Ramiro and Joan Romo welcomed Antonio Ramiro Romo into the family in San Diego, California on April 21, 1980. Ramiro was serving in the United States Navy and had moved his family from Wisconsin to California four years earlier. “Tony” was Ramiro and Joan’s third child and only son behind two girls: Danielle, 4 and Jossalyn 2. The Romo family moved to Burlington, Wisconsin in July of 1982. There they raised their three children from elementary school through high school graduation.
By the age of six Tony was already very active in sports. His love for competition began when he would tag along with his father and watch him play intramural basketball at the city gym. Basketball became Tony’s first love in the sports arena, but he would still go on to participate in several other sports.
When he turned eight he received his first set of golf clubs for Christmas. A story the Romo family is fond of telling goes something like this: Tony was so happy that Santa had brought him a set of clubs that he went outside and proceeded to tee up a golf ball in the empty lot next to his parents home. Mrs. Romo informed her husband that Tony was outside getting ready to hit a golf ball directed at the neighbor’s home. Ramiro didn’t hesitate when he replied, “ it’s okay he’ll miss it.” Tony hit the ball flush. It was a 70-yard shot that landed square in the neighbors’ front living room.
Tony enjoyed many summers playing baseball, basketball and golf. When he was nine he played little league baseball, and started as a shortstop for the Burlington Mini’s. He played little league baseball until he was 12 years old and then moved up to senior league baseball. In senior league Tony became a formidable catcher. Many a player was unable to steal bases from his watchful eye. At 15, Tony and his teammates won a city senior league championship.
Tony’s high school days were very entertaining. After enrolling at Burlington High School he tried out for the freshman soccer team. Freshman soccer couldn’t field a full team, so Tony ended up playing football when they were already two weeks into training camp. In Tony’s junior year he was still not the starter for the team because the coaches liked another prospect. Halftime In the second game of the season, however, the same coaches changed their mind and put Tony in. Over his junior and senior year, he accomplished very productive statistical seasons for the Burlington Demons. Tony eventually accepted a partial scholarship to play football at Eastern Illinois University. He became the all time touchdown leader at Eastern and would go on to win the Walter Payton award in his senior year. This award is given to the best college football player in the United States at the 1AA level. It is the Heisman Trophy equivalent at the 1A level.
On draft day the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, and Miami Dolphins all called Tony at his home in Burlington. After about half an hour of weighing his options Tony decided to accept an offer to walk-on for the Dallas Cowboys. Tony proceeded slowly in Dallas, working from third-string quarterback to starting quarterback over the course of four years. Today Tony works with his teammates toward the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl Championship.