Texas court hears appeal for Tony Romo's Fan Expo case against NFL

Tony Romo's lawyers were back in court Wednesday trying to prove the NFL is bullying a Romo-led business that's been putting on fantasy football conventions.

A district judge has already thrown out Fan Expo's case against the NFL, but attorneys took it to a panel of three Texas appellate judges to try to revive the case.

Attorneys say if victorious, this case could send a message to the NFL not to step on others just because they're jealous of a business model.

First under center, and now in the broadcast booth, Tony Romo lives a very public life in NFL circles.

But in a courtroom, a lesser known battle is being waged between a company he's part owner of and the NFL.

It centers around a national fantasy football convention.

It's been held the last two summers in Dallas' Fair Park on a much smaller scale than first planned.

It failed to get off the ground in its first two attempts, and in a new legal challenge, Fan Expo says the NFL meddled in the 2016 event planned in California.

“This case is about this event,” said Julie Pettit, attorney for Fan Expo LLC. “They wanted to move forward with the 2016 event and they were prevented by doing that at the very last second because the NFL strong-armed them.”

Attorneys for Fan Expo say the NFL interfered and caused the sponsor of the 2016 convention -- video game company EA -- to withdraw, which killed the event.

It's something attorneys for the NFL contested in court.

They say they only called EA to make sure it removed its logo bearing the NFL shield from the convention’s website.

NFL attorneys declined to say much to reporters after the hearing.

“We're glad to have had our chance to argue today,” one of the NFL’s attorneys said.

A district judge threw this case out last year, but a Texas appellate court is now considering an appeal.

If granted, a jury could eventually hear the matter.

”Hope springs eternal,” said Michael Hurst, attorney for Fan Expo LLC. “I mean, these cases are not proved by absolute evidence.”

“The NFL has been a bully since day one to this organization and it’s time for this issue to go to a jury,” Pettit added.

There is no timeline on when the appellate court might issue an order.

If the appeal fails, Fan Expo has not yet decided if they would take the case to the Texas Supreme Court.