Yesterday, I wrote an article about Tony Romo’s sudden fame. The point of my article was to bring out the way in which celebrity is made in America today, and how I’m fine with Romo living it up, as long as he wins football games. It wasn’t an indictment of Romo or in praise of Romo; it was just saying its fine being a part-time celebrity, as long as your primary gig – starting NFL QB – continues to prosper.
Now today, we have not one, but two articles from the local newspapers talking about Romo’s celebrity and how that intersects with his day-job – being an NFL QB. They aren’t the first articles to talk about Romo and celebrity, but both of them seem to build on the same themes I brought up in my article.
I guess my question is: Are the mainstream writers reading this blog and getting ideas for articles?
The first one I read was JJT’s article in the DMN. It runs along very similar themes as mine did, except JJT takes the defense of Romo’s work ethic and ability to juggle the two worlds to a more pointed level than I attempted. But JJT’s opening paragraph is very similar to the tone I was striking in my article.
Tony Romo is a 27-year-old millionaire who quarterbacks America's Team. He lives a life most of us have fantasized about at one time or another.
Then I read Gil LeBreton’s article in the DFW S-T. His article takes the other side of the coin and thinks that Romo’s celebrity could be a detriment to his day-job of being the Cowboys starting QB. But his article really lifted some of my themes, like "Googling" Romo’s name.
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:
A quick search on Google for the words "Tony Romo"" and "Hollywood"" produced 153,000 responses. A second search, this time replacing Romo's name with "Troy Aikman," found only 38,800 occurrences.
...what male could begrudge him for dating Carrie Underwood?
...it's hard to begrudge Romo his 15 minutes of fame.
In my take I referenced a few obscure reality shows as a comic device to show where Romo could end up if he doesn’t produce for the Cowboys over the next couple of years. LeBreton sprinkles in obscure reality shows and other TV programs to illustrate where Romo might be if he fails to deliver.
So what do you think? Were these guys copping my ink, or were they just writing about something that was inevitable, and had no relation to my article?
BTB-regular Impatient has a diary going about the JJT article, while BTB-regular dunkman has one on the Gil LeBreton article.
Update [2007-6-4 12:40:30 by Grizz]: There were some good comments below on this post so I thought I’d add a little more clarity. I don’t want to leave the impression that I mind if the mainstream guys are getting ideas from here. In fact, I would actually be flattered to some extent, even though I don’t agree with everything in the articles, especially LeBreton’s. I just wonder about it because the mainstream Dallas papers seem to rarely acknowledge blogs, except their own, but it appears they’re reading them – and message boards. Some other NFL city-papers have linked or referenced blogs from SB Nation and other networks, but not so much in Big D. Now, the DMN blog has linked me a couple of times and I appreciate that, as much as I link to them.
My blog has to rely on the mainstream press because the Cowboys as an organization do not offer media access to blogs and message boards or any kind of new media - excepting their own site, DallasCowboys.com. You have to be affiliated with a big magazine, TV station or newspaper to get credentialed. So I have to rely on the mainstream guys for quotes and insider information – however reliable that truly is. But I sure do link to them a lot, so it would be nice if every once in a while they gave the little guys some love. At least I know Matt Mosley reads the blog, since he linked to me in his blogroll from day one on his blog Hashmarks.
I thought this was interesting. It seems there is some question about whether Tony Romo really did struggle down the stretch last year. I’ve written a few times that he did, and that he must play like the guy in the first six games instead of the last four games for the Cowboys to succeed this year. His numbers were down, the turnovers were up, and his general command of the game was not as effective down the stretch. To me this was obvious, and has nothing to do with Romo’s future potential, but just a reminder that all QB’s struggle at times, especially early in their playing career. The DMN blog did the work I was too lazy to do and reviewed those final games of the season and came to the conclusion he struggled.
I know the excuse is he was trying to do too much because of the leaky defense, but I don’t buy that at all. He threw a crucial INT early in the Saints game, which was the game that started the trend of erratic play, and he threw another one in the second-half of that game. Again, go back to the simplest solution. Either Romo somehow decided in his mind that the defense was going to let him down starting with the Saints game, so he pressed in that game and all the following ones as the solution. Or, the other answer - that defenses finally started putting together a solid game plan that worked to some extent in bothering Romo, thus causing him to have some up-and-down games.
And by the way, all these articles about Tony Romo that I’ve written lately are in no way meant to imply that Romo won’t be successful or doesn’t have what it takes. Quite the contrary, I think Romo will be successful and has the potential to be a great QB in this league. But I’m also writing with a critical eye, and I need to expose the bad with the good. I think the DMN blog said it best when it said:
But if you don't think he struggled down the stretch last season, you need to take off the silver-and-blue shades.
You can criticize or analyze a player and point out the faults, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t believe in that player, that you still don’t believe he will succeed. I believe Tony Romo will succeed.