”