A year ago, Tony Romo shocked football fans across the nation with his retirement from the NFL. While many expected Romo to leave the Dallas Cowboys to sign with a team in need of a veteran quarterback, Romo took a new path by stepping into the broadcast booth with CBS. Fast-forward to 2018, Tony Romo is easily one of the most entertaining analysts in professional sports, across all networks.
Although a lot has changed for Romo in the past couple years, one thing that has stayed constant is his annual youth football camp at his alma mater, Burlington High School. Reuniting with Coach Steve Tenhagen, the two helped coach some of Wisconsin’s next football stars on Thursday afternoon.
Check out our photos of Tony Romo’s youth football camp below.
Super Bowl LII brought us one of the most explosive offensive showdowns in NFL playoff history, and of all the ways that could have turned out, Nick Foles and the Eagles outdueled Tom Brady and the Patriots. Philadelphia finally won its Super Bowl,the fans went wild, and another NFL season was put on the books. Before we move on to conversations about the NFL Draft and other sports, however, it feels necessary to recap some of the craziest things that happened in a wild, dramatic game.
1. Brandin Cooks Took A (Legal) Helmet-to-Helmet Hit
We’ll start with this because it’s probably the most important thing that happened in the Super Bowl, even if it’s not fun to talk about. Heading into this game, talk about the NFL’s concussion problem seemed to be at an all-time high. There were articles written about why we continue to watch football when we know the players are sustaining brain injuries, and there was even talk in detailed game previews thatRob Gronkowski’s concussion could be a factor. The Patriots star sustained a hit to the head in the AFC Championship game and though he was cleared to play there were more than a few questions about whether he ought to have been.
It wasn’t Gronkowski that wound up having issues with this sort of thing during the game, but seemingly inevitably there was a concussion. Another Patriots star, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, took a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit and was ruled out for the rest of the game. The trouble, and what made it crazy, was that the hit was ruled legal simply because Cooks had established himself as a runner after a catch. This kind of technicality is frankly absurd when player safety is already such an issue, and it ought to be dealt with during the offseason.
2. Malcolm Butler Was Benched
Malcolm Butler is one of the Patriots’ best defensive players – and for that matter one who’s helped them win a Super Bowl before. And for seemingly no reason at all, he was suddenly benched for the Super Bowl. Head coach Bill Belichick made a vague remark about making the decisions he needed to for his team to win. Butler himself said he had no idea what had happened, and that the team had given up on him. Huh?
This would have been a crazy decision by an all-time great coach even if we just saw it on paper before the game. What made it completely insane was that the Patriots’ other cornerbacks got absolutely torched the entire game. Eric Rowe, who started in Butler’s place and played most of the game, allowed six catches for 79 yards. The others in the secondary didn’t do much better. Butler indicated after the game that he could have changed the outcome, and he’s probably right.
3. Nick Foles Caught A Touchdown
At one point in this game the Patriots reached into their bag of tricks and tried a play out of the shotgun resulting in two handoffs and a pass attempt to a (slowly) streaking Tom Brady. The play worked like a charm, but for the fact that the ball was thrown just a few inches too far and Brady’s outstretched fingertips were unable to make the catch. Just a short time later, the Eagles decided to get cheeky and run more or less the exact same play – only theirs was in the red zone and resulted in Nick Foles catching a touchdown. It was undoubtedly the play that will get talked about most from Super Bowl LII, and it was wild.
4. Tom Brady Fumbled Late
When Tom Brady gets the ball back and has a chance to win the game, you assume he’s going to win the game. That’s an enormous credit to the Patriots’ 21st century-long dynasty and the greatness of Brady himself, even if people are tired of acknowledging it. The fact that New England overcame the biggest deficit in Super Bowl history just last year only added to the feeling that no lead against them is safe, even late in the game.
So, when the Eagles took the lead and Brady got the ball back with a little over two minutes to go, it looked like we were watching a familiar script play out. The Eagles had left too much time on the clock and Brady would be able to do his thing. But that’s just not how it played out this time, and at this point that’s thoroughly unexpected. Seemingly before the drive could even get started Brady’s pocket collapsed and the ball was knocked out of his hand for a clear fumble, which Philly recovered.
5. Eli Manning Stole The Show
Leave it to Eli Manning and the Giants to upstage the Patriots in a Super Bowl. Despite the fact that the Giants had a deeply disappointing 2017 season and weren’t in the playoffs to spoil the party for Brady and Co. on the field, Manning and his leading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made their presence felt. The two starred in a Dirty Dancing spoof that’s widely being labeled as the best ad of the Super Bowl (though it’s hard to argue against the Doritos/Mountain Dew double ad featuring Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman). It was a terrific ad, and one that brought a dose of levity to the occasion.
A lot has changed since Tony Romo’s last visit to his hometown of Burlington, WI, for his annual youth football camp. After suffering a back injury during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott stepped up to the plate for the Dallas Cowboys, leading the team to the best record in the NFC. Romo only saw action for one drive, in the team’s last regular season match up, which to no surprise, ended with a touchdown.
