Reigniting a Rivalry
In my weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan with Chad Dukes and LaVar Arrington I made some comments regarding Tony Romo. “It’s amazing, amazing to watch him choke like that … there’s no way that Detroit is gonna drive on you that many times. The only way you’re gonna give up that many points is turnovers, right? It was hilarious to watch him throw pick-sixes, too, back to back. I loved it.” The conversation then turned to a hypothetical cage match between Romo and myself, which I insinuated that I would win because of my wrestling background. And now, a joking, lighthearted situation, which in my opinion, has received 15 times the 15 minutes of fame it deserved, warrants my response.
In a league full of glad-handing and ass slapping between competing teams, I actually care about the organization and fan base that has supported me throughout my 8-year career. While I feel an honest respect for all NFL players, I show no remorse in cheering against another team, especially the Cowboys. If it sounded like I was delighted by Tony Romo’s failure last week, I was. Though I have no personal vendetta toward Romo, my feelings for him had nothing to do with me reveling in a divisional foe blowing the biggest 2nd half lead in the history of its proud franchise. Now before the rivalry-igniting defense of my comments, I would like to state a couple of facts:
In a new age where professional athletes can “engage” with their fans like never before, it has become evident that the NFL is an entertainment-based business. Though players earn their worth on the football field, there’s not a player in the league unfamiliar with the media. And as a player who has decided to share my real personality with the fan base, I make a clear choice with expressing my political incorrectness as an entertaining attempt to engage as a real person. I will not apologize if my sense of humor and hint of sarcasm is difficult to ascertain by the more serious NFL supporters. I will never make an apology to any offended Dallas fans and I expect every Redskin fan to cheer at the folly of a Cowboy.
That said, after seeing the frenzy of peevish Cowboy fan banter over the past 24 hours I have to say that the peculiar defense of “America’s quarterback” has completely blown me away. From genius talking heads like Skip Bayless and former Maryland great Norman Esiason to the bible thumping twitter bullies, it’s very clear that a cult like group of Dallas supporters has emerged to stand in defense of the epic Tony Romo. To them, my tongue-and-cheek opinions scream sacrilege and idiocy. It’s a funny thing, the way simple lighthearted banter can change gears so quickly, but that’s part of the amazing world of sports fanatics. You don’t want me to be boring, but as soon as I’m entertaining I’m crossing a line. You can’t have it both ways.
Finally, those of you that responded on Twitter, you made this easy. Your clumsy charm and the outpouring of the appalling tweets has inspired me to feed the fire of an NFL rivalry that seems in need the more flame. Thank you for caring so much. I genuinely appreciate you making me the number 1 Google search yesterday. I’d like to give a special thanks to those fans who want to choke me out, burn my house down and not only see me endure career ending injury, but break my neck and die. Clearly football is important to you, you are the people who make the NFL what it is!
I’m aware at this point, that I could choose the high road, but a little pettiness makes for much more fun. Plus, I’m assuming if you tweeted you wouldn’t mind a response. I would have loved to spend more time with more responses because it really was fun, but I just picked a couple. Oh and Skip Bayless, I didn’t forget you. I just haven’t decided if I should hoot and holler on air or take the time to write something nice for you. If you have an opinion either way let me know