Call From Home? This Is One Time When Romo’s Phone Should Be Left Off The Hook
A small package of dynamite, wrapped in yellow Wisconsin cheese, arrived on the doorstep of Tony Romo’s north Texas residence yesterday afternoon. Echoing that serpent of Eden old, it promises everything good and positive flowing from the waters of physical vitality, heroism and football immortality.
Welcome home, Tony. Temptation awaits you.
The rumors and innuendos of the past few months say emphatically that Romo has been praying for just such a temptation to come his way. In the big-time, big-money world of professional football, that would make him just another star player.
For a while, that was merely street talk. But street talk changed over the weekend to a cloud of yellow and green question marks hanging over the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, thanks to a not-so-subtle Sunday nudge from the gossipmongers and the Twitter professors.
As of Sunday night, the cloud followed him all the way from Kansas City, where he worked the Chiefs-Steelers game with Jim Nantz for CBS, back to hearth and home, where it is more likely than not that he received a phone call from a notorious NFL general manager. Ted Thompson is his name, contracts is his game.
Nobody ever said retirement was easy. Nobody ever said that retirement was removed from responsibility. The general understanding of retirement has always been that you do what you want when you want to.
Now Tony, you know it doesn’t befit me to meddle in other people’s affairs. And you know how I hate gossip. But Tony, let me remind you that – no matter what all of the world’s wishfuls may say – you don’t really want to go to Green Bay. That’s a fickle fandom out there, a fandom desperate for new heroes, on the field and off.
Don’t be sentimental. This is one homecoming which is being massively overrated. If ever there is a time to tread lightly, a time to ask the advice of the wife rather than that of Jerry, it is now. To leave town on an impulsive note would be to jump aboard a train-wreck waiting to happen.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s all-world quarterback, went down with a broken collarbone on Sunday against Minnesota. The early prognosis has him likely riding the bench for the remainder of the regular season.
Yes, the crack heard ‘round the football world changed a lot of things for the Packers in 2017. But those changes shouldn’t involve Romo. To be critically and politically correct, they shouldn’t even interest him.
Being in Rodgers’ shoes isn’t everything that many in the media are cracking it up to be. Despite what their 4-2 record may indicate, the Packers are currently boasting anything but an elite roster. Their defense is suspect, their running backs ineffective more than not, the offensive line a virtual shuffleboard.
To say that Romo wouldn’t be an upgrade from Packers backup signal-caller Brett Hundley would be unfair. But to expect Romo’s bad back to hold up with such a suspect supporting cast for the remaining ten weeks would be equally unrealistic.
And it’s worth mentioning that Romo’s collarbone has a history of its own. That’s all the Packers need is two quarterbacks with the same ailment.
Everyone can sympathize with an athlete’s itch to go play again. But, while nearing 40 and with a full career in the rearview mirror, there are several factors to weigh during the decision process. Maybe the most pertinent pertains to legacy.
Consider the example of past Cowboy great Troy Aikman. Aikman resisted the temptation to join an elite Philadelphia squad in relief of an injured Donovan McNabb in 2002. Looking back, Aikman offers the enjoyment of his new gig as Fox’s No. 1 color analyst alongside Joe Buck as the reason for refusing to jump at a comeback.
But you know it had to cross Aikman’s mind that it would look a bit strange to see him sporting Eagle green after a dozen years in silver and blue. And wouldn’t it have been equally odd to see Aikman as the opposing quarterback later that December when the Eagles were in town for Emmitt Smith’s final game at Texas Stadium?
Were the right pieces to fall into place and his presence deemed necessary, Aikman was willing to come out of retirement a few months later to help his good friends Dave Wannstedt and Norv Turner with the Dolphins. For Aikman, it was as perfect a scenario as he could hope to find. The climate was warm, the coaches familiar, the defense more than adequate, and the offense featured one of the game’s premier running backs (Ricky Williams).
In many ways, Aikman would have been joining a team that, at the very least, resembled the Cowboy teams which had enjoyed so much success during the 1990’s. That he would have been sharing the moment with two former assistants who helped Dallas win their first of three Super Bowl titles in 1992 would have only enhanced the legacy of those great Cowboy teams, in Aikman’s eyes.
To him, un-retiring would have been worth it.
But if Troy’s past decision doesn’t satisfy you, Tony, there is always the example of Brett Favre to follow. Just let the phone ring. Just say no.