Romo Scores at Lieberman Foundation Gala
There was a small problem at the Dream Ball Gala last Thursday night, the annual Nancy Lieberman Foundation fund raiser. The problem had nothing to do with the crowd, in fact the fourth annual event drew record numbers. Fifty-one tables filled a ballroom at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Each table had a celebrity. Many of them were “A-Listers.” Deion Sanders was there, so was Rick Carlisle on the eve of a playoff series with the Rockets, oh and Tony Romo was there too.
Near the end of the event a generous anonymous donor offered to match the funds raised by the sale of backpacks, which are in turn given to underprivileged children when they go to camp. We had already auctioned off several spectacular packages and there was great memorabilia on the silent auction tables too, so many in the crowd were tapped out. Our problem was there were 19 backpacks left and we needed to sell those to maximize the matching funds. Suddenly from the stage I heard someone say, “I’ll take all 19.” I looked down to see that it was Tony Romo who had said it. He and his wife Candace were seated front and center since he was receiving an award at the event. I know Tony makes a ton of money and his generous purchase is not going to cripple him financially, but the point is he was there to get an award. He was part of the reason the event sold out and yet he still stepped up an spent several thousand dollars to help Nancy help kids in need.
Later Romo gave an acceptance speech that was polished and inspirational. He was there to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Foundation and joked, “Am I really old enough to get a lifetime achievement award? I still feel like I am in my twenties.” He went on to say how much he appreciated the award and his relationship with Nancy. The two of them have played basketball with and against each other many times.
Tony also revealed a little bit about himself and his journey when he told us that one of his favorite books is called “Outliers: The Story of Success.” In it the author Malcolm Gladwell often refers to the “10,000 Hour Rule.” Tony paraphrased for those of us who had not read the book – he said Gladwell asserts that to be truly great at anything you must devote 10,000 hours of practice to it. Tony said he didn’t start playing football until he was 16, so he did not achieve his 10,000 hours of football until he was in his late twenties and in the NFL. He said, “I would see high school kids 14 years old who could make better throws than me and I was an NFL starter.”
Now he has far surpassed his 10,000 hours. That’s one of the reasons he has gotten better with age. Here’s another; he doesn’t remember exactly when it happened, but a few years into his time as a starter he admits that he stopped caring about his own personal numbers. He says now he just wants to win for everyone else, in particular he mentioned Jason Witten, the Jones family and the fans. He wants to win the Super Bowl badly, and he wants it as much for you and his teammates as he does for himself.
It was a great night seeing a side of Tony Romo that we rarely see. Oh and we raised $340,000 dollars for charity. That’s about $100,000 more than last year. An thanks Tony for sharing a bit of your money and your story with us.