LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- With the tabloids now descending upon Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and his off-the-field life, Dallas Cowboys signal caller Tony Romo -- no stranger to the spotlight himself -- offered a little advice about how to deal with the attention.
Asked what he'd tell Cutler, who has recently been linked to Kristin Cavallari of the reality television show "The Hills," Romo said:
"It's all what each person makes it out to be," Romo said. "The reality is more people will have opinions, more than anything else. At the end of the day, you either develop a turtle shell to what people who really don't matter think about you, or you don't. You just have to be able to put blinders on, have tunnel vision, and go out and work and do what makes you be good at what you do. That stuff is fluff. It doesn't really matter, anyway."
Having been linked in the past to country music star Carrie Underwood, and singer Jessica Simpson among others, Romo said it didn't take long to formulate such an outlook on life under the microscope.
"You learn pretty quickly, as you play quarterback, that if you're going to let what people say affect your emotional level then you're in for a really long life, and a life of solitude, really," he said. "You can't allow what media or opinions of others derail what you're trying to accomplish.
"If every time you fail, or someone said something negative about you, and you went and hid in the corner, then you would never be in this position. You keep grinding, keep getting better, and you pick yourself up and you go. That's life. It's not just football.
"At the end of the day, you're consistently trying to accomplish a goal. Then when you fail, you get back up and you learn from it and you try to accomplish a goal again. All the extracurricular things are going to be stuff that when you don't accomplish your goal, it allows people to have an opinion.
"We play this position for a reason. We enjoy going out there and having a direct result on the outcome on the game. We like to have a little bit of that control. That's part of the greatness of the game. You need everyone to accomplish it, and it's fun. But all that other stuff comes with it."
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.