Former NBA star Charles Barkley, who now makes a living as a basketball commentator and general yapper about anything anyone wants to ask him about, appeared on the Galloway & Co. ESPN radio show the other day in Dallas. When asked about his take on Tony Romo playing competitive golf in the off-season, Sir Charles said it was a good thing.
"I think it will help him," Barkley said. "The level of concentration it takes to get through all the qualifiers, I think it probably does make him a better football player. And from a common sense standpoint, clearly he’s under a tremendous amount of pressure, so I think it would help him in football, more than anything. The level of concentration, the stuff he has to go through on a golf course and attention to detail, I think it really does help in football and he’ll probably tell you that."
Romo's golf career has been a hot topic of debate in Dallas, with plenty of critics lining up to suggest that Romo ought to be more involved in the Cowboys' off-season workout regimen than doing his best impersonation of Phil Mickelson. (Sorry, doing his best impersonation of Tiger Woods has too many potential meanings, so we'll stick with Mick.)
Romo (pictured on the links), who is attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open, still has a ways to go in his development as an elite quarterback, and we're not sure that Barkley's take on golf helping in that quest is relevant. Especially in today's NFL, where off-season conditioning has become more important than ever, it's a legitimate point of contention whether getting so involved in another sport is actually good.
On the flip side, the greatest defensive player in NFL history did little besides play golf in the off-season; Lawrence Taylor barely lifted a weight during his career with the Giants, and the only time he showed up in the off-season was to attend mandatory mini-camps.
But playing quarterback is far different than rushing the passer, so Romo's heavy involvement in golf will continue to be a major topic of discussion. And it might not stop unless he delivers a Super Bowl championship.
Besides, is it really a good idea to take advice about golf from this guy?