This has been a difficult week for the type of fan that enjoys the dramatic element that only sports can provide. We could watch scripted dramas on television or read a good novel, but for many, sports are the best drama that anyone could ever imagine. It doesn't require a team of writers, because watching these hundreds of interwoven stories play out before the entire world is plenty worthy of popcorn on our couch.
Somewhere in our desire to be entertained by these gladiators who are often cast as heroes and villains because of the shirts they wear, we still want our happy endings. We want the hero to be rewarded for years and years of hard work. He will suffer his fair share of defeats and injuries, but he will, by the time the credits roll, emerge victorious against that which he battles.
We want that, and even though we know from experience that it almost never works out that way, at times like these, we are disappointed when we see our guy faced with harsh reality.
This one might not have a happy ending.
Tony Romo isn't a national hero. In many cities this week, there are plenty who are wondering what the big deal is all about.
"Romo? You would think this is Tom Brady the way they are acting down there."
It is tough to explain what wins the hearts of those who never miss a snap. Each city in this nation have their own version of Tony Romo. I was raised supporting my favorite QB Lynn Dickey, who unfortunately had seasons end with broken bones more often than the playoffs. My buddy talks about Brian Sipe as if he was Joe Montana.
Romo has had a much better career than either of those two QBs, but the point is that often an athlete grows into the DNA of a sports city in a way that those outside the borders would never understand. It isn't about Super Bowls. It is about our time together. We feel like we saw him as a boy and now we are seeing him stare his own vulnerability in the face as he ponders the end of the road.
He is the guy that was at the center of so many arguments and so many hopeful moments. The proximity to the Dirk Nowitzki fairy tale coming true had many hoping that ultimately Romo would get the last laugh and his place among true Dallas Cowboys legends of decades past.
On Tuesday, he spilled his heart and in some ways publicly surrendered to reality and pledged his allegiance to the kid who took his place as his body tried to mend one more time. It felt noble and sincere, but you had to know that deep down inside he was wrestling with his own heart through the speech.
He wants to play. This is his team. He wants to climb that mountain that will make this entire journey make sense and he stands at the foot of the hill and realizes he is not going to be allowed to do so.
Most of us will never know the life of a pro athlete. These careers go by in a blink. It has been said that athletes die twice. First, their careers and all they have worked for pass away, and then along with the rest of us mortals decades later (we hope).
But as a "Romo guy", I don't think this is his end. I think he was trying to convince everyone that he is stepping aside, but he has played football long enough to know that the next play of any game could be the one that changes everything.
And just as that put him on ice, it can also put him right back in the huddle.
I believe that sports are the best drama. And I don't believe we have seen the last of the old hero.
In sports, the scripts are better than any writers could ever hope for. With 10 more weeks of football between here and a Lombardi Trophy being awarded to the champion, surely we don't believe we have seen every plot twist.