Many speculated what was next for Romo. Would he move a few hours south and lead the Houston Texans to their first Super Bowl? Would the Denver Broncos repeat their success with Peyton Manning, by inviting another veteran QB to lead their team? Or would Romo remain with America’s Team, either as a starting quarterback or to back up Prescott? To the surprise of many, Tony Romo instead announced his retirement and accepted a highly coveted broadcasting job with CBS. Football would remain part of Romo’s daily routine, but with a very different role.
While so much is changing for Romo, today was all about familiarity for the Wisconsin-native. Returning to his alma mater, Burlington High School, to join Coach Steve Tenhagen for their annual youth football camp, Tony Romo took a break from his training with CBS to give back to his hometown.
Check out our photos of Tony Romo’s youth football camp below and read what Tony had to say at his first press conference since announcing his retirement here.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Tony Romo has always drawn comparisons to Green Bay Packers’ legend, Brett Favre, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. During his hometown visit to Burlington, WI, for his annual youth football camp, fans couldn’t help but wonder if Romo will change his mind on retirement, just like Brett Favre in 2008.
Romo doubled down on his commitment to his new gig with CBS, stating, “I’m comfortable with where I’m at, and I feel good about the decision. You never really know ultimately how you’re going to feel until you decide to stop playing and that decision was obviously a very difficult time.” Romo continued, “I’m excited about the next opportunity. For me, a lot will be learned through experience. I learned that a long time ago with football.”
However, for those who are still crossing their fingers that Romo answers the phone and comes out of retirement, if any team (including the Cowboys) is in need of a quarterback to make a legendary run in the playoffs, there is good news.
When we asked Tony if he is staying in shape, when compared to previous years where he was preparing for the football season, Tony half-jokingly told us that he is in “the best shape of (his) life.” Romo explained, “I’ve had the same routine. That hasn’t change too much.”
“I haven’t exactly been squatting 400 pounds the past 3 or 4 years, once I had the back surgery I had to adjust everything (but) my routine and workout really hasn’t changed since football season.”
Although Tony didn’t state that continuing his workout routine was to keep his options open in case he decides to return to football, it’s good to know that the Cowboys’ all-time leader in passing yards is physically ready to go if he decides to make one last run.
One reason, of many, that Tony cited for his decision to join CBS was his family. Currently awaiting the birth of his third child, all of which are boys, we asked Romo if there was ever a name he wanted for one of his boys that ultimately received a veto from his wife.
“Yeah, Tony was one of them,” Romo told us. “But that (name) kind of got the boot pretty good. It got dismissed,” Romo joked.
Tony Romo also paid homage to Burlington legend, Don Dalton, who recently passed away at the age of 75. Romo told reporters about how the former Burlington Football coach was the reason he began playing football in high school.
Romo, having missed the deadline to enroll his high school’s football program, was approached by Dalton, who encouraged Romo to join the team. Although Romo thought it was too late to join, it was Don Dalton who made it happen.
“I think he saw something in me obviously. He knew that I had a chance to be a decent player,” Romo told reporters. Who would have guessed that years later Romo would be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
And just as Dalton made a mark on a young Tony Romo, Romo continued to pay it forward today, giving advice to some of the area’s youth athletes for his annual football camp.
Never forgetting where he came from, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo returned to hometown of Burlington, WI for his annual youth football camp today. In a closed press conference, Romo took questions from the media and addressed the importance of giving back to his hometown, stressing that it’s not just about teaching the game but sometimes “it’s just about giving high-fives” and encouraging our athletes of tomorrow. And Romo did just that. Working alongside coaches from Burlington High School’s football program, Romo and Coach Steve Tenhagen taught the kids fundamentals, while pushing them to try their best, and most importantly, to have fun.
Tony wasn’t the Romo to steal to show today however. It was the adorable Rivers Romo (2), accompanied by his big brother Hawkins (4) who were the center of attention for many. A big basketball fan himself, Romo pulled “a Stephen Curry” by inviting his children to share the stage during his press conference, addressing questions about his camp, recovery, and upcoming seasons while the boys tried their best to sit patiently. Throughout the day, when he wasn’t mentoring future stars of South Eastern Wisconsin, America’s quarterback played with Rivers and Hawkins, gave Rivers a seat on his lap in the golf cart while the rain started to fall down, and overall showed us why he is as great of a dad as he is a Pro Bowl quarterback.
Check out our photos of Tony Romo’s youth football camp and press conference below.
Broadcasting in 212 territories spanning 643 million homes and a potential TV viewership of 4.7 billion people, the Barclays Premier League is the most watched soccer league in the world. These numbers reflect the popularity of a sport that has continuous action on and sometimes off the pitch. It’s also a testament of an increasing fan base that covers almost all continents around the globe. However, for American sports fans, it’s still somewhat of a challenge appreciating the league as a whole and rooting for a specific club.
