The New England Patriots will take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta Sunday night. Despite the fact the game features a marquee quarterback match-up on the field between 19-year veteran Tom Brady and 2016 No. 1 NFL Draft pick Jared Goff, it seems the only play-caller anyone wants to talk about is Tony Romo.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback turned clairvoyant NFL analyst is calling his first Super Bowl for CBS alongside veteran play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz (who has dubbed his partner “Romostradamus”). Romo never made it to the big game as a player, but tonight the second-year broadcaster will roll out his play-predicting abilities in front of the largest audience of his career, expected to be more than 100 million viewers.
If anyone doubts Romo is among the top stars of tonight’s Super Bowl, just take a look at the coverage he’s received over just the past week.
The Wall Street Journal sifted through 46 hours of footage to find that Romo correctly predicts the play 68 percent of the time. The New Yorker’s Zach Hefland described Romo’s enthusiastic tone as “roughly that of a 10-year-old who’s really into dinosaurs showing his uncle the T. rex exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.” The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis described the current euphoria surrounding the analyst as “Romomania" and wrote that Romo’s not just an announcer — “he’s an energy drink.”
As if the obsessive coverage over Romo wasn’t enough, the former quarterback published his own guest column in the New York Post, breaking down the coaching matchup between Bill Belichick and Sean McVay. Romo also predicted the final score would be 28-24, and “the team with 24 at the end will have the ball and doesn’t score.”
Even his unusual pre-game routine got some coverage, with Romo revealing that he sings at the top of his lungs 10 minutes before kickoff, usually to U2 (he joked about trying to get Nantz to hit the high note in “Red Hill Mining”). CBS broke a clip out of Romo belting out the Who’s the Boss theme song during its pre-game coverage this afternoon.
“It is the funniest thing you’ve seen in your life,” Nantz told the New York Post’s Andrew Marschund. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The obsessive coverage may actually be justified. Romo is easily the most exciting broadcasting voice to call a Super Bowl in many years. As Frank Bruni wrote in the New York Times, Romo alone is reason enough to tune in.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch tonight’s game:
When: Sunday, Feb. 3
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
Time: 6:30 p.m.
TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)
Spanish: ESPN Deportes (Álvaro Martín, Raúl Allegre, John Sutcliffe)
Radio: 94.1 WIP via Westwood One (Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Mike Holmgren, Tony Boselli, Ed Werder)
Streaming: CBS All Access, FuboTV, NFL GamePass, YouTube (all require a subscription)
Mobile: NFL Mobile app and Yahoo Sports app (free on smartphones and tablets within the Philadelphia market)
Referee: John Parry
CBS will have seven hours of Super Bowl pregame coverage, beginning with That Other Pregame Show at 11:30 a.m., featuring Amy Trask, London Fletcher, Brandon Tierney, and Adam Schein. The NFL Films special Road to the Super Bowl will follow at noon.
At 1 p.m., CBS will air Tony Goes to the Super Bowl, a behind-the-scenes look at Romo’s season-long journey to Atlanta.
A four-hour edition of The Super Bowl Today will begin at 2 p.m., hosted by James Brown and Ian Eagle and featuring analysts Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, Phil Simms, and Nate Burleson. The Super Bowl on CBS Kickoff Show starts at 6 p.m., and will take viewers through Glady Knight’s National Anthem right up to kickoff at 6:30 p.m.
ESPN will kick-off its Super Bowl coverage with a four-hour edition of Postseason NFL Countdown at 10 a.m. from two locations — Mercedes Benz Stadium and Centennial Olympic Park. Suzy Kolber will host from the stadium with Steve Young, Louis Riddick, guest analyst Greg Olsen — returning to the show for the second-straight Super Bowl, and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Sam Ponder will host from Centennial Olympic Park with analysts Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, Rex Ryan, and Charles Woodson.
ESPN Deportes airs its 90-minute pregame special NFL Esta Noche live from the stadium at 4:30 p.m. The program will be hosted by Ciro Procuna, and features analysts Eduardo Varela, Pablo Viruega, and Mauricio Pedroza. That will lead viewers into the Spanish-language coverage of the game, which begins at 6 p.m.
A 8 ½-hour edition of NFL GameDay Morning kicks off at 9 a.m., featuring Rich Eisen, Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, and Steve Mariucci on the field of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. A send set outside the stadium will feature Philadelphia native Colleen Wolfe and analysts Steve Smith Sr., Michael Robinson, and Mike Garafolo.
All told, NFL GameDay Morning will lean on at least 28 different talking heads to fill the many hours of airtime prior to kickoff, including everyone from former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick to Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award winner Andrea Kremer, with NFL insider Ian Rapoport offering updates.
At 5:30 p.m., the NFL Network will pivot to the 2019 edition of Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials, featuring Boomer Esiason, Dani Ruah, and Kevin Frazier. Super Bowl Game Center airs at 6:30 p.m., and will feature up-to-the-minute scores and statistics during the Super Bowl.
» READ MORE: Rams-Patriots scouting report