Watched the Cowboys lose to Gang Green last night. Early in the game ‘boys ran a reverse. Dallas QB Tony Romo had the obvious assignment to block any trailing defender chasing down the ball carrier. Rather than block the defender, Romo just sort of ran in front of him, never attempting to hit him. The defender changed his angle of pursuit, did not catch the runner, and the announcers went wild at Romo’s athleticism.
It’s the athleticism of an all-league Wimp. All Hype-no Heart.
For Romo this is the latest successful embarrassment in a career mostly geared toward running up big numbers in unimportant games and dating hot women.
Romo, whose athleticism later contributed two turnovers to a losing Dallas effort, acts like he wants to be a big tough football player. He wears his baseball cap backwards on the sidelines, plays with a two day beard growth, and talks the talk of a tough guy. On the field he inevitably folds under pressure-like choosing to “obstruct” rather than “block” an opponent…because apparently actually trying to block the opponent and do your job as diagrammed is not enough.
Compare Romo’s latest “accomplishment” with a different type of effort.
It’s December 19, 1982, game 5 of a strike shortened season. Redskins v. Giants on a snowy, muddy RFK field. Joe Theisman has thrown four interceptions and had teeth knocked out by a ferocious NYG defense (substantively the same defense that would end his career 3 seasons later), but stays in the game and keeps punching. In the fourth quarter, down 14-6, Joe Washington takes a handoff and heads right. Finding his path blocked, he doubles back to his left.
What does Theisman do? He kicks out and LEADS the blocking, takes out the Giant cornerback with an old school roll block, and Little Joe scores. The ‘skins go for two, fail, but on the last play of the game Mark Mosley kicks a 42 yard field goal in the snowy gloaming at RFK to win the game and put the now 5-0 Redskins in the playoffs.
Romo, in a clean uniform on turf, doesn’t try to block the defender in a planned play-he thinks obstructing is enough.
Theisman, with parts of four teeth knocked out, in a dirty uniform on a muddy field, LEADS the blocking on a busted play. That’s leadership. That’s real athleticism-not just the ability to do the job, but the willingness to make it happen.
See the difference?
I watch my 12 year old son playing organized football for the first time. The kids hit, and I tell you what-if desire is the measure any one of those kids could lay out Tony Romo in a heart beat.
Tony Romo-President of the Dallas Chapter of Wimps-R-Us, first round selection to the All Hype, No Heart team. Lord, I hope he keeps his job-we have to play the ‘pokes twice again this year.