DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Tony Romo the basketball player? You’ve probably heard by now the former Dallas Cowboy is suiting up tonight — but not for “America’s Team.” This time Romo will be wearing the white, silver and blue for the Dallas Mavericks!
It’s the final home game of the season for the Mavs and the decided there was no better way for Dallas fans to say goodbye Romo, since he never got that fun farewell with the Cowboys.
It’s no secret Romo is big-time Mavs fan! You may have seen him sitting courtside at the games, but tonight you’ll see him in uniform… donning a No. 9 jersey.
The team has made Romo a “Maverick for a Day” and the short-lived stint will have the retired quarterback at the morning shoot-a-round, going through pre-game warm-ups and in the layup line. Romo will reportedly do everything except play in the game… at least that’s the plan.
Romo spoke about the honor to more than 50 media members (about 40 more than a normal shoot-around) after taking part in the Mavs shoot-around Tuesday morning.
“I’m just sitting on the bench. … I don’t feel like I deserve any of this,” Romo said while laughing. “For me, it’s a huge honor just to see that they want to do something. … Just to say thank you for what you did for the city. … The honor from the organization, the coach (Carlisle), Mark to Dirk to just do something like that. … It makes you feel special.”
The word is the former Cowboy is a pretty good basketball player. Former Mav Caron Butler knew him as a teen at Burlington High School in Wisconsin and says Romo could have played in the NBA. And Romo’s former high school coach said he was more talented on the hardwood than the field.
“Literally Tony, when he was in high school, averaged over 24-25 points a game his senior year. He was very skilled,” said 105.3 The Fan host Chris Arnold. “He’s a very good basketball player — seriously. He will not embarrass himself out there, whether it’s in the layup line, or if he gets a chance to play.”
Further proof that Romo has a little game comes from his wife, Candace, who took a short video of her husband making a jumper at shoot-around.
It was a week ago when Romo retired from the NFL and announced that he was headed to the CBS broadcast booth. Romo’s next football gig will have him replacing Phil Simms and pairing up with Jim Nantz at CBS Sports.
Back at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, some are questioning the move making Romo a “Maverick for a Day,” but the team says it’s all in good fun.
“There may be people around the nation going, ‘oh, how can Tony Romo play in the NBA?’ This is not for people around the nation,” Arnold said. “This is for Tony Romo [and] Dallas/Fort Worth people who absolutely love Tony Romo, the athlete.”
One fan visiting from Australia is even excited to see the game. “We heard about that in the last few days, since we landed in Dallas,” said Joe Coyte. “It just added an element to my trip, and all the boys back home are very jealous.”
“I was watching something a little bit on the news the other night about it, and I was kind of scratching my head,” said Romo fan Brent Stein. “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”
“I’m actually glad to just see the camaraderie of different sports combining to one another,” said Mavs fan Antoine Alexander. “To see him out there in a Mavericks jersey is going to be great.”
Fans will get a chance to see Tony Romo suit up for a Dallas sports team possibly for one final time when the Mavericks face the Denver Nuggets tonight at 7:30 p.m. on TXA 21. Or, if you want to be there in person, tickets are still available at the box office and online.