In one of the most dramatic finishes in history, Patrick Mahomes steered the Chiefs to an overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers, finding receiver Mecole Hardman in the endzone for a game-winning touchdown with just seconds left on the clock.
The fans were sent into raptures at Allegiant Stadium as the Chiefs players celebrated on the field, while television cameras panned to Taylor Swift and her posse in pure jubilation up in their private suite.
As the final play concluded, veteran broadcaster Jim Nantz delivered a perfect line on the CBS feed and paused to give the moment time to breathe.
“Jackpot, Kansas City,” he proclaimed.
But in a strange moment, Romo – who played 14 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection – opted to dive straight into a lengthy analysis.
“This was the Andy Reid special, we talked about he was saving all day,” he said on CBS.
“He is going to fake a motion to go across. That moment he turns and goes back — Hardman, who they didn’t have, right? And they go get Hardman and bring him back.
“The game-winning drive of Mahomes’ career, he has been waiting for. He’s won Super Bowls, but he’s never had it in overtime.
“He is the best, he is the standard, Michael Jordan. Wins it again.”
It was a bizarre choice from Romo, who is on a USD $180 million mega contract over 10 years (approximately AUD $27.5 million per season) with the host network, completely undercutting his more experienced partner.
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Romo has been heavily criticised at times for his efforts in the booth and his display in the closing moments of the longest Super Bowl in history have only garnered more negative reaction from the US media.
“Amid a season filled with criticism, Tony Romo had one last chance − on the biggest stage of all − to go out on top,” USA Today’s Steve Gardner wrote.
“But like a snap on a crucial field-goal attempt, Romo fumbled with the game on the line.”
The 43-year-old also copped it from The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand, who claimed a ‘lack of teamwork’ with Nantz ruined a great moment.
“For 30 seconds, as CBS showed reaction, Romo talked about the play when the best analysis would’ve been silence,” he wrote.
After retiring from the NFL in 2016, Romo began to transition into commentary, with his expert opinions becoming a staple in regular-season and playoff games.
But on the biggest stage and in the biggest moment, Romo is being accused of putting a dampener on what should have been one of Nantz’s crowing achievements.