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Unlikely Duke Basketball Superfan: Tony Romo Roots for Blue Devils

HomeSports NewsUnlikely Duke Basketball Superfan: Tony Romo Roots for Blue Devils

DALLAS – As Duke punched its ticket to the Elite Eight with a gritty 54-51 win over Houston on Saturday, one famous face could be spotted celebrating the Blue Devils’ victory – former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

Though Romo has no obvious tie to the Duke program, having grown up in Wisconsin and played college football at Eastern Illinois before his NFL career in Dallas, he was front and center at American Airlines Center rooting on Coach Jon Scheyer’s squad.

After the final buzzer sounded, cameras even caught the CBS sports analyst making his way to the locker room to congratulate the Duke players. But why is the former Pro Bowl QB and Super Bowl broadcaster such a die-hard Duke fan?

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The Origins of Romo’s Blue Devil Fandom

In an interview with Dallas sports radio station 105.3 The Fan, Romo explained that his Duke basketball fandom dates back to the juggernaut teams led by Christian Laettner in the early 90s.

“I grew up – probably the same reason people are fans of the Cowboys. In some ways, there was just no real local team where I lived like that was like, ‘That’s your team,'” Romo said. “And I don’t know why. I just never got attached to anything. And then in the Laettner years, I started to watch college basketball and during that time Duke was winning.”

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“I think I just took a liking to the fact that they were winning. And I just liked Laettner, Grant Hill and all those guys, and I think that was where it started.”

Born in San Diego but raised in Burlington, Wisconsin – about 90 minutes from the University of Wisconsin campus – Romo didn’t naturally gravitate to the local Badgers. Instead, the dynastic Duke teams of the early 1990s featuring superstars like Laettner captured his imagination as a young basketball fan.

An Enduring Love for Duke

Romo’s fandom has endured through the decades since. He was famously in attendance in 2015 when Duke defeated Wisconsin 68-63 to capture the national championship.

The quarterback-turned-broadcaster celebrated alongside the Duke players after that emotional win over the flagship program from his home state. His allegiance to the Blue Devils overcame any residual ties to Wisconsin.

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Now an established NFL media personality, Romo still finds time to support his beloved Duke team. His presence at American Airlines Center was just the latest example of Romo’s surprising superfandom for the Blue Devils.

As Duke knocked off Houston to reach the Elite Eight yet again, their unlikely biggest fan was right there celebrating another March Madness victory. Thanks to Romo’s fandom origins with the Laettner-era teams, the retired Cowboys star has remained one of Duke’s most famous supporters through an unlikely journey.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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