Sports Illustrated published a stand-alone fantasy football guide for the first time this summer. As fantasy guides go, it’s pretty solid.
It’s not as good as Pro Football Weekly’s annual edition, but it’s certainly more compelling than ESPN’s (which is written in the voice of the most annoying fan at the bar), or Street & Smith’s, or Big Jim Osnanski’s RotoGrid Broadsheet. It has all sorts of cool features: production matrices, trending charts, Peter King being a moron and taking a defense in the 6th round, and a lovely matte finish.
But the most interesting thing in the guide, by far, are the little ENEMY LINES sections for each team, featuring anonymous quotes from rival coaches (likely the quality control coach, but still, JUICY!). And the line on Tony Romo in the Cowboys’ section was particularly compelling:
The first six games of the season, Tony Romo will put up numbers because he’s fresh. The last 10 weeks, he’ll struggle because a player has to be a in great shape, and he doesn’t work to be in great shape; he has a lot of other things going on.
The center of the Dallas Cowboys universe.
Of course, by “other things,” I assume the coach means any number of damning possibilities:
• Dating buxom singers
• Dumping buxom singers
• Avoiding creepy fathers of buxom singers
• Preventing buxom singers from polishing off the last tray of brownies
• Holding ranch salad dressing chugging contests with Nate Newton
It’s quite the packed schedule for Romo, and this coach thinks it precludes him from working on stuff like, oh, holding on to snaps and what not. Usually, I’m in favor of athletes having a good time and leveraging their moment in the spotlight. You only get to be a rock star QB for so long, so it’s hard to blame Romo for spending an inordinate amount of time buried in Jessica Simpson’s Chicken of the Sea.
But this coach believes Romo spends so much time away from the game that it makes him more ineffective as the season progresses, and the Cowboys recent run of year-ending implosions would seem to back him up on that. It’s a stark contrast to someone like Tom Brady who, like Romo, hooks up with famous women and all that, yet continually maintains a reputation as one of the hardest-working players in the League.
Romo has acquiring the exact opposite reputation. And that’s a bad sign for anyone who’s looking forward to seeing him play an important game in December in optimal shape, and without his hands wrapped firmly around his own windpipe.