Whether you love him or you hate him, there is one sure thing about Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo: The fate of America’s Team sits squarely on his shoulders. Much like Superman, a.k.a. the Man of Steel, in both the comics and on the big screen this weekend, Romo willingly accepts that challenge. He truly represents the Cowboys best chance for playoff salvation this season.
The media loves to hate Romo. Fans too. He’s an easy target, like Clark Kent. Romo’s “go with the flow” attitude and calm nature masks any real intensity to win. And in a culture that glorifies the “victory at all costs” mentality, a guy who seems to take everything in stride is a bit of an outcast. This is especially evident when his play costs his team a playoff win or yet another post-season berth. Despite the villainous levels of negativity and hate that constantly bombard him, Romo simply allows all those emotional projectiles to bounce right off like bullets off Superman’s chest plate.
Almost faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound; we forget what a freakishly good athlete Romo really is. It is easy to overlook the Houdiniesque escapes he makes in the pocket against the best pass-rushers in the league because we see those jaw-dropping plays so regularly. And this may sound like heresy, but Romo just might be the most athletic quarterback in the entire NFL. (and that includes RGIII) The guy can do anything when it comes to sports. He’s like an athletic savant. On top of being a scratch golfer, Romo also excelled at tennis and basketball in high school. Many of his friends believed Romo would have been a great point guard, if he had chosen to pursue it.
Instead, Romo seems proud to hold the mantle as the Dallas Cowboys’ franchise quarterback. He wears it like Superman’s cape, flapping in the wind behind him wherever he goes. You can tell Romo is honored to hold the position as the captain of America’s team. And he’s willing to suffer all the kryptonite-laced shards that come shooting at him because that’s the price for holding the highest position in the land. Like royalty, Romo acts as if he was born to wear the star. And that urks some fans who believe he has yet to earn that swagger.
Like the Man of Steel, Romo is also one tough S.O.B. For proof, just dust off the VHS player and watch the San Francisco 49ers game from back in September of 2011. Not only did he lead the Cowboys to victory in overtime, Romo did it while suffering from a broken rib and punctured lung. Like Don Meredith, Dan Pastorini, or the great Johnny Unitas before him, Romo played through the pain and gave his team a super-human performance.
Romo suffered the injury early on, during the third play of the game. He toughed out the first half and sat all but 37 seconds of the third quarter. During that time, Romo anxiously waited on the bench for the “all clear” from the doctors. Then Romo took off his glasses, stripped off his Clark Kent suit and transformed into Superman for the fourth quarter and into overtime. You probably remember his 77-yard pass to wideout Jesse Holley that secured the win. I jumped for joy so high, I nearly hit my ceiling fan!
At some point, Romo will be revered by every Cowboys’ fans. Like Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach before him, Romo’s play thus far has already ensured his place within the Ring of Honor. And when he finally hoists the Lombardi Trophy above his head in front of millions to see, and restores America’s Team to it’s rightful place amongst the world’s champions, Romo will suddenly rip off his jersey to reveal the “S” that has been there all along.