(CBS LA/CBS Local) — Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots marks the 20th time that the biggest game in the sport will be broadcast on CBS’ airwaves. The broadcast will also mark the first Super Bowl broadcast featuring the team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo in the booth. The network’s top team, which has been working together for the past two seasons now, has garnered plenty of praise for their chemistry in the booth and Romo’s seeming prescience for what offenses are going to do.
For his part, Romo says that his “predicting” plays isn’t something that he intentionally focuses on doing, rather it is just a by-product of his excitement and preparation for the game.
“When you’re young in your career you go in with all this planning of everything and you want to be prepared so you have all of the information,” said Romo on CBS’ Super Bowl LIII conference call Wednesday. “But, I try not to predetermine too much of what I’m going to say, because I feel like the game is the story. Sometimes you just get passionate and excited and you’re just talking out loud what is going through your brain. Sometimes, you just see a lot of stuff, and you try to articulate that to the people that are watching.”
Romo’s partner, Jim Nantz, a veteran of the booth, attributes this ability to diagnose which plays are coming to the former quarterback’s years of film study, in attempting to solve the puzzle presented by NFL defenses. Nantz compares Romo’s understanding of the game and situations within to that of a quarterback we will see on the field next Sunday, and arguably the greatest of all time, Tom Brady.
“I have given it a lot of thought and chalked a lot of it up to the fact that he and Tom Brady are seeing the same thing,” said Nantz on the call. “This is a testimonial to a guy that, during his career, obviously spent a lot of time figuring it out. Brady has too. That is why he’s able to complete three 3-and-10s in overtime and take them down for the winning touchdown. Tony saw those same things.”
“When we have these key moments late in a game, and we’re all dazzled by what he’s doing, this is a testament to years and years of his work and preparation,” Nantz continued.
Aside from Romo’s understanding of the game, Nantz says the biggest key for the crew over the past two years has been the consistency of every one involved, and that emanates from director Jim Rickhoff and producer Mike Arnold down to the rest of the crew. That consistency is something that Nantz and Romo both mentioned is a key for how they’ll call the Super Bowl as well, taking the game as if it were any other week. That said, there is still a level of excitement that Romo, calling his first game, can’t ignore.
“I couldn’t be more excited. We have a great team and a great group of people that put together a plan each week, and we go out and try to execute it. With the Super Bowl, I’m anxious to see the feelings going into it,” said Romo. “It’s my first time broadcasting one, but I know my feelings going into the AFC Championship were amped up a bit, because it was such a big deal. And for the Super Bowl, I’m sure it will be ramped up a bit from that. My excitement level is pretty high.”
Super Bowl LIII will be broadcast on CBS, with coverage throughout the day on various shows and regular Sunday CBS programming before the pregame show kicks off Sunday afternoon.