Over Labor Day weekend, my girlfriend and I made a short pilgrimage to Rockford's On The Waterfront to see my all time favorite zydeco band, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. (See my pics.) What a great time! As we were watching Chubby play his accordion while his washboard player led a conga line through the crowd, I turned to my friend Ken and said, "Now there's a man who loves what he does for a living!" I don't think I've ever seen a musician smile as much as Chubby does. He loves playing his music and pure, unadulterated joy spills out into the crowd. And they love him for it. If you ever get the chance, go see Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. And check out his CD "Bayou Road," it's the best zydeco album I've ever heard.
What in the world does this have to do with football? Good question. If you haven't already done so, please look at my pics. Look at the pic of Chubby Carrier, and then look at the pic of Brian Urlacher returning his interception during the playoff game versus Carolina. Can you see what I'm talking about? Do you see the silly grin on Urlacher's face? Chicago fans are used to seeing that silly grin. It's the same grin my son has on his face after pulling a flag or even coming CLOSE to pulling a flag during his football games. Urlacher doesn't do any silly dances or gyrations after making a big play; he just wears that silly grin and runs back to his teammates to say, "Did you see that? Wasn't that cool?" Urlacher loves what he does for a living, and his teammates and the crowd get to share his joy of the game. And we love him for it.
So what does this have to do with Tony Romo? To tell the truth, I'm not completely sold on him yet. I'm sure Cowboy fans are convinced Romo is the second coming of Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach, just like Bears fans last year were convinced that Rex Grossman was the second coming of Slingin' Sammy Baugh. (Who?) Romo has had his ups and downs, and only time will tell how good he really is. But I will admit this. I like the kid. I like him because I see that same silly grin on his face after he makes a big play.
Just before that picture of me and my girlfriend and Chubby Carrier was taken, Earl (the washboard player) gave me a hard time for wearing my Urlacher jersey. Earl is a Saints fan, you see. While Earl and I were extolling the virtues of our respective football teams, Chubby broke in brandishing his leather cel phone cover adorned with a big blue star and announced, "There's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Tony Romo."
The 'Boys "new sheriff" has a childlike exuberance for the game that you can't help but get caught up in. He loves what he does for a living, and his teammates and his fans love him for that.