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Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 02:48 AM
Football: Romo's grandparents revel in his first game as Cowboys' starting QB

Web Posted: 11/02/2006 09:21 PM CST

David Flores
Express-News Staff Writer

Tony Romo's paternal grandparents sat in front of their TV alone Sunday night, holding hands.

Ramiro and Felicita Romo knew watching their grandson make his debut as the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback would be emotional, and they wanted to share the moment in solitude.

"There were some tears," Felicita Romo said. "No, a lot of tears."

It was a like a sueño, a dream, for the Romos, who lived in San Antonio for three years before moving to the East Texas town of Crockett in 1989.

But the image of No. 9 walking up to the line of scrimmage to take his first snap confirmed what they had known for days: Their nieto, grandson, was quarterbacking the team with the star on the helmet.

"I thought of how far we've come, not only as a family, but as a people," Ramiro, 73, said in Spanish this week via phone. "I remembered the hard times in Mexico and how I struggled when I first got here. It's like coming from zero to where we are today. All of that went through my mind."

Felicita left Tony a phone message, as she has done throughout his football career, on Sunday before he helped lead the Cowboys to a 35-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
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"Tony is a very spiritual person," Felicita, 72, said. "I always leave him a scripture on his message machine before a game. Tony always has been very close to us. He's always been very attentive, loving."

Cowboys fans clamoring to learn more about the team's new starting quarterback, who was christened Antonio Ramiro Romo, may be surprised to learn his paternal grandparents have deep ties to San Antonio and South Texas.

Ramiro Romo Sr. was born in Musquis, Coahuila, Mexico, in 1933, but moved to San Antonio when he was a teenager. He spent about five years in the city before going to live with a brother in Racine, Wis., where he met his future wife.

Ramiro Romo's only living sibling, sister Socorro Valdez, lives in San Antonio, as do numerous nephews and nieces.

Felicita Rios Romo was born in Robstown in 1934 and moved to Racine with her family when she was 12. Felicita is called "Phyllis" by most of her friends in Crockett.

Married for 51 years, the Romos lived in San Antonio, where they owned two restaurants on the South Side, from 1986 until they moved to Crockett in 1989.

"We still have a lot of family and many friends in San Antonio," Felicita said.

Crockett is about 110 miles north of Houston and 160 miles south of Dallas. The grandparents go to every Cowboys home game.

The Romos, who were married in Wisconsin in 1955 and lived in the state until 1980, are bilingual. They also have an adopted son, Mustafa John, 39, who lives in Appleton, Wis.

That a Mexican immigrant would someday have a grandson quarterbacking one of the most glamorous teams in pro sports, Ramiro and Felicita said, is a testament to the power of the American dream.

"I've always said this is a country of opportunities," Ramiro said. "If you don't get a job or an education, it's because you don't want to."

His parents' humble background, Ramiro Romo Jr. said, has made Tony's success more gratifying.

"Only in America," he said.

Although Tony speaks very little Spanish — he can sing "La Bamba" with his grandfather accompanying him on the guitar — his abuelos and father said he takes pride in his ethnicity.

"That's a topic we've talked about a number of times," Ramiro Jr. said. "I've told Tony that there are some bad people out there who sometimes judge you, or get a certain perspective of you, by your name. But you shouldn't be ashamed of who you are.

"Tony is fiercely proud of being an Hispanic and carrying the Romo name. I've always told him, 'Be who you are and be proud of it.'"

Tony, 26, was born in San Diego when his father was in the Navy but grew up in Burlington, Wis.

"I told my son and my nieto never to try to hide their culture, to be proud of who they are," Ramiro Sr. said. "I'm proud to say that they've never run away from being Hispanic."

Tony's parents — his mother is named Joan — live in Burlington, Wis., where their son was a standout athlete at Burlington High School before going on Eastern Illinois.

"Whatever the sport that was in season, that's the one he was going to play," Ramiro Jr. said. "He just loved sports and always has been very competitive. He's also a religious man and is very humble."

Ramiro Jr., 49, was born in Racine and played basketball and soccer at St. Bonaventure High School. He and his wife settled in Burlington after he was discharged from the Navy in 1982. The couple also has two older daughters.

