"Chuckling With Irony"

Marshall Colt, the guy who fumbled away the Big Game in North Dallas Forty, is now a sports-psychology consultant. Uh...Tony?

This week's issue of Sports Illustrated, which is out today, doesn't merely point out the obvious (and the already pointed-out): that Tony Romo's bobble of the field-goal snap Saturday night reminded everyone watching the Cowboys-Seahawks game of the championship-rumble fumble at the end of North Dallas Forty. No, SI goes one step further and actually interviews Marshall Colt, who played backup QB Art Hartman in the movie -- the guy who pulled the big-screen Romo 28 years earlier.

Indeed, the magazine points out many similarities between the two events. They're after the jump, since the For the Record section of the magazine isn't online. Here's a tease: Colt, who quit acting about 11 years ago (after a Walker, Texas Ranger appearance, which totally makes sense), now has himself a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. If anyone has Colt's number, please pass it along to Tony Romo. Oh, wait. Here's his Web site. --Robert Wilonsky

TRAILING IN the dying seconds of a pivotal game, Dallas sees its shot at a comeback win disappear and its season end when its holder, a quarterback who wears number 9, muffs a perfect snap on a short kick. That was the fate that befell the Cowboys last Saturday night in Seattle (page 50). It's also precisely how the classic 1979 movie North Dallas Forty ends, a coincidence that was not lost on Marshall Colt, who played the butterfingered holder in the film (left). "I was chuckling with irony watching that game," says Colt.

Since his turn as North Dallas Bulls born-again backup QB Art Hartman in Forty, which SI ranked as the 16th best sports film of all time in 2003, Colt has given up acting and earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. He does work as a management consultant and as a sports-psychology consultant which Romo (below) could probably use right about now. "With athletes, you've got to do damage control to prevent them from fixating on a mistake," says Colt. "If he overconcentrates on this, it could have long-term consequences on his psyche."

And Colt, whose character's miscue cost the Bulls the conference championship, has a message for fans who might be a bit upset with Hartman's real-life doppleg�nger. "Go easy on Mr. Romo," he says. "All athletes make mistakes. It was just his turn."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky