The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

The Distraction is the Attraction!

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Celebrity girlfriends, like any other outside influence, will be as much or as little a distraction as the athlete will allow. Some people thrive in the spotlight, and in some cases, their own isn't big enough -- they wish to share someone else's. In a case like Tony Romo's, I don't know how much it really affects his performance. In addition, certain teams give off such a hype glow, the players unable to take the heat would eventually evaporate. He hasn't done that.

The Jerry Jones Cowboys, as attuned to publicity as their owner is, would be the NFL's most extreme example. It's been a natural fit for T.O., as odd a duck as that guy's been through his career, because the specter of the team is an appropriate landing strip for that enormous ego. Would T.O. ever be happy in a smaller market? Not likely. He's always wanted people to "get their popcorn ready." The 2004 MNF spot, in which Nicollette Sheridan of Desperate Housewives jumped into T.O.'s arms sans clothing, was a perfect example of this. It also illustrated that modern media generally has no issue with fanning the flames.

Romo appears to be at least comfortable in, if not even nourished by, that same spotlight's glare. In a case like his, the celebrity "appendage" becomes part of the overall picture -- the hype, the ceaseless gossip. Most athletes have healthy egos; some egos are Herculean. Celebrity relationships are easy additions to that factor. Even the more subtle publicity recipients probably appreciate the pubic awareness more than they let on.

In truth, there are so many things that could easily take a pro athlete's mind off his goal -- relationships, money, drugs, psychological problems. In the grand scheme of things, and considering some of the stories we've all heard about people who have fallen from grace or were unable to take the pressure, what Romo did or didn't do in Cabo with Jessica before the playoff loss to the Giants -- or what she said about the Eagles -- is small stuff.

Is it a distraction? Sure. And that's most of the appeal. In fact, with another Cowboys-Eagles game this Monday night, and with Romo getting so much attention, I wonder if Mr. Owens has anything special planned to draw the spotlight away.

By Doug Farrar  |  September 11, 2008; 8:34 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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