Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Nantz opens up about friendship with Tony Romo: 'It's been a joy'

Alex Reimer
January 18, 2018 - 11:58 am

It is seemingly impossible to like another person more than Jim Nantz likes Tony Romo. 

In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Nantz speaks longingly about his new partner. According to Nantz, the two men developed a strong bond over golf while Romo was still playing in the NFL, which has translated to the broadcast booth.

“I've known Tony for a long time. We found some common ground in that we both have this great love affair for the game of golf,” Nantz said. “I can go back years covering the Cowboys and watching him in these production meetings, and being absolutely dazzled by what I saw. The way he presented himself, the animation, exuberance and enthusiasm, and some of the technical points. It was dazzling. I could tell right away someday he was going to be a great analyst.

“I come through Dallas on an annual basis –– offseason for him –– to cover golf tournaments ... and I ran into him a number of years. I can even think back to when I launched a wine brand in 2012. We had an opening night event that was exclusive to only 50 people. Tony bought a ticket. It was $1,000 per person. He showed up. He played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am out here. We had dinner whenever he'd come out to Pebble Beach. We stayed in pretty good touch and always had a grand time whenever we were together. There's a friendship there that predates the arranged marriage by CBS.”

Nantz is effusive in his praise, bringing up Romo unprompted several times during the nearly 90-minute podcast. On one occasion, Nantz appears downright giddy when describing the “epic” dinners he enjoys with Romo on Friday and Saturday nights. But don’t get too excited: Nantz is quick to mention there’s little drinking or horsing around. It’s just two men sitting and enjoying each other’s company. There’s something beautiful about it.

“We're looking to sit around a table and talk about family, football, whatever the topic of the day might be in sports or otherwise,” Nantz said. “It’s been a total joy. I think that's carried over. That friendship has spilled over into the broadcast booth.”

Speaking of dining, Deitsch brings up Nantz’s purported love of burnt toast. In a Golf Digest profile, the longtime broadcaster says he always presents a picture of burnt toast to his server, so the bread is smoldered to his liking. But apparently, Nantz was being facetious –– or as he puts it, “farcical.”

“My wife and (assistant) Melissa Miller had recently lamented a picture of toast coming out of a toast that's smoldering burnt,” Nantz said. “They had on occasion seen me order things that are more on the well-done side. It's not a fanaticism here. This was all farcical. I showed (the picture) to (the writer), we had a good laugh about it, and he wrote up a make believe vignette about all these analytics of how many days it saves me in a year by flashing that card, because I don't have to send the toast back. I truly, if I eat toast twice a year, that would be a lot.”

That’s no fun. Any questions about whether Nantz possesses a sense of humor have now been answered. 

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