Tony, the youngest of the three children, always has done a good job of keeping his priorities in order, his father said.

"Even with all the attention he's getting now, and being the Cowboys' quarterback is like playing for the New York Yankees, family and friends are very important to him," Ramiro Jr. said.

In Crockett, Ramiro Sr. recalled the advice he gave his grandson when he turned pro.

"I told him, 'Don't ever get lost and be careful with the temptations of prestige and money. Remember who you are.'"

dflores@express-news.net

FINtastic
11-28-2006, 02:52 AM
Wait a sec, his grandpa is named Ramiro Romo? Try saying that three times fast.

Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 02:54 AM
There is no Sports franchise with the prestige of the Dallas Cowboys.

Tony is such a great guy--fantastic role model for the youth of all backgrounds and cultures--especially for young Hispanic children.

I am proud of him.

Next time the Cowboys play the Giants--watch that vchip betting line...

ALL IN for the COWBOYS!!!

Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 02:55 AM
Fin--you still up?

Are you an insomiac like me?

FINtastic
11-28-2006, 02:56 AM
Dude, weren't you broke the other day? How did you get so vRich all the sudden? Are you running some vScam I don't know about?

FINtastic
11-28-2006, 02:57 AM
Fin--you still up?

Are you an insomiac like me?

Sadly yes, I'm a night owl. Of course, there is nothing like a 10 game winning streak to pep me up as well ;)

Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 03:00 AM
THat is a huge win streak.

Mavs are on fire.

Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 03:01 AM
I was broke. But I subscribed for $12 and when you do, you get 2000 chips.

Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 03:02 AM
I wanted to show my support for this website.

I don't know why exactly--but I just love the site. The people are a riot. What a cast of characters. I love reading this site and I figured that I should support it financially.

Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 03:04 AM
I think it upsets some people--so I try to not say too many things about the Spurs that might be construed as talking trash.

FINtastic
11-28-2006, 03:06 AM
It's weird having a Spurs fan who contributes financially to this site, but your are still A-Okay in my book, BSR.

Big Shot Rob
11-28-2006, 03:12 AM
Thanks Fin--so are you!

snoop
11-28-2006, 03:52 AM
cool story on romo

nashtymavsfan13
11-28-2006, 03:59 AM
Yep, that goes for me too BSR, I think that's cool that you are contributing financially to this site as well as posting more consistently. I don't think people will take any Spurs talk from you as trash talk, as long as you keep it in the Around the NBA forum.

Murphy3
11-28-2006, 07:28 AM
I'm only proud of the white portion of Tony Romo. The white portion throws the TD's. The hispanic portion starts sininging labamba in his head and forces the INT's.

In all seriousness, has anyone checked to make sure his grandparents are legal?

No, just kidding. This is good for hispanics everywhere. He's a stand-up guy doing us hispanics everywhere proud.

Male30Dan
11-28-2006, 08:43 AM
He's a stand-up guy doing us hispanics everywhere proud.

Murphy, you are so white you glow.

Murphy3
11-28-2006, 12:34 PM
Actually, I'm a rather dark for a 'whitey' due to my Native American heritage. And being a Native American, I can make fun of whoever I want to whenever I want to.

MavsX
11-28-2006, 01:20 PM
Ramiro Romo Ramiro Romo Ramiro Romo

hes the man of our time..

Maringa
11-28-2006, 01:25 PM
Great story...I had no idea Tony had a Hispanic heritage...I took his last name to be of Italian heritage...

Murphy3
11-28-2006, 05:01 PM
Well, he has some hispanic heritage from one side of the family. That doesn't mean that he's a full fledged Mexican that's going to fire a few rounds from his six shooter on cinco de mayo.

vjz
11-29-2006, 01:00 AM
Another interesting article from a different angle.

Romo realigns the stars
Bob Frantz, The Examiner
Nov 27, 2006 1:24 PM

SAN FRANCISCO - Damn you, Tony Romo! Damn you straight to hell! Do you have any idea what kind of damage you’ve done? Do you?

Everything was going according to plan, you know. The implosion of the NFL’s version of the New York Yankees was imminent and Drew Bledsoe was seeing to it personally. Veins were popping on the three most despicable faces of America’s (Most Hated) Team with every interception, incompletion and immobilization. And the simultaneous eruption of egos in Texas Stadium was going to leave a mushroom cloud over Dallas to be seen for miles.

