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Sports Then and Now



Waiting for the Weekend: Paying Your Dues 1

Posted on January 15, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Tony Romo has earned star status in the NFL despite being undrafted out of Eastern Illinois.

Tony Romo has earned star status in the NFL despite being undrafted out of Eastern Illinois.

In this era when multi-million dollar contracts are often lavished on players and coaches who have done little to justify such riches, there are still examples out there of people who are enjoying success after paying their dues.

Below are the stories of a player, coach and a broadcaster who are all now enjoying the fruits of success after taking the tough road to glory.

Wearing The Star

There are some that think because Tony Romo is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and received lots of recognition long before he won a playoff game that he has been handed success.

In reality, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth.

I would argue that there have been very few superstar quarterbacks in NFL history who have overcome as many obstacles to success as Romo.

Consider that of the eight quarterbacks still in the NFL Playoffs, four were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, two were selected in the second round and the other two (Warner and Romo) were undrafted free agents.

Warner is the ultimate underdog story and his tale has been told many times over the last decade, but Romo’s rise from obscurity to stardom also deserves to be recognized.

A three-time Division I-AA All-American at Eastern Illinois (not generally recognized as an NFL hotbed), Romo went undrafted during the 2003 NFL Draft. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
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      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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