Tony Romo, now the former quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, suited up as an honorary member for the Dallas Mavericks when they played the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night. Laughs and smiles and layups were shared by all. Romo didn’t get into the game for real, though he did jump up and run to the scorer’s table as a joke at the end of the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks lost.
Or maybe not.
According to the Racine Journal Times‘ Gery Woelfel, certain NBA officials had a problem with how the Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban honored the NFL legend:
Several NBA officials I spoke with were livid about Cuban's decision to suit up Romo for Mavs' game. Said one angrily: "That's bull—-.''
— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) April 12, 2017
Look, if Romo actually got into the game, maybe people have a point. There are players who kill themselves trying to get into the NBA, most of them more deserving of a chance than Romo. To see him play, even in a meaningless game, would be a gut punch. I get it.
But this? It was nothing. Romo put on a uniform and hung out with the team during a game that didn’t matter. That doesn’t compromise or cheapen the game or perception of the league in any way. He was basically New York Knicks superfan Spike Lee for a game, only he was on talking terms with the organization.
Remember: Sports are fun. And that makes innocuous gestures like this, however corny, inconsequential. Which, in turn, also makes them fine.