Thursday, September 17, 2009

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Grudgingly Kinda Respect the Romo

I fully intended on writing, at length, about the first regular season Cowboys game. I was going to write about how, on a refreshments run at halftime, my friend and I acted as if the Cowboys were down by 40. They were, in fact, up 13-7 over the Bucs. You really wouldn’t have been able to tell though from our maudlin predictions of doom and gloom. The phrase, “we look horrible out there” was uttered more than a half dozen times. And remember, we Cowboys fans haven’t seen so much as a little bit of Conference championship action, much less anything ending in the word “Bowl”, in well over a decade. So it’s not like we were being spoilt Victorian children about it. No matter how many reminders I was given that Tony Romo was maybe a little rusty and that this is Martellus Bennett’s first go at the whole two tight ends deal, I was never comfortable. Until the margin of our lead was in the 20’s, I was convinced that the Cowboys were going to lose and the whole season was a pointless waste of football time.

Then they pointed out that Sunday’s game set a new personal record for Tony Romo. Throwing for 353 yards. Really? When they said that, everyone in the room chimed in with an astonished “Wha? When?” Tony Romo’s shakiness was the root of all my distrust. How could he have just set a new career record in a game that never fully convinced me that we weren’t destined to be the Detroit Lions of ’09-10? I still don’t get it. I mean, I can mentally wrap my neurons around the concept that Tony Romo threw for more than 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. I get that part. I guess my question is…when? When did he cut the risky gunslinger crap and gain enough stability to accomplish this? Was there some secret Freemason’s-only broadcast of the previously unknown 5th quarter that I was not privy to?

I don’t want to focus all my “WTF” just on Tony Romo. In fact, let’s do this by process of elimination. If your name doesn’t start with “Jason” and end in “Witten”, you made me nervous on Sunday. Again, I will chalk it up to rustiness. The one area that, going into the Bucs game, I didn’t seem to be sweating as much as others was the state of our receivers. I think Roy Williams, despite Aikman/Emmitt/Irvin all taking turns in an elaborate game of “Yo Mama” at his expense, is really good. Maybe some have built their expectations of Roy Williams up to Hadrian’s Wall levels that he can never match. But between him, Austin and Cray-Cray (™Chad), I think we have plenty of able hands into which Tony Romo can lob the pigskin. As a little aside, that might be the grossest sentence I have ever typed.

But it’s cool to be a hater, as the kids would say. It’s cool to be a Cowboys fan who almost roots against the Cowboys. It’s fun to go into the season with a doom and gloom outlook on the rest of the season. In fact, all my Cowboys friends seem to be basking in the glory of suck-dom. They’re convinced that Romo is going to injure himself and leave us with a season full of Kitna fumbles and that the possibility of the simultaneous spontaneous combustion of three running backs is not so improbable. My friend Josh chastised us for celebrating the Cowboys victory by cracking open an $80 bottle of champagne because the victory on Sunday was against, after all, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My friend Danny refers to this Sunday’s game as an opportunity to “watch the Cowboys get killed by the Giants.” Everyone wants to see Wade Philips fail once again, if only to ensure that this is his last season as head coach. I’m sort of surprised that no one had charged onto the field of JerryDome in a Jeff Gillooly fashion and crowbar-ed Marion Barber’s shins yet.

Then came the ray of sunshine that was my friend Manny. No Cowboys apologist, he simply forwarded this link to some of us today. And that was all I needed. I started to remember what I heard one sports talk show guy say yesterday about Romo and his missing sense of humor this season. You see, the one thing I could always give Tony Romo credit for was his sense of humor and his ability to poke fun at the whole thing. The whole circus that surrounds the Cowboys or pro-athletes in general. So when I heard interviews with him this preseason, I was disappointed by his “by the book” standard issue athlete answers he was giving. Could he really have lost the one thing that endeared me to him? No. As Sports Talk Guy pointed out, it’s his way of subtlety showing everyone that the whole ill-advised, “If never winning a championship is the worst thing that happens to me, I’ve lived a pretty good life” statement was a mistake. He does, at least if you’re going by his drier-than-Betty White’s-lady-area quotes, care. He’s not just laughing off the potential that he could go down in the books as a quarterback fail and take the Cowboys with him.

So just let me bask in this Week One victory. Sure, Danny could be right and the Cowboys could become prison shower rape dolls for the Giants come Sunday night. Maybe an easy victory over an abysmal team which fired their offensive coordinator only a few weeks before the game against the Cowboys is not anything on which one should hang their hat. But let me have it. Let me savor it. I still don’t have the supremely blissful optimism that I had last season. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe I have gotten over my spoilt child ways and come back down to earth. Maybe I just like the fact that a win is, in fact, a win.


Lenny Shrimpton said...

Not to rain on your parade, but that image looks alot like the cover of an old movie called "Suburbia" that someone wrote "cowboys suck" on. (just for your FYI)

bodog poker said...

Tony Romo struggled last night, that cannot be denied. I dont see who the Cowboys have on the roster that is better than Romo at quarterback, and like it or not he will be the qb for the next couple years. He has been a great regular season qb, but needs to step it up in the big games.