Can Somebody Please Define The Term "Big Game"?

robert aSenior Analyst IDecember 11, 2008

I have searched the Merriam Webster dictionary. I have pulled my dusty Encyclopedia Britannica off of the top of my book shelf. I have even tried such electronic resources as and Wikipedia, and I cannot find a clear definition for "Big Game" to save my life.

Can someone please help me here. My brain is spinning. All I want for Christmas is a conclusive, descriptive, and objective definition for what in the hell a "Big Game" is.

Maybe it is because I live in Dallas, home of the most polarizing football team in the NFL. It could be because I listen to sports radio on my way to work and again on my way home. Possibly, it is because whenever I have free time, I peruse sports blogs, message boards, and news site.

Whatever the reason, it seems that all I have heard since watching the Dallas Cowboys lose a heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers is that "Tony Romo cannot win the 'Big Game.'" Says who? What is a "Big Game," and how does one figure that Romo has never won one?

Some people say that a "Big Game" is a playoff game, and a playoff game only. Others maintain that games late in the season (say December?) should be considered. I have heard division games, conference games, a game you must win, a game you shouldn't win, a game on Monday night, a game on Sunday night, and even the first game of the season are all "Big Games". After all, you have to start the season on a high note, don't you? Yeah, the first game of the season must be a "Big Game."

The fact is, everybody throws the term around, but nobody knows what it means. It is subjective, not objective, and that is why it should never be used as anyone's argument as to why, or why not, somebody is or is not a great player.

When I started this editorial, I intended it to be a defense of Cowboy's quarterback Tony Romo, who has been under fire all week for his inability to win a "Big Game." He played terribly, scratch that, he played atrociously last Sunday. I spent much of my afternoon screaming at the television set, "What the HELL are you doing, Tony?!?!"

At the end of the day, however, never did it cross my mind that Romo "can't win a big one." I have seen him win a handful of games that were, in my mind, "Big Games" over the course of his short playing career.

So I was going to defend my quarterbacks honor and show everyone that he is, in fact, a quarterback that can and has won "Big Games." I was going to pick out every single one that I have seen him win. Then I was going to give a full synopsis of each game, the reason for its importance, and a detailed report of how Romo personally played in those games.

That would show everyone, right?!?

That is when reality hit. I realized that it is not worth my time. I would put all this time and effort to come up with a list of "Big Games" that Romo won, only to be instantly reminded that they were not this or that, that they didn't meet a certain criteria, that they were not "Big Games"

The most common answer I would hear would be something along the lines of, "Who cares, it wasn't the Playoffs! That was not a big game!"

Well if a playoff game is the only game that fits the description, then Romo has only played in two "Big Games", which begs the question: Why all the talk about the Pittsburgh game?

"Who cares, it wasn't the Playoffs! That was not a big game!"

...For what its worth, I myself thought that the Pittsburgh game was a very big, important game. But who really cares, because I also thought when Romo returned for the Washington game, that was a "Big Game". So really, what do I know?