The ceremony wasn’t exactly black tie
December 9, 2003–In a quiet ceremony with his parents, Joan and Ramiro, and his sisters Jossalyn and Danielle, Eastern Illinois senior quarterback Tony Romo was awarded the Heisman Memorial Trophy following a record-breaking season. It was Romo’s fourth consecutive win of the illustrious award.
“Actually, it was his ninth or tenth,” says Ramiro, “We had been giving him one since he was about 12 years-old. But we only started giving him an actual trophy once he made it to college.”
Romo, who wasn’t invited to the actual Heisman ceremony in New York City, cried each year until his parents agreed to name him their own Heisman winner.
“We still award him a Heisman every year,” a beleaguered Ramiro says, “It is extremely sad.”
Romo had managed to overcome a crippling intellectual deficiency, along with a rare disorder known as situational color-blindness (SCB), to become a successful small college quarterback.
“Ramiro would have stopped holding the Heisman ceremonies years ago if I had let him,” Joan Romo says, “But I couldn’t bear to disappoint my poor, simple Tony. He really believes he is a multiple Heisman-winner.”
The tradition continues to this day, even as Tony has become a star NFL quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys. The SCB still bothers him, usually manifesting itself late in games rendering Romo unable to differentiate between jersey colors. But the approaching ceremony will serve as a relaxing diversion for the simpleton quarterback.
This year’s prize
“I’m not sure how many more years we will keep doing this,” Joan says, “It gets kind of tiresome. Plus, we have to keep coming up with a new trophy every year, usually just finding one at a garage sale. But Tony still gets excited, and that goofy smile on his face is all it takes to make us do it all again.