Draft-day disappointment and the brunette blues
04:36 PM CDT on Monday, April 19, 2004
Cowboys backup quarterback Tony Romo, 23, keeps a weekly journal for CowboysPlus.com. This week, Tony discusses his draft experience (an "emotional rollercoaster"), his approach to this season, picking the horses, and, as usual, his latest great adventures with the opposite sex. A new journal is posted every Monday afternoon.
Roaming With Romo
It's April, and for some of us that means it's tax season. But for those of us who play football, it means draft time. A few buddies of mine who I played with in college have called this week asking for advice about the draft. It's funny, but so many of them have the same feelings that I had last year at this time.
I found myself this week remembering the emotional rollercoaster that I went through last year at this time. I remember all the work that I put in before the draft and the combine so that it would accumulate to a positive scenario on draft day.
The weekend of the draft was supposed to be the culmination of all the years I spent playing football. I fully expected it to be the weekend I dreamed about for a long time, but the day felt like a disapointment. I wasn't drafted and became a free agent.
The weeks leading up to the draft, all you hear about is what round you're going in and how much money you're going to get. I didn't care about that stuff. I just wanted to go into a good situation where I felt the coaches really wanted me. You are going to make plenty of money one day if you're as good as you hope to be. I admit that I was hoping to get drafted between the third and fifth round, so when that didn't happen, it was crushing.
When one door closes, though, another opens, and that was what happened with me. Twenty teams called me the day of the draft wanting me to come to their team. At the time, I thought it was a major disapointment to not be drafted, but the reality is that a lot of skilled players in our league slip through the cracks. I started to believe there were a few good things about not being drafted. I was able to pick the best situation and also pick the coach I wanted to teach me.
As I go into my second year with the Cowboys, I realize I wouldn't have changed a thing about last year's draft. I know I must compete and play well again this year to make the squad. But what a lot of people out there may not realize is that my goals are much bigger. I don't worry about getting cut because I'm too worried about becoming the player I think I should be. The one thing I learned a long time ago is that the only thing you can control is how good you are. If you work hard and use all your God-given talent, there's no telling how far you can go.
On Friday night, I went to Lone Star Park to watch the horse races with my college buddy, Shawn, [Cowboys tight end] Jason Witten, [Cowboys linebacker] Keith O'Neal and Brandon Finsterwalder. We met up with Trip Kuehne and some of his family members in their box. It was a good time, except for the money I lost. I won two of the first three races of the night, so I started telling my buddies how great at betting I was. The truth? I knew nothing about it, and had gotten lucky with my two winning picks. I wasn't going to tell my buddies about that. I was going to let them assume I was this master horse racing guru. Well, six straight losses later and a lot of my friends were reconsidering their friendship with me.
All right, here's the women and dating part. I didn't go on a date at all this week, but I did attend a fancy party Saturday night where there were a lot of women. I arrived at the party at 9 p.m. There were already 500 people there. It took place in the banquet room at a nice hotel in downtown Dallas.
My friends from SMU and I hung out and talked to a bunch of different girls throughout the night. Finally, at around 11 p.m., this attractive brunette came up to me at my table. She asked me if I was using the chair next to me. I decided last week that I've been too shy when I see a good-looking girl. I told myself the next time I see a girl who I find attractive, I am going to go talk to her or at least show her I like her. So being the Casanova that I've been lately, I proceeded to tell her I was using it, and that it was reserved for the most beautiful brunette at the party.
Now I've never given a one-liner like that before, so I was eager to see her reaction. She looked at me a little dumbfounded with her baby browns. She then gave me a sly smile, (little did I know that she was extremely witty) and said "you are so sweet."
Yes, she liked it, it actually worked. I began to ask what her name was when she said it was so nice of me to save that seat for her all night. I told her it was no problem. She then leaned over like she was going to kiss me on the cheek but instead whispered in my ear. "Try it on a blonde," she said as she grabbed the chair and took off. She did give me a smile as she walked away, though, so at least I kept my dignity