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Gaudelli appreciates Romo and Nantz’s shoutout

Fred Guadelli, NBC's executive producer of "Sunday Night

Fred Guadelli, NBC's executive producer of "Sunday Night Football," "Thursday Night Football" and Super Bowl LII, at the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour on January 9, 2018 in Pasadena. Credit: Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown

Many viewers no doubt were confused Sunday evening when CBS’ Tony Romo and Jim Nantz punctuated a tribute to NBC’s NFL crew in advance of Super Bowl LII with a peculiar chant.

“Hey, Gaudelli, Gaudelli!” Romo said in the aftermath of the Patriots’ victory over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.

“Gaudelli, Gaudelli!” Nantz said in response. “A little toast to you guys. We look forward to watching.”

Some no doubt thought it sounded like a reference to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, or perhaps was a strange inside joke. But Romo was giving a verbal nod to Fred Gaudelli, an LIU Post alumnus who is NBC’s longtime lead NFL producer.

It certainly came as a shock to Fred Gaudelli himself. He laughed out loud when asked about it on Monday.

“It’s funny, because I texted Romo, I texted Nantz and I texted [CBS producer] Jim Rikhoff, and I’m like, ‘What the heck was that?’” Gaudelli said.

“Jim Nantz – he’s such a great guy – he was like, ‘You were so great to us back in Canton.’”

That was at the Hall of Fame game in August. Romo, a rookie analyst, and Nantz practiced together that night while the game was being televised by NBC.

Hence Nantz’s on-air thank you Sunday, in which he said, “They were so gracious to us back when we were doing a practice game from a deer stand. It seems like it was just a week ago. But they were tremendous.”

Said Romo: “They were great. Can’t believe the whole season went that fast.”

Then he added the Gaudelli chant.

In an email to Newsday Monday night, Nantz explained what some on social media had suspected: That the “Gaudelli, Gaudelli” “toast” was a nod to the Bud Light ad campaign that has run frequently during the NFL playoffs, which includes the chant, “Dilly, dilly!”

“I talked to Tony a few times before the season started, just kind of gave him my opinion on a couple of things, because I tried to hire him last year as well for Thursday [Night Football],” Gaudelli said. “So I don’t know if the shoutout was the payback. I have no idea. That completely caught me off-guard. I mean, I laughed my butt off.

“My daughter heard it — she’s 15 — and she’s like, ‘Oh, my God!’ I go, ‘Reese, there are about 12 people in America that know what that means right now.’ It was very nice of them. It was very classy of them. I really laughed my butt off. It was very, very funny.”

New York Sports