Tony Romo loves to win. But does he really hate to lose?
After his playoff pratfalls, late-season hiccups and post-game "The sun'll come out tomorrow" bullshit press conferences, I think it's a legitimate question.
Romo regressed dramatically this season. In ball security. In practice habits. In decision-making. And, mostly, in leadership.
Remember his comments after the Cowboys' 44-6 season-ending debacle in Philly. Went something like this:
"I wake up tomorrow and keep living. You don't deal with it. You just keep playing the game. It's a fun game, and it's enjoyable. We're going to try to win next year. We're going to try and get back in the playoffs, and we're going to try to win a Super Bowl. If you don't, okay. If you do, okay. Then you're really a great player. If you don't, you're just a solid, good player, and I'll have to deal with that, not you guys. That's just part of the job. I've had a lot worse things happen to me than a loss in a sporting event, that's for sure. If this is the worst thing that ever happens to me, then I'll have lived a pretty good life."
Sound like a captain with a broken heart? A hardened resolve? An unyielding desire to eradicate the misery?
But wait, it just got worse.
Before we could fully comprehend just how hard Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman would cringe at that quote, Romo added an "aw, shucks" cherry atop his "whatever, dude" sundae over the weekend.
In an interview with Racine, Wisconsin's Journal Times, the quarterback whose fame and fortune greatly outweigh his performance and production talks of being cool with never winning a Super Bowl. Jeeeesh:
"If I'm never going to win the Super Bowl, I'll be content in life. I'll be disappointed because that's what I wanted to do. At that same point, it's not going to be something that makes me a better human being. I think I'm going to work very hard to try to obtain those goals. But I'm not going to pretend to say that that's what life's all about either."
Cowboys' fans are a rabid, irrationally loyal lot. They want - they deserve - to have their players care at least half as much about winning as they do. Right?
The Cowboys need a leader like powerful Patton; they're stuck with one closer to philosophical Plato.
Go back and re-read both of Romo quotes. Now, immerse yourself in this post-game, press-conference attitude from Florida's Tim Tebow. His team had just been upset by Mississippi back in September. The Gators never lost again.
"To the fans and everybody of Gator Nation, I'm sorry. Extremely sorry. We wanted an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida has never done here. I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see another player push his team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless."
No way around it, Tebow is a better leader than Romo. Any argument?
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I'm not saying Romo can't or won't lead the Cowboys to a playoff win, or even a Super Bowl. What I am saying unequivocally is that he seems a little too content and satisfied with his spot on life's ladder to trouble himself with how the hell to get up to the next rung.
No, football isn't life or death. But he is, after all, the quarterback of America's Team. I'd just like to see more fire in the belly and a smidge of distaste for losing. Romo reacts to catastrophic defeats like someone who just lost a backyard volleyball game at the annual family reunion.
Think back to those stories about the great ones. Gretzky. Jordan. Montana. Remember the common-thread line about them being so ultra-competive, so desperately motivated to win? Anywhere. Any time. At anything.
Just wondering if Romo hates to lose at checkers?