The early days of Tony Romo’s non-retirement retirement will include plenty of talk about whether he is retired. In his first radio interview since not retiring, Romo was asked whether he’s retired.
“I literally had the opportunity to continue to keep playing football,” Romo told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Wednesday. “I’m choosing not to. I think that’s a pretty easy statement when it comes to what you’re doing. I mean, I know the ‘retired’ word is like this word that all of a sudden people [think it] has 90 different meanings. But it just feels like you’re done playing football. You want to call it retired you want to call it whatever you want, I’m moving on to talking about it, and like I said yesterday, I don’t envision that ever changing.”
“Retired” doesn’t have ninety different meanings. It basically has two: (1) ending a career in a given field; and (2) leaving from or to a specific place.
And as we’ve learned time and again (for example, currently with Marshawn Lynch), retirement isn’t permanent.
Romo said during his Tuesday CBS conference call that there’s a 99 percent chance he won’t return to football. Indeed, by getting the No. 1 spot on the network’s NFL broadcasts, it will be very hard for him to give up that seat. Only a very small handful of specific circumstances could make that happen.
One set of circumstances would be if Romo end up being not very good at his next job, which could prompt him to decide after a year (like Joe Montana did) to get out of TV. Then, Romo could in theory play for another year or two.
Either way, by securing his release from the Cowboys, Romo has the ability to return and play at any time, for any team. Whether he uses the word “retired” or some other label for now, the ability to play for someone else persists; the only question is whether the dominoes ever fall in a way that puts him back on the field.