CBS’ Super Bowl broadcast was supposed to be about Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, but the best moment belonged to sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson.
In what probably was the most interesting part of the whole telecast, Nantz threw it down to Wolfson following the final whistle as she tried to corral Tom Brady amid a sea of photographers.
For three minutes, Wolfson stood by as Brady hugged everyone from coach Bill Belichick to owner Bob Kraft. Finally, Brady stopped to speak with her.
She did not waste any time on the scene, instead congratulating Brady and then asking a reasonably good question about how satisfying the victory was for him. With her second question, she tried to go further, inquiring about the importance before going for the money shot, trying to see if she could see if Brady might consider retirement.
“It was awesome,” Wolfson told The Post. “It was definitely a struggle. I joked that the game was an offensive struggle, so it was only appropriate that the winning interview was a struggle, too. That’s kind of why you do this job. I embrace it and I love it.”
After the final whistle, Wolfson darted toward Brady to find her position.
“The circle forms around you,” said Wolfson, who attended Rockland County’s Clarkstown High School North. “I’m small and I just kind of held onto Tom and the microphone and just sort of waited and waited patiently.”
Her patience was rewarded, as she stood out in a very dull game.
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Hits and misses: Super Bowl or no Super Bowl, Romo was loose, which is why he is an uncommonly good listen, but he and Nantz didn’t go deep enough as to why Belichick was shutting down Sean McVay’s offense. They also never mentioned Julian Edelman began the year suspended for performance-enhancing drug use. All of CBS’ announcers were quick to anoint Edelman a Hall of Famer. Football is not baseball, that’s for sure.
Pregame chatter: Nate Burleson was the star of CBS’ pregame. Burleson, who is on both “The NFL Today” and “Good Morning Football,” continues to show the potential to host a non-sports show.
If you didn’t know he played receiver in the NFL, you would think he was just a host. He is very smooth and he ran some segments, including part of the opening in which CBS had its crew walk out to the field like they were playing in the Super Bowl.
He has one year left on his CBS deal and, if you watched the otherwise staid pregame, he was the star.
“We are looking at a variety of avenues,” said Burleson’s agent, Mark Lepselter. “I’ve said for some time now, Nate is one of the few talents that can cross over in a truly significant way.”
Ian Eagle showed why Dan Patrick said a few years ago he is the best sportscaster in the business. Eagle displayed his hosting skills are comparable to his play-by-play. Not many can do that with Bob Costas, the standard-bearer, and another Syracuse graduate, Mike Tirico, along with Nantz, also in that group.
The best story during the CBS pregame was Russell Wilson saying how during his first Super Bowl, Joe Namath was in charge of the coin toss. Namath flipped it early. After, he looked at Wilson and said, “I always had a quick release.”
CBS usually keeps it close to the vest, and its pregame show was pretty much that. The John Malkovich-Peyton Manning opening was a bit too much for me. They tried to top their AFC Championship Malkovich opening — which was excellent — and this felt a little short.
The best two Super Bowl features I saw were on ESPN’s “NFL Countdown.” Jen Lada put together a piece, voiced by Drew Brees, on Brees and Bears tight end Zach Miller and their relationship with a high school quarterback who lost a leg. The quarterback, Alex Ruiz, came back to play after Brees presented him with a prosthetic leg. Miller showed up for his first game back. It was a tear-jerker. ESPN gave Ruiz tickets for the Super Bowl, which was a nice touch. … ESPN also had a good one with Joe Torre, Nick Saban and Mike Krzyzewski talking about Belichick. Torre said that Belichick is the best ever. Both features took many hours and days of work for minutes of TV. Both were really good.