Looking at Tony Romo’s background he should come across as everybody’s unsung hero. He was not highly recruited out of high school and played his college ball at Eastern Illinois. He went undrafted by the NFL and signed as a free-agent by the Dallas Cowboys.
Typically, you know how this story goes. Undrafted free agent comes in as a “camp arm”, and impresses a little, but is eventually cut, and is never heard from again. But Romo wrote his own story, and emerged from undrafted free agent to become the starting QB on one of the NFL’s marquee franchises.
Sounds like a movie doesn’t it? Romo’s story sounds like that of a true Hollywood hero. And Romo seems like a really good guy. So with all of that going for him, why do so many people dislike him? Tony Romo is an underdog, people should be rooting for him not against him, yet every time his name is mentioned it’s a lighting rod for controversy.
One reason Romo is hated should be obvious. The team he plays for. Yes the Cowboys are the most popular team in America, but they are simultaneously the most hated team. But still, did people hate Troy Aikman when he was the Cowboys QB? I don’t think so. So why is it different for Romo?
Could it be Romo’s lifestyle? He seems to only date celebrities, and in doing so it seems like he is chasing fame. But maybe being the Cowboys QB automatically puts you in a spotlight that other teams don’t? I guess that’s possible. But still there only 32 starting QB’s in the NFL, and certainly any one of them could have their share of starlets, but Romo seems to crave the spotlight more than most.
His relationship with Jessica Simpson was tabloid fodder for its entire existence, and at times even seemed to overshadow the Cowboys themselves. Also, Romo’s passion for the sport of golf and his many attempts to qualify for pro tournaments has led some to question his commitment to winning.
Recently, Romo suffered injuries to his ribs and lungs and in order to play resorted to wearing a Kevlar vest as extra protection. Romo’s performance in playing through the injury and leading the Cowboys to victory over the Redskins led some to praise him for his courage, and others to criticize him for over exaggerating the injuries.
Romo’s recent performance in a loss against the Detroit Lions, where he threw three interceptions in the second half confused and confounded his supporters, and delighted and amused his detractors.
I’ve never been a fan of Tony Romo, but I must admit he’s a great player. As a Redskins fan, I’ve seen Romo do some spectacular things. And through all of the controversy, I still see Romo as the unsung hero. And as much as people hate Romo, he still has the ability to eventually turn the hate into adulation. The question is will he?
- Tony Romo, The NFL’s Punching Bag (sports.gunaxin.com)
- With Tony Romo, What You See is What You Get (ballhyped.com)