Tony Romo had a weekend to remember forever when he played the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with Tiger Woods. Romo had a good weekend hitting the ball. Meanwhile, Woods slipped out of the top 10 in the final round on Sunday to finish tied for 15th at eight under par.
Some might look at this weekend and shrug at any thought of an impact on the Dallas Cowboys quarterback. Cowboys fans might look at it as a mere brush in the limelight for Romo. They might see it as a publicity stunt. Others might see it as an opportunity for Romo to flake at a different sport.
Football fans in general might see Romo and Woods as an odd juxtaposition of athletes, a golf legend in Woods standing next to a quarterback often thought of as a choke artist in Romo.
However, this line of thought would be cruelly superficial. Such thinking dismisses any encouragement or pointers Romo might have received from Woods. This attitude treats Romo as unable of learning from a sporting legend like Woods.
Truly, Romo benefited greatly from golfing with Woods this weekend. Follow along to find out what Romo gained from playing with Woods.
The most important thing Tony Romo took from the experience golfing at Pebble Beach with Tiger Woods is a confidence boost. That's important after going through another season in which Romo missed out on the playoffs.
Romo felt he received an abundance of good pointers from Woods. "I was kind of wanting Tiger to stop spending so much time helping me and focus on winning," Romo said, via ESPNDallas/Fort Worth. "But that's the kind of guy he is. I wish more people got to see how generous he is."
Surely, Woods helped Romo hitting shots. Woods might have helped Romo, a scratch golfer see the course in a different way.
Moreover, Woods helped him learn things as a competitor. Romo acknowledged this, telling the Dallas Morning News, "There's a lot on the mental side that I'll be able to take back to football."
Romo even impressed another member of his foursome, Phil Mickelson, by giving Mickelson a tip on one hole.
Tiger Woods did a bit better after the Pro-Am than other tournaments in which he's fallen short. Woods cried at the end, which is perfectly acceptable. That's better than him cursing at his clubs and giving curt answers to the press.
Tony Romo is often criticized for how he handles adversity. Romo sometimes hangs his head or smiles weakly after mistakes or poor games. That doesn't play well with football people, since they want their players to be hard and intense after poor performances.
However, as Woods affirmed in his actions after the Pro-Am, a player doesn't have to be a headcase after a loss. Woods, typically a sore loser, showed that an athlete can walk on after losing.
Both Tiger Woods and Tony Romo continue to endure criticism. Woods tied Michael Vick for the top spot on Forbes' list of America's Most Disliked Athletes. Romo made Forbes' list of Most Disliked NFL Players.
Tiger is criticized for personal issues. Many people, despite their own personal baggage, like to heap on criticism on Woods because he messed around with numerous women. The fallout likely caused Woods to leave golf for a year and he faced a divorce. The criticism persists even though Woods has moved on.
Football observers like to nitpick Romo's losses. Romo has blown several games in his NFL career. He botched a snap in the 2007 playoffs on a would-be game-winning field goal, although flopping a K-ball is a typical mistake for a green quarterback.
Romo even gets torn apart for less horrific losses. He took the blame after a Week 14 loss to the New York Giants in which he overthrew Miles Austin on the next-to-last series, although the defense was a bigger issue in the loss.
Football observers may take a long time to realize how good Romo is. The best season of his career was overlooked as he and the Cowboys missed the playoffs.
Woods surely had good advice for Romo in overcoming the criticism that comes with being a star athlete. They might have talked about the importance of brushing it aside.
Both surely realize that it's important not to let critiques consume them.
An important lesson Tony Romo likely took from playing with Tiger Woods this past weekend is that different athletes rise to champion status in different way.
Woods is among the most accomplished athletes. He has earned 98 tournaments wins as a professional golfer, including 14 majors. For a time, he was the highest earning player in golf.
Romo has yet to become a Super Bowl champion. He has only one playoff win in five years as a starter. However, he has refined his game to the point where he is positioned to take a talented team deep in the playoffs if healthy.
Woods may have given Romo lessons in how different athletes rise differently. He could simply point at Phil Mickelson as one who had to collapse several times before winning a major tournament. Romo could certainly relate to Mickelson, whom many had believed for a long time to be unable to win a major tournament.
Also, Woods could remind Romo that not everyone is an instant champion. Just because Romo hasn't quickly risen to champion status like Woods and Tom Brady doesn't mean he can't. Woods may have encouraged Romo that he's capable of climbing that mountain, that he has the talent and the attitude and that he simply needs to maintain the heart of a competitor.