Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo just happens to be talented in two sports, but it seems like the entire world holds that against him. Romo is an aspiring professional golfer and has competed in local qualifiers for the U.S. Open since 2004. The man has a hobby and happens to be pretty good at it, but he’s scrutinized for it because his profession doesn’t engulf his life.
Romo play quarterback for America’s Team, the most difficult position in all of sports. Romo is under more pressure than any other athlete in America and sometimes that gets the best of him on the football field. That’s certainly no excuse for his failures, late-game interceptions and such, but his off-season hobby isn’t to blame, either.
Millions of little boys dream of playing quarterback in the NFL. The vast majority that doesn’t make and those guys sit in their recliners on Sunday afternoons criticizing the players who are getting paid astronomical amounts of money to play the position they did in high school and maybe in college.
These men of all ages scrutinize NFL players more than anyone else because they’re envious. I should know; I’m one of them. However, we’re not able to put ourselves in their shoes. We have no clue what it must be like to be Romo or any other recognizable professional athlete.
Even some of those guys have no idea what’s it’s like to play quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. There are thousands of football fans who wish for Romo to fail like the millions more who wish for Miami Heat forward LeBron James to fail. This is simply due to the publicity and positions Romo and James hold. If Romo was the quarterback for most any other NFL team, he wouldn’t be held to nearly as high of a standard.
Every year about this time, Romo begins to play golf during the little amount of time off that he has. Every year about this time, everyone from sports radio talk show hosts to groups of elderly men at coffee shops verbally crucifies Romo for not spending his every waking minute with his head buried in a playbook.
Whether we like it or not, playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is a profession just like any other. Romo gets paid to do a job for which he was trained just like truck drivers, welders, teachers, businessmen and doctors. No matter your profession, you get a day off every now and then. When you’re off, you don’t work; that’s a simple fact of life.
When Romo is off, he doesn’t work. Football consumes his life for 10 months out of the year, so he enjoys doing other things while he’s off. Now you might be thinking, ‘Well I pay money to see the Cowboys play and his golf is affecting that for me.’ You have a valid point, but think about it this way:
Do you scrutinize your waiter/waitress about what he does on his/her day off? Do you rant and rave about how your mail carrier should go over his route on Sundays after church instead of enjoying a nice afternoon of (yes, I’m about to say it) golf?
Look, I’m just as critical of Romo as anyone else and it makes my blood boil when he makes a game-changing mistake. I’ve called for his release after a bad game and then I’ve turned around and praised him after a good game like a bi-polar hypocrite just like every other Cowboys fan in America.
However, we would never know what Romo does on his days off if it weren’t for technology. Even though we do know what he does on nearly every day of his life doesn’t mean we have a right to attack him for it.
My father-in-law is an airplane mechanic and football players like Romo fly frequently. Although he’s an avid Cowboys fan, do you think Romo gives a rat’s rear end what my father-in-law does on his day off? Do you think Romo would criticize him for not studying the parts of air planes during his vacation? Of course not.
In Matthew 7:3, Jesus asks “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” In other words, mind your own business. Romo doesn’t verbally assault us for playing golf on our days off; maybe we should start taking a longer look in the mirror.
Follow Jeric Griffin on Twitter @JericGriffin