As he enters his seventh season in broadcasting, Tony Romo has gone from (for some) the flavor of the month to (for others) a stale and moldy crust of Wonder bread.
Romo says he doesn't mind the criticism that emerged and grew during the 2022 season.
“When you play quarterback in the NFL, the criticism that you’re going to get as far as the ups and downs of that world, I mean, you throw an interception to lose a football game and back then, as I tell people, this was the opening of SportsCenter the next day,” Romo told Richard Deitsch of TheAthletic.com. “There was no Twitter or anything, and you feel that. I had plenty of great moments that I would never change, and I wish I could have brought a Super Bowl to the Cowboys. That’s always going to be a regret that I wasn’t able to do that. But these things harden you. They give you a turtle shell. What you’re describing isn’t even criticism. There’s levels to this thing. When you lose a game [as a player], you feel people walking up to you on the street.”
As a broadcaster, there are no wins and losses. And the criticism doesn't impact the manner in which people react when they see someone they recognize from TV.
“People come to me now and say they love our crew, they love how we do it," Romo told Deitsch. "Like anything, we’ve been at such a high level doing this for so long that it doesn’t matter who you are, people are not going to continually write the same article about how great you are. I mean, you wouldn’t do that. You’re not going to continually write, ‘They are the best,’ over and over again. They might still think it, but people have to find things to write. I think that’s just part of human nature."
He has a point. For me, Romo is no different now than he was when he started. Yes, he no longer engages in the inside-info parlor trick of guessing plays. Other than that, he's the same as he always was.
So why all the criticism?
“There’s agendas," Romo told Deitsch. "People like clicks. I mean, that’s a real thing. And I think they should. I think it’s all a positive. Talking about it, it helps all of the NFL. Our job is to go out there and perform like we’ve done and try to always do our best. I think we’ve done a great job with that. You’re looking at a very talented group here. Like all things, we’re going to go and try to put our best foot forward.”
He's got the right attitude. And it surely helps that he's making so much money to do what he does.
Anyone who performs in a public setting invites criticism from those who have a quick and easy voice on social media. Frankly, if you're not being criticized, you're not being noticed.
In broadcasting, as in every business, there are plenty of people who are entirely unremarkable. Romo definitely isn't one of those people.