As I explained in Session One, the Dallas Cowboys are a part of my life, in at least some small way, in almost every waking moment. Here are a few more of the things I do in my pursuit of loving the Dallas Cowboys:
- I have been away from home several times at Christmas. When I send gifts home, I wrap one daughter’s gifts all in metallic blue paper with silver bows and the other’s all in silver paper with dark blue bows. I don’t put any name tags on the gifts. The first year I did this, I got a frantic call from both of them at the same time concerned that I had absent-mindedly mixed up their gifts (imagine the drama if one of them had to endure the tragedy of opening something that wasn’t for them). I explained that all of the gifts with blue paper were for one of them, and all the ones in silver were for the other. I told them that I wouldn’t tell them which was which until they figured out the significance of the colors. It only took about 2 minutes for them to figure out. Now they immediately call and blandly ask, “Who is home and who is away?”
- Before I tell the next story, I want to make one thing very clear: I do not condone violence. Fighting is for troglodytes and idiots; it is juvenile, immature, and even women of average intelligence find it repulsive. That being said, the last time I actually got in a fist fight was shortly after the Thanksgiving Day game when the Miami Dolphins beat the Cowboys on the blunder by Leon Lett. Some Dolphin’s fan I barely knew kept teasing me and teasing me, even after several warnings. A few days later we were drinking, he started chirping about the Cowboys again, and eventually it got ugly. I ended up facing disciplinary action from the school, but I didn’t get expelled, so it was worth it! If I had it to do over again, I would probably just bitch-slap him the first time he said something disrespectful, that would have ended things before they escalated into something worse.
( I have always felt terrible that Leon Lett’s accomplishments on the field were overshadowed by the 2 very hard-to-forget gaffes, one losing them a game to the Dolphins and the other occurring in the Super Bowl. I was elated this year when Snickers organised a collective effort by the Cowboy Nation to forgive the Big Cat – our own Seth Jones met Leon as part of this process; his account of that day can be read here. )
- I worked as a waiter all through university; I can’t even remember how many different restaurants I worked at. I do remember that Sunday is considered a regular working day in the service industry, so I quickly learned that I had to tell them all the same thing during the initial interview: “I am devoutly religious and therefore can not work Sundays.” This may seem reprehensible to some, but I really do worship the Cowboys, and football is not unlike a religion to me. It is certainly based on blind faith and unconditional devotion.
- In the days before the NFL Sunday Ticket was available on cable, I packed up two young kids every Sunday on which the Cowboy game wasn’t televised on regular cable and drove from bar to bar, often in the snow, until I found somewhere that was showing the game. I went years without missing a live game.
- When I was much younger, I had a relationship end because after I was supposed to be ‘listening’ to some out-pouring of her heart and soul, she asked me some extremely important question and all I could come up with was, “What? Pardon me? Sorry. I can’t believe that Chan Gailey just called a draw play on third and 8.” I still blame her. Seriously, who tries to have a conversation DURING a game?
- I once skipped my cousin’s wedding because it was on a Saturday and the Cowboys were playing. In hindsight, I blame him: who is dumb enough to schedule a wedding when there is a Cowboy game on? I regret nothing.
- Anyone who has worked with me for more than a short time has inevitably listened to the explanation of why every tough decision or disagreement is ineluctably settled by a thorough consideration of “W.W.C.L.D.?” (What would Coach Landry do?)
- When I was about 8 or 9 years old, long before the days of satellites and cable sports packages, my parents took us to the same Italian restaurant every Sunday after church. The highlight for me was when the owner, Julio, would hand me the remote so I could look for the Cowboys game. Watching the Cowboys, eating pizza, drinking cola with shaved ice, church was over for another week, school was not until the next day – those were the days.
If you have done something unusual in your support of the Dallas Cowboys, tell me about it by email and I may include your anecdote with Session Three.