Tony Romo Correct On NFL: All About Money


Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was correct when he accused the NFL of being all about money to ridiculous degrees this week. 

Romo was scheduled to headline a fantasy football convention next month in Las Vegas, Nevada, a city obviously tied to gambling like no other in the world. But after a bizarre sequence of events that led to the event’s cancellation, the NFL once again has presented itself as both a bully and a hypocrite.

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The NFL sent warnings out to participants, rather late in the process, which essentially stated that people in the “NFL club” could not participate in events tied directly to casinos, or gambling – legalized gambling I might add.

Obviously, I don’t have any ambitions about writing for one day, or anything like that. This might mean better coverage of my voice, from a journalistic standpoint, but boy would it eliminate some fun topics to discuss, much like this one.

Since when has the NFL really had a problem with gambling? For this “non-profit” sports league to be poo-pooing on Las Vegas as a venue for a fantasy football convention is strange beyond words, especially given the league’s well documented, if not forgotten, history surrounding gambling.

This relationship has gone on since the dawn of the NFL universe decades and decades ago.

Can I see Tom Landry and Tex Schramm ever having played a part?

Well, no.

But the legendary George Halas, longtime god of the Chicago Bears?

You bet.

What about the Bidwill family, current owners of the Arizona Cardinals and one time owners of the Chicago Cardinals?

Of course.

Even today, fantasy football is a cash cow for numerous gaming outlets, both legal and illegal, and the former represents just a small fraction of overall gaming in the United States.

Shame on Las Vegas, I guess.

How do you step in, especially the way the NFL did, to completely insult and disrupt Romo’s attempt to help promote greater interest and revenue for a league that’s already peaked in the United States? It’s not like the rest of the world offers plenty in terms of untapped, international markets just beating down the door to get professional football within their boarders – no, the United Kingdom could truly care less.

There’s only one reason for the NFL to act this way – money.

This is a league that happily took money from the federal government while agreeing to promote the United States military extra hard, especially over the last few seasons. The league could have done this for free, but instead it was more than happy to accept funds that might have been better spent on, let’s see, veterans perhaps?

You heard me right – the NFL took money, millions to be exact, to wave more flags, salute more soldiers and otherwise show unwavering support for whatever is, or was, going on where foreign policy is concerned, I guess.

This is also a league that offers as little as 5% of its revenue gained via “A Crucial Catch” to the American Cancer Society. This is that deal where some of the league’s players actually wear pink shoes, and other accessories in support of research on breast cancer during the month of October. I don’t think anybody has a real problem with the pink thing all over the field, uniforms and broadcasts, so long as it’s making a difference.

To my knowledge, this hasn’t been the case, and perhaps this is because such a tiny amount of the money earned by way of donations and the sale of pink stuff is so incredibly low. The NFL could be keeping as much as 90% percent of the proceeds. Up until two years ago, I assumed that 100% went to cancer research.


When you factor in the previous points about gambling, it really makes the NFL, as Romo pointed out, seem like the high school freshman who didn’t get invited to the party and chose to call the cops because the rumor was that there might be beer there. In this case, the freshman’s father owns a bar.

That make any sense?

Yes, if your league is worth close to $10 billion each year and the desire is to still get bigger at all costs, of course Romo is correct regarding the following quote from an interview with ESPN, courtesy of the Jon Machota of Dallas Morning News:

"It’s just a very frustrating process that went down, when all they had to do was literally call me or actual event organizers at the NFFC, and that never took shape. Instead, it was about almost scaring the people attending the event. That just seems silly to me. We could have been far more mature about this. That makes you think it was just about money, and that’s disappointing."

In other words, if the NFL couldn’t cash in on this National Fantasy Football Convention, no matter where it was taking place, it was clearly just another sin taking place in Sin City.

Did the NFL really not know about this thing up until the last week or so? Was this just like the league really “not knowing” about the Ray Rice casino elevator video that it chose not to acknowledge until literally the entire world knew about it? After all, that casino was okay, right?

Either way, the NFL is all about money, regardless if it has to prevent cornerbacks from touching wide receivers, pass rushers from hitting quarterbacks too hard or even if it one day it decides to get rid of helmets and pads in favor of flags because of concerns about concussions that it’s known about for a long, long time.

Perhaps one day they’ll actually decide that extra points have to be moved back a few yards – wait, that already happened.

When the NFL starts attacking office pools throughout the country during the week prior to the Super Bowl, I will believe otherwise. When the league begins creating waves about the fact that newspapers and websites all over publish betting lines for all games, then perhaps I will have a different opinion.

Until then, stand back and be prepared to duck – it looks like the NFL needs to make another buck.

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