Its onset dawns with pale sunlight illuminating the dew on football fields all across America. Warm, rich harvest hues dot picturesque hillsides and the cool, crisp air invigorates the senses.
Finally it's the time of year for fuzzy sweaters, chilly nights, and huddling together in the stands to cheer for our team. Autumn is romantic.
Down in Dallas, autumn is as torrid as the mid-summer dog days and with each passing year, the heat is getting more and more unbearable.
Citizens of Dallas are used to sweltering weather. Losing seasons for their Cowboys are another matter. Losing seasons are unacceptable for this team, long associated with finesse, sex appeal, glamour, and winning.
The team named Forbes Magazine's Most Valuable American Sports Franchise in '08 needs to reclaim that winning spirit. Since 1998, America's team has taken five trips to the playoffs only to be knocked out in the first round in each game.
The playoff losses in '98 and '99 have as much to do with Parcells as the loss in '03 had to do with Romo. Those losses cannot be attributed to those men, but both men were touted as saviors wearing stars, yet they were the guys who were supposed to pull the Cowboys out of their playoff slump.
Parcells is long gone. He threw in the towel on his Cowboys job after a dismal season where he looked to have little control of his team and less control of "that player."
But it wasn't TO who drove the Big Tuna out of Dallas. Back at the end of the '06 season, Parcells, on HBO's Real Sports, told Andrea Kremer that Romo's inability to execute "the most elementary of plays" decided his move back into retirement.
Since Parcells' retirement, Romo has had his ups and downs. At times, his stats have been up there with the elite QBs of the league. His 37 TD passes in 2007 were second only to NFL MVP Tom Brady's record setting 50.
Yet Romo's struggles have been magnified because they have come in early playoff exits for the Cowboys.
In the 2007 playoff game, Romo threw a pick in the end zone with less than half a minute left in the game.
The 2008 playoff appearance was dismal, with Romo committing three turnovers while not throwing a single TD.
Romo has a lot to prove on the big stage this year, maybe as much if not more than any QB in the league.
He now has the all-American beauty Jessica Simpson by his side, but perhaps when a giant in the football world singles you out for the reason he is leaving football, perhaps that doesn't just go away.