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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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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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