Training camp conflict forces Romo to pass on American Century Championship

AP

A year ago, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was favored to win the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament held at Lake Tahoe and broadcast by NBC.  This year, Romo is guaranteed to finish behind perennial long shot Charles Barkley.

Romo isn’t listed among the various pro athletes and others who’ll make the trek to Tahoe in a press release issued by the organizers of the event.  With the Cowboys playing in the annual Hall of Fame game, Romo and his teammates will be opening training camp this weekend in Oxnard, California.

If the Cowboys weren’t opening camp, it would be interesting to see if Romo would have played, given his new perception-is-reality approach to football.  In past years, it seemed like he spent too much time golfing and not enough time focusing on his full-time job.  Now that he has received a big-money deal and a mandate from owner Jerry Jones to be more like Peyton Manning, Romo has put the golf bag away.

This year, the favorite is five-time winner Dan Quinn, at 7-2.

Other notables are John Smoltz (5-1), John Elway (10-1), Jerry Rice (30-1), Ray Allen (40-1), Steph Curry, Chipper Jones, and Aaron Rodgers (50-1 each), Alex Smith, Dan Quail, and Michael Phelps (100-1 each), Steve Spurrier (200-1), and Shane Battier, Ray Romano, and Urban Meyer (300-1 each).

(Regardless of where Meyer finishes, it won’t be his fault.)

Meanwhile, Barkley once again has been installed as a 500-1 underdog.  And I continue to look for someone who will loan me $500 billion to bet against him.

UPDATE 2:09 p.m. ET:  A prior version of this item omitted reference to the fact that the Cowboys are opening training camp.  Our friends Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Ed Werder of ESPN independently supplied the reminder, without calling us idiots for not connecting the dots.  We appreciate both gestures equally.