What Tony Romo’s Speech Says About the State of Football

“You aren’t handed anything. You earn everything, every single day, over and over again. You have to prove it.”

By Laura RiceNovember 18, 2016 3:50 pm| ,

The Dallas Cowboys are looking awfully good right now as they head into this weekend’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Who’d have guessed back in September? Predictions grew grim after veteran quarterback Tony Romo suffered a spine fracture, ending the season for him. But under replacement Dak Prescott, the Cowboys kept on winning. It became imminently clear – and not just to Romo’s fans, but to Romo himself – that maybe the Cowboys could be champions without him as their star quarterback.

This week, Romo did something unexpected, he made a statement that had the ring of a political concession speech:

“You see football’s a meritocracy. You aren’t handed anything. You earn everything, every single day, over and over again. You have to prove it. A great example of this is Dak Prescott and what he’s done. He’s earned the right to be our quarterback.”

This speech has been getting a lot of attention this week. Daron Roberts is the founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin. He says the speech was a big, but generous move.

“In an age in which it’s very easy for all of us – and especially athletes – to issue statements via Twitter, you have the veteran quarterback on the world’s most valuable sports franchise going before the world and saying ‘I don’t deserve to be the start of this team.'”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What Romo’s speech meant in the larger context of the game

– How football is losing fans’ captivation and how the NFL can get fans back