Part of the United States’ lack of appeal with soccer is it’s equally fascinating sports teams in major leagues such as the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the Major League Baseball, and the National Football League. Take our beloved Chicago, for instance. Our city takes pride in having the most marketable teams in the world. The teams obviously include the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Cubs, and the Bears – all of which consider the Windy City their home. But for prospective fans of the Premier League, it’s not too late to start cheering for a soccer club; all it takes is a little mirror comparison with these Chicago-based teams.
Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Like the Chicago Bulls, Chelsea has seen a lot of ups and downs in recent memory. The club has gone from the pinnacle of the Premier League to the base of relegation and back. Before the beginning of the season, Chelsea were favorites to recapture the crown. Now though, they are facing life without successful manager Jose Mourinho and their captain John Terry who announced his intentions to leave when he becomes a free agent. Additionally, as the roll of the ball would have it – like the Bulls – the Blues are underachieving this season. On the other side of the coin, it still has iconic players, akin to the Michael Jordans, the Scottie Pippens, and the Derrick Roses of the NBA, like John Terry, who has been with the club since the start of his youth career in 1995, for now at least.
Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have become perennial contenders for the Stanley Cup trophy. Manchester City, on the other hand, have also comfortably settled with competing at the top of the Premier League table in the last 5 seasons. Both teams recently won championships and even continued to revamp their rosters from top to bottom. For Chicago Blackhawks sports fans, City remains their soccer counterpart, especially with all the key acquisitions and the potential to once again bag the title.
Chicago Cubs (MLB)
They say that misery loves company. And what better way to share the dishonor of decade’s even century’s worth of frustration than in sports. The Chicago Cubs and Newcastle United have a common denominator in terms of being a wealthy team that has never won a league championship in almost a century. In layman’s term, they are these popular, overly attractive prom queens who grew up to always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. With the way things are going right now for the Magpies, the team looks like they will drop down from maid of honor to an evening guest.
Chicago Bears (NFL)
After selling Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke to Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively, Aston Villa’s future in Premier League looks bleak. There will always be history involved when talking about the Villans, as they are (or were) a strong English team that are appealing and intriguing at the same time. With the infamous Tim Sherwood receiving his pink slip in the midst of a dismal season, who knows what the future holds for Aston Villa in the Championship next season.
Ever since Judd Apatow’s “40 Year Old Virgin”, where Paul Rudd’s character told Seth Rogen’s, “you know how I know you’re gay? You like Coldplay”, it has been uncool to be a Coldplay fan. And as crazy as it sounds, and while no one should every denial the cultural influence that the comedic genius Judd Apatow has on society, that small joke has almost single handedly made it lame to like Coldplay. As a result, given today’s reports that Chris Martin and company will be headlining the NFL’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, everyone on your Twitter and Facebook feed has gone nuts! Year-by-year, the Superbowl is criticized for it’s relatively safe and underwhelming choices for the Halftime Show, and while fans this year are probably more upset than ever, they are wrong.
On the surface, given the unwarranted hate that they get, Coldplay seems like another bust for what could be an epic performance on America’s most watched event. Hell, the highlight of Katy Perry’s performance last year was a meme that came from a guy in a Shark suit who couldn’t dance along to Perry’s colorful performance. Why no Drake? Why no Kanye West? Why no Adele, even? Those are valid questions, but don’t sleep on Coldplay!
A few years ago, I was offered a free ticket to see Coldplay at the United Center in Chicago. Because I had no other plans, because the ticket was free, because I wasn’t driving, I decided to go (note that I was not a Coldplay fan). To me, when I heard “Coldplay” I instantly thought of that hilarious one liner from “40 Year Old Virgin”, I didn’t think, “great entertainers”. Going into the performance, for no rational reasons at all, I expected not to enjoy myself.
Boy was I wrong! In the past year alone, having the opportunity to see some great live performers up close and personal in the photo pit, I’ve seen amazing sets from Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Neil Young and many many more. Not knowing the exact number, I’ve probably seen 200+ concerts in the past couple years alone. However, still Coldplay’s performance from the 300 level of the UC stands out as one of the best concerts I have ever seen. The performance had unmatched energy from everyone on stage and an entertaining set-up and light show that has been replicated by many since. At this time especially, artists did not put a lot of money back into their performances, and for this reason Coldplay’s performance that night was well ahead of its time. I could write 1,000 words on what made that performance stand out, but I will spare you too many spoilers from what you will see in 2016.
Reminder, I am not a Coldplay fan, not then and still not now. That is no disrespect to Chris Martin, rather there are just so many artists and bands I can regularly listen to and their sound generally isn’t my go-to sound. But I can’t deny their stage presence, their live performances, the energy they put into those live performances, and in general their ability to craft a more than memorable show.
Hit me up if I am wrong, but I bet Coldplay’s performance at this year’s Super Bowl will leave a ton of people surprised and will gain them a whole new fan base. You heard it here first…
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