You are Tony Romo, one of college football's greatest quarterbacks and one of its least famous.
You only receive scholarship offers from some damned Division II school named Mankato State and from Eastern Illinois University.
Being a historian of the game, you know Mike Shanahan is an EIU alum and you like the Communications program and the girls are pretty and well, what the hell, EIU it is then.
What the hell is EIU anyway, Rocky? Is that a new strand of flu?....ha ha ha....yuk,yuk,yuk......
You become the starter as a freshman and you rewrite those Eastern Illinois University and Ohio Valley Conference record books and a few years later you win the Walter Payton Award, Division 1-AA's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy and you are pretty damned sure no one notices or cares.
But you know one day you'll show them. Yeah you'll show 'em all right.
One day this whole damned country will know who you are! They'll know who Antonio "Tony" Ramiro Romo is.
Meanwhile in Dallas and unbeknownst to you, a young Cowboys assistant named Sean Payton, once an Eastern Illinois QB himself, is singing your praises to Bill Parcells. He's emphatic about it. Payton is pounding the tables with his fists and jumping up and down and demanding that Parcells take a second look at you.
C'mon Sean! Tony Romo? You must be kidding me, Sean.....ha ha ha....Leave me alone Dennis the Menace.....ha ha ha
Payton finally convinces Parcells to give you and second look and your whole world is about to change forever.
You arrive in Dallas and Parcells mocks you.
You're nothing but a ball in high grass kid.....yuk, yuk, yuk.....
But Parcells notices those books about Lombardi and Unitas in your locker and he knows you are a student of the game and he knows Payton was right - there's something different about you. Something special about you.
You bide your time for three years.
Three damned years!
Three years behind the likes of Carter and Wright and Stoerner and Leaf and Hutchinson. Then, Parcells benches Drew Bledsoe during an October 2006 loss to the Giants and the Tony Romo era begins.
Even your owner Jerry Jones doesn't think you have what it takes when Parcells puts you in the game for the first time but you'll show him too and you go on a tear.
You win four of your first five starts and the damned nation is buzzing and you wake up on the morning of December 1, 2006 and you find yourself on the cover of USA Today and Jessica Simpson loves you and it just doesn't get any better than this.
Even former Cowboy Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubach says, "Tony's making it look waaaaayyyyyy to easy." And you protest to USA Today that "it's not as glorified as you guys make it out to be."
You tell them your just throwing it to the open man.
Parcells warns the media, "We've got a ways to go here. So put away the annointing oil, OK?"
But you are Tony Romo and America loves you and Staubach loves you and Jessica loves you and damned this is heady stuff!
How in the hell can you stay humble under these circumstances?
You're nothing but a ball in tall grass kid....ha ha ha ha....
Then, your former mentor Payton's New Orleans Saints embarass you in front of the whole nation, 42-17, on a Sunday night in Dallas no less and you have the worst game of your budding career, 16-of-33 for 249 yards and two interceptions and your only touchdown pass is a fluke to Terrell Owens that Fred Thomas should have intercepted.
And then just as fast as your star rises it crashes and burns right there in full view for all of America to see.....the damned wildcard game against the Seahawks!
Romo bobbles the snap, Oh my God! Romo bobbles the snap. He botched the snap. The Seahawks are gonna win! The Seahawks are gonna win!
"It was just one of those things," Parcells says. "It looked like a good snap. I can't tell you what happened after that. We're an extra point from being down to the eight teams left. That's what's the hardest thing."
You think to yourself what does he know about it. I'm the one in agony here.
In November, they were annointing you. By January, you were the punch line on all those horrible morning radio shows hosted by those hayseeds and laughin' jackasses.
They said you were afraid to propose to Jessica because you might bobble the ring on one knee while trying to slide it on her finger.
It's three years later, 2009, and those sports talk pricks say you're Mister 0-for-December.
Jessica is long gone. So is Bill. And Ditka says all that 0-for-December stuff has to be in the back of your mind no matter how hard you try to block it out.
You're Tony Romo and you would love nothing better than to knock the Saints off their lofty perch on Saturday night in New Orleans.