You see, every Bledsoe mistake moved the clinically insane Terrell Owens one step closer to giving him the “Garcia-McNabb” treatment, which Amnesty International ranks just above water-boarding on the scale of torture for NFL quarterbacks.

And with every sign of Owens’ impending explosion, Cowboys coach Bill Parcells moved ever closer to physically assaulting some poor Dallas beat reporter who asked about No. 81 one too many times — on live television.

And with every indication that the Tuna was growing more and more agitated about having to be the master of Jerry Jones’ three-ring circus, the Dallas owner’s plastic face began to melt like a box of crayons in the hot Texas sun.

The stars were all aligned, you see. The three-way collision that awaited Owens, Parcells, and Jones would have decimated the hated Cowboys franchise, leaving Skeletor Jones stuck with an untradable, overpriced, nap-taking, pill-popping wide receiver and a detestable, egomaniacal head coach who wants nothing to do with him.

And then along came Romo.

Yes, along came Tony Romo, with his sparkling resume written in invisible ink and his barbecue-restaurant-sounding name, suddenly playing the role of Roger Staubach meets Troy Aikman on steroids.

The Division I-AA product from mighty Eastern Illinois has ruined the party for all of us who were watching the Dallas soap opera as if we were waiting for the thermometer to pop on Thursday’s Thanksgiving turkey. Five starts, four wins, nearly 1,400 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.

The kid doesn’t miss. He’s finding the mark with 71 percent of his passes and he’s showing the same poise under pressure that once made Roger the artful Dodger. He’s got the respect of his teammates and the support of his coach, and suddenly there will be no eruption in Texas.

Suddenly T.O.’s happy. That makes me sad. You know, sometimes you actually root for miserable human beings to remain miserable — just to bring a little justice to the world.

Suddenly the Tuna’s at ease. That makes me upset. Because sometimes you root for ornery, obnoxious human beings to remain ornery and obnoxious — just to make sure they’re not sleeping well at night.

And suddenly, Skeletor’s face is holding firm and that makes me nervous. Yes, sometimes you root for vain billionaires to melt in the sun, rather than basking in the glow of peace in their worlds — just because they deserve it.

America’s (Most Hated) team is rolling again, looking more and more like the only true challengers to the Bears’ supremacy in the NFC.

Damn you, Tony Romo. Damn you to hell.

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@examiner.com

sike
11-29-2006, 01:03 AM
^^ that is funny as heck

FINtastic
11-29-2006, 02:36 AM
"Tony Romo throws 5 TDs. Tony Romo wins four out of five. Tony Romo keeps Terrell Owens quiet and happy. Tony Romo can only be stopped by kryptonite. "

~ESPN.com

jleefilled
11-29-2006, 02:42 AM
Thanks for posting that vjz.. That is pretty funny.

Big Shot Rob
11-30-2006, 08:23 AM
Tony Romo--

similiar to Staubach, Aikman, Meredith--

or who?

GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

capitalcity
11-30-2006, 11:43 AM
Skeletor cracks are too easy. F' San Fran.

mcsluggo
11-30-2006, 12:25 PM
yes, but it is too easy to crack on jj because he IS the spawn of satan.

vjz
11-30-2006, 01:55 PM
And another pretty nice story:
http://www.journaltimes.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=9356

Romo conjures feelings of deja vu
Columnist Peter Jackel
Journal Times

It was April 1988 and I had just returned to work after a lengthy medical leave, during which I had lost the vision in my left eye. As I recall, it was a Sunday and, as I scrolled through the sports wire that afternoon, I was stunned to see a story move that Don Heinkel of Racine was heading north with the Detroit Tigers following spring training.

Among the hundreds of local athletes I have interviewed during the last 27 years, the one close friendship I developed was with Heinkel, 10 months younger than myself. And I will never forget the indescrible feeling of joy I felt when I saw that Heinkel, considered more of a borderline prospect at that time, was chosen by Sparky Anderson to be one of his pitchers when it was starting to appear that the chance to play in the major leagues would elude my friend.

