MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — When we all tune into the Super Bowl on Sunday we’ll be hearing a lot from Tony Romo. The former Cowboys quarterback will be the network analyst for the game. He’s become the best in the business and one local man isn’t surprised.
It was 20 years ago when Romo was the starting quarterback at Eastern Illinois and the center snapping him the football was Harlem graduate Scott Sholl. Sholl now is a teacher and a coach at Harlem.
“Tony was a lot of fun to play with, very easy quarterback to get along with.”
And very sharp when it came to understanding the mental part of football.
“He was a film guru,” said Sholl. “He really was. He just had this innate ability to break something down and look at it from a different perspective.”
Romo brings that same perspective to the broadcast booth. He’ll often see plays before they happen and predict them precisely.
“A lot of this we think that he’s forseeing things, but he’s actually, he’s actually just seeing the game through a set of eyes and predicting what he would do or what most people would do in this circumstandces and it tends to be right because he’s such a studier of the game,” said Sholl.
Many NFL fans will tell you Romo’s biggest asset as an analyst is his enthusiastic delivery.
“He’s a likeable guy and I think that comes out through his passion,” said Sholl. “The way he speaks about the game is the same way he would be talking to me if I was in his basement and we were watching it. That’s why it brings a smile to me when I hear him speak because it’s like he doesn’t even see people, he doesn’t even realize people are listening. He’s just enjoying the game.”
Sholl says he and Romo still keep in contact. A couple years ago Romo invited Sholl and some of their other former Eastern Illinois teammates along with all their sons for a little trip to Lake Tahoe.
And Sholl quite often texts Romo…sometimes even during games that Romo is broadcasting.
“I give him a hard time when he says something or references something. Obviously he doesn’t respond right away.”
Is there any chance Sholl might shoot Romo a text during the Super Bowl?
“I can’t wait to see if he got a new Carona commercial,” said Sholl chuckling, “But no I definitely will send him a couple messages. It definitely will be a lot of fun to watch. I wouldn’t miss it.”
Sholl and Romo are so tight they each stood up for each other at their respective weddings.