In his debut episode of 'Then and Now', Brad Sham was joined by special guest Tony Romo. The two discussed a variety of topics, starting with retirement.
"The only good thing about having back surgery is that you start to see the end of the line sooner than you thought," Romo said. "Most people are caught off guard so when it ends, it ends quickly and abruptly. My first back surgery was in 2013 … It probably helped me transition when I decided to go away from football. I was more prepared because of the physical limitation that was happening over those 3 years. Sometimes that can be a blessing. Although, at the time, you never see it that way."
Romo went into detail about some of his proudest football moments. The top two? The 2011 game against San Francisco and the 2013 game against Washington. Yes, both were games where he got injured and then led comeback victories.
"I was super proud of fighting through the pain and figuring out a way to win," he said
Sham even asked Romo if he would want to play in a Super Bowl that he knew beforehand he wasn't going to win. His response stayed true to the competitive nature:
"You could tell me that I wouldn't win, but I'd still think that somewhere along the line I could change that. As a competitor, you always want to be playing in those games. That's always going to be the part I missed out on and that's really disappointing."
When he finally came to terms with retirement, Romo explained that he simply re-focused his competitive spirit in other avenues:
"It's all relative … If you're a competitor and you love to compete, you have the [feeling] that fires in your body that makes you love it. I'm getting the same thing with golf and with broadcasting. I want to be great and I want to make it enjoyable. At the same time, there's a process to it and you've got to grind."
He admits that there was an adjustment period and a lot of preparation once he transitioned to broadcasting:
"There were two levels to it: one – I know a lot, two – I know nothing. When I say that I mean I know about the sport at the highest of levels, so I'm talking about something that I know cold. I'm very confident in that. I was also walking into a world where I had no idea what button to push to talk to a producer. There were a lot of little things I had to figure out along the way."
Similarly, Dak Prescott is still figuring things out as the new Dallas Cowboys QB1. Romo shared his thoughts on creating a "Dak-friendly offense":
"The NFL [requires] the ability to adjust within the game, within the season, from year to year because teams are eventually going to take away what you do well … The offense needs to tailor towards what Dak does well. I think they are trying to do that now and I think they're going to do that even more next season."
Prescott will try to do the thing that Romo was not able to accomplish – win a Super Bowl. However, you won't ever hear Romo complain about not achieving that. His legacy is cemented in Cowboys history. And that legacy is one he can be proud of. Through retirement, he's learned one lesson about success and failure that he plans to pass on to his kids:
"People will appreciate the way you did things almost as much as the way you won or lost," he said.
The entire podcast episode can be found here: https://vokalnow.com/audio/1605