Going on 19 years later, I must say that what I have seen with Tony Romo during the last five weeks has at least matched that magical moment with Heinkel as my ultimate personal experience in this profession.

The passing of time has altered the dynamics of this particular relationship compared to the one I had with Heinkel — after all, I’m old enough to be Romo’s father — but the connection is just as strong. The common demominator is that I formed a bond through my work with both while they were facing long odds to reach the top — Heinkel as an aging prospect with a less than blazing fastball and Romo as an undrafted free agent quarterback with the storied Dallas Cowboys.

As I wrote story after story on Heinkel through most of the 1980s and Romo this decade, I sometimes wondered if it would all end up as much ado about nothing, a dead end of futility in the merciless world of professional sports. And, happily, there was an ultimate payoff chapter to each story.

While Heinkel was out of the major leagues for good by the summer of 1989 (he’s now a doctor in Athens, Ala.), he is able to tell his 11 children that plenty of sweat and tears took him to such an elusive and exclusive plateau, however brief. And when Romo someday has children of his own, he’ll be able to say the same thing.

From a personal standpoint, I used to see a great deal of Heinkel, from attending church with him to playing catch with him as he was preparing to leave for spring training to getting absolutely destroyed by him in one-on-one basketball games at the YMCA. In Romo’s case, it was far more of an unseen working relationship via telephone interviews, to the extent where I was surprised by how different he looked when I interviewed him at his football camp at Burlington High School last summer after not having seen him for a number of years.

Nevertheless, the connection was just as strong and the memories are just as powerful.
The images that linger for me of Romo during his days at Burlington are distinct. I remember marveling at that fluid passing release of his that was so much more natural than anything I had ever seen at that level. And of watching him play basketball at Burlington — once against Caron Butler and Park — and never thinking he had particularly stood out, but then seeing afterward he had something like 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. And of interviewing him in a Burlington classroom in October 1997 after The Journal Times selected him as its All-Racine County Player of the Year in football and seeing a somewhat shy kid years removed from the charismatic Favre-like leader he is today.

But my real relationship with Romo was formed after numerous telephone interviews starting when he moved on to Eastern Illinois University after graduating from Burlington in 1998. Fortifying this connection was that I graduated from St. Rita’s Elementary School in 1973 with Roy Wittke, Eastern Illinois’ offensive coordinator at the time. I used to talk regularly to Wittke about Romo’s progress (in the this-is-a-small-world department, Wittke and Heinkel were the quarterbacks for Horlick when the Rebels appeared in the first-ever state championship football game in Wisconsin in 1976).

In dozens upon dozens of phone interviews with Romo, he was always cooperative, quotable, charming and well-spoken, with a great ability of making his point in a politically correct manner. Not once did I have even one unpleasant or awkward moment with him. And just as Heinkel did, Romo always exuded an air of absolute confidence, never once admitting to frustration or vulnerability.
I could tell you a few stories of big-time local athletes who made little or no effort to cooperate with us after they reached the pinnacle of their sports. As for Romo, he has been an absolute joy as he ascended to his present status of being maybe the most talked about professional athlete in the United States these days.

That was never more evident than Friday, when I left a message on Romo’s cell phone the morning after he threw five touchdown passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thanksgiving Day. I apologized to Romo in my message, fully cognizant that practically every media outlet in the nation would kill for a few minutes of his time.

Maybe an hour later, I saw his cell phone number pop up on my caller ID. It was Romo and he went on to explain that while impossible demands have been made on his time, he wanted to be sure to return the calls that he wanted to return. And one of those calls was to the newspaper from the county in which he was raised.

That’s the quality of person who wears No. 9 for the Cowboys.

I have written a few times in the last three or four years about how so many years and so many bylines in this business tends to take the edge off the joy that encouraged me to pursue sportswriting in the first place.

And then along comes a kid like Tony Romo and I feel like the kid who almost tried to will Dan Devine’s Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl.

As far as I’m concerned, Tony Romo is the biggest local sports story I have seen during all my years at The Journal Times.

And may this only be the beginning.

Peter Jackel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. You can reach him by calling (262) 634-3322, Ext. 323 or by e-mailing him at: peter.jackel@lee.net