This is more about me than it is Tony Romo and specifically how the last ten years have played out while he was quarterbacking my team.
We all have our youth, we all have our prime. My prime coincided with Tony Romo’s. He will forever be the quarterback of my prime. I’m a year older than him and granted, my prime largely consisted of my “fridge time” and not a 40 time — how fast I could make it from the couch to the fridge between commercials. It’s gotten worse with age.
As a native Texan and life-long fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I found myself living in Anchorage, AK in October, 2006. Supporting the Cowboys from afar, I wasn’t as in touch with the team as in years past, as I had no work/life balance to speak of. I was lucky to catch the highlights.
Romo took over for a benched Drew Bledsoe after halftime of a Monday night game against the Giants. I was managing an Applebee’s restaurant that night and was carrying dishes into the back when I got my first glimpse of the freshly shaved, baby faced quarterback. I didn’t have much faith in him.
Little did I know that my life was changing, as was his. I had decided to move back to Texas in January, 2007 and attend the University of North Texas in Denton.
Prior to that, my brother scored tickets for the Cowboys/Colts game on 11/19 against the famed Peyton Manning. The Colts were 9–0 when they came to Texas Stadium (and won win the Super Bowl that year) and Romo and the Cowboys upset the Colts and handed them their first loss of the year.
My first NFL game was incredible: Romo vs. Manning. I’ll forever remember walking out of the stadium and hearing the drunken, euphoric fans chanting “Ro-mo, Ro-mo, Ro-mo” after the big win.
Fast forward to the Seattle playoff game that year. It was January 6, 2007 and I was in the middle of a five day drive from Alaska to Texas. The infamous botched snap happened while I was pumping gas on a frigid night somewhere in Wyoming. I was on the phone with my brother and he was giving me the play by play over the phone.
The next three years, I studied sports radio in college and hung onto every single word uttered or written about the Cowboys.
In 2009, I began working as a spotter for nationally-aired Cowboys games and in 2011, I had the privilege of being the spotter for the national radio team, Kevin Burkhardt and Danny White, and saw every home game up close for the next five seasons.
Romo was the lone bright spot for Dallas on some putrid teams with awful offensive lines.
Misinformed fans and casual observers of America’s Team had a love/hate relationship with Romo over the years and many thought Dallas would be better off without him. As a Romo apologist and self-professed “Romosexual,” I couldn’t disagree more.
Ten years after taking over as quarterback, it appears to be over for Romo in Dallas. He’s likely moving on. Coincidentally, I’m moving on too. Literally. January 1, I’m moving from Texas to Montana — meaning my ten years in DFW mirrored his ten years as starter.
So in my best teary-eyed, TO voice, “That’s my quarterback.”