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Tony Romo: American Dream

Imagine if you entered the name Tony Romo into Google News on June 3rd, 2006 – one year ago today. What kind of results do you think you would’ve got? Probably a mixture of roster reviews where his name is just a blurb in a list of players, or maybe a little about his negotiations for a new contract.

Well, if you do it today, you’ll get headlines like these:

Romo empathizes with Miss USA’s fall on stage
Jessica Simpson accepts Tony Romo's Dallas invite?
Carrie Underwood and Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo Bench Relationship
Miss Japan Wins Miss Universe, Tony Romo Judges

That’s how far Tony Romo’s fame has progressed.

Outside of the obsessive fans that haunt this blog and other Cowboys message boards, most of America had never heard of Tony Romo last year. Now he dates an American Idol – or just dumped one, depending on which rumor you believe. Romo is the embodiment of American popular culture in the new millennium. A sudden rise to fame, more famous for who he dates than who he is, and accorded more press than his short career rightly deserves. But none of this is Romo’s fault. He’s just playing the hand that’s dealt him.

Romo appears to have the right attitude to handle this fame. The story of his judging the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico one night, and showing up at practice the next day, says that he gets it. It shows an understanding that we, meaning Cowboys fans and the American public in general, don’t mind if Romo lives the good life - what male could begrudge him for dating Carrie Underwood? - as long as he understands that the good life is only available to him through athletic achievement. Unless he can act or sing, he better win football games or he’ll end up on The Surreal Life. Or become an in-house analyst for ESPN, which is the next closest thing.

Tony Romo has been compared to Brett Favre, and on the field that’s a pretty good assessment. But off the field, Romo is more like Tom Brady. Of course, Brady was famous after winning the Super Bowl. Remember, just like Romo, Brady replaced Bledsoe mid-season, but took his team all the way to the championship. After that, he kept winning and became one of America’s top bachelors. Romo, on the other hand, ended his season with one of the most famous botched holds in NFL history. (as seen in this recreation)

Here’s some of the Google News headlines for Tom Brady for today, June 3rd, 2007.

Tom Brady on Fatherhood: 'Holy (Bleep), I Have No Control'
Candidate Attacks Tom Brady's Morals
Brady's impending fatherhood creating both jokes and controversy
Gisele Bundchen Prepares a Love Nest in Gotham for Tom Brady

It’s a pretty straight line from Romo’s headlines to Brady’s headlines. And it’s all good if Romo can win like Brady.

Romo has one built in advantage; he’s the QB for America’s Team. That’s always a plus in getting publicity and being in the headlines. When you’re playing for America’s Team, and dating an American Idol, and your front-page news before you’ve even won something big, then you’re living the American Dream – at least the male version.

Now, just win some football games and we won’t be overly jealous of the good life. But if you lose ... a guest spot as a judge on America’s Got Talent is in your future.

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