We routinely receive P.R. notices aimed at persuading us to make a news item out of an advertising effort. Usually, we invite them to contact the sales department.
Every once in a while, however, an ad masquerading as a news story becomes slightly newsworthy.
Consider the latest Starter commercial, featuring images of a non-smiling Tony Romo going through a Rocky Balboa-style gauntlet of workouts. (The only thing missing is the periodic cry of “Eli!”) Off camera, Romo narrates.
“People focus on what we haven’t accomplished,” Romo says. “They focus on mistakes. The near misses. The heart breaks. People say we haven’t succeeded. People say we haven’t won a championship. People critique our lives. People say we get too much praise. People are focused on what we haven’t done. That’s what I’m focused on, too.”
He comes off as mildly indignant while reciting the lines, but then in the end he basically agrees with the critics. And he doesn’t suggest that he’s using the criticism as Tebow-style “‘preciate that” motivation.
It’s almost like it’s a coincidence.
It’s unclear how much if at all an ad like this provides a window into a guy’s soul. Presumably, he wouldn’t have done it if he doesn’t believe it. Or maybe he just didn’t sufficiently disagree with the approach to say so.
Either way, the guy in the commercial comes off very differently than the guy we’ve seen on the field for the last six years. The guy in the commercial has zero tolerance for losing. The guy in the commercial doesn’t seem to be content with simply going from being an undrafted player to the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. The guy in the commercials wants a hell of a lot more than Romo has achieved.
Maybe it’s the new Romo. We’ll begin the process of finding out on Wednesday night.