Bonnie Bernstein: Tony Romo getting on CBS' No. 1 team with no experience is 'total crap'

Shutdown Corner

In most jobs, you work your way up the ladder and reach the top after years of grinding. Being an NFL color commentator, however, isn’t your normal job.

Tony Romo is reportedly expected to replace Phil Simms as CBS’ color commentator. And veteran sportscaster Bonnie Bernstein, who spent 17 years with CBS and ESPN/ABC, expressed her outrage.

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That’s understandable, and it’s fair to assume Bernstein isn’t the only one in the broadcasting business to harbor some anger over Romo going from the playing field straight to one of the most coveted jobs in sports broadcasting. While it seems to be a consensus that Romo will be a natural in the booth, he has never done it. Nobody truly knows if he can do it. There are broadcasting veterans who have worked on their trade and dreamed of such an opportunity for many years, and they were just passed over for a guy who has zero experience. That’s not uncommon for former players or coaches jumping to the broadcast booth. Jon Gruden didn’t have any experience when he joined ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” in 2009. Charles Woodson, Randy Moss and Matt Hasselbeck had little or no experience when they joined the “ESPN NFL Countdown” last year, and Rex Ryan has no full-time broadcasting experience but he’ll also join ESPN’s pregame show this year.

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We all know why Romo will likely be alongside Jim Nantz in the fall. Other than Dennis Miller on “Monday Night Football,” Romo’s debut will be the most anticipated in sports broadcasting in many years. He has a big name, was a well-known quarterback for many years and he’s been in the headlines all offseason. People generally don’t tune into football games just because of the color commentator, but Romo definitely won’t hurt ratings. There might be as many critiques of Romo’s broadcast work as there were of him as a player, and those were voluminous. As far as generating attention and ratings, Romo is a slam dunk for CBS. No longtime broadcasting veteran would get more buzz replacing Simms.

While the move by CBS to hire Romo and vault him to the No. 1 spot is understandable, and might be a good one, he’ll receive some flak. There might be plenty of it from his new peers, too.

Bonnie Bernstein criticized CBS’ decision to hire Tony Romo and reportedly elevate him to the No. 1 broadcast booth. (AP)
Bonnie Bernstein criticized CBS’ decision to hire Tony Romo and reportedly elevate him to the No. 1 broadcast booth. (AP)

More from Shutdown Corner on Tony Romo’s retirement
Tony Romo cut by Cowboys, retires to join broadcast booth
CBS wins bidding war for Romo, makes him analyst on its No. 1 broadcast team
Texans are the main domino to fall in Tony Romo fallout, but there are others
Is Tony Romo the most overrated and underrated quarterback the NFL has seen?
Jerry Jones, Dak Prescott among those to heap praise on Tony Romo upon his retirement

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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