I feel grateful that I am writing to you today. I am just glad I did not have to write this yesterday or Sunday night. I know for a fact Steven would have called me and told me, “Mark, I can’t print this. Please clean this up.” I would have missed my deadline because it took me over a full day to process my feelings on this (non) performance I witnessed on Sunday without using words not suitable to print.
But alas, today brings with it a new attitude. I cannot keep doing this. You see, I know a lot of fans of this organization are fair-weathered or “bandwagon.” I understand and appreciate that some fans pay their money and have a few drinks and enjoy the show. I wish I could do that. Holy Roger Staubach in hell, I wish I could do that. I do not know by what curse of my upbringing or my iniquities of omission caused me to be so obsessive about something that matters so little. I do not know what causes me to care so very deeply about something so trivial, but make no mistake, this game over which we obsess matters little. There are families of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan that were alerted of their children’s/brother’s/sister’s/etc demise simultaneous to the time when we were screaming at a television. There are a significant amount of uneducated people in this country that are affected by poverty and disease while we stress over the “toughness” of “MY TEAM.”
It is utterly insane, senseless, foolish, selfish and egotistical of me that I care more about the final score of a football game than I care about soldier’s death in the ghettos of the world. But I do. And I’m not proud of it. A lot of people praise me for being a “REAL” fan and I, in fact, pride myself on it. For what? For who? The most disgusting part of the entire thing is the Dallas Cowboys (you know, the actual players that determine the outcome of the game) HAVE MADE IT PAINFULLY OBVIOUS TO ANYONE WITH EYES THAT THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE FINAL SCORE OF THESE GAMES HALF AS MUCH AS WE DO.If you think they treat this as anything but a job, you have not been paying attention for quite some time.
You see, although I severely doubt it, there may be a few players that care as much as we do. There may be a faction in this game that want to win as badly as we want them to win. If that is true, they don’t play for the Dallas Cowboys. They play for another organization. This organization is a money-making machine. And we keep giving them our money because we keep getting fooled into believing they care about winning as much as we do. We stake our reputations on it. We tell all of our friends/family/co-workers/anyone that will listen how much we care about this team. We take pride in the 5 Super Bowl championships and 8 Super Bowl appearances. We brag about the big-name talent on the roster. We stake our entire identity based on the result of a game of brutal strength because we think it makes us tough. We do all of this at the expense of our relationships with others that dare jokingly jab at us when the team loses because IT IS PERSONAL! We do all of this despite knowing in our hearts the evils of the world and the injustices of the world are significantly more important. If as many people in this country cared about policy-making as NFL football, if our Congressmen came under as much scrutiny as Tony Romo in the playoffs for their missteps and the most watched television program in Washington, D.C. was CSPAN and not the Redskins, we might solve a few more problems. We might have real change and not the line of B.S. we’re fed every four years from January to November. But we don’t care. We argue that we can’t make a difference in Washington even if we wanted, yet our lucky jersey and fingers crossed on 4th down in the 4th quarter is TOTALLY helping Romo find the open receiver. We pray for wins like our eternal soul depends on the outcome, all the while never praying for those that need the Lord’s ear.
I never used to understand women that return to their husbands or boyfriends after physical/emotional beating. I used to think I had it all figured out and those women were foolish. Well, tell me how I am different. Tell me how this relationship (and yes, I have made it into a F***ING relationship) I have with the Dallas Cowboys is any different. It is completely unhealthy, insane, ridiculous and detestable. I am a fool and everyone with a level head knows it. Most shamefully, despite my obvious desire to change that emotion, I simply cannot. It may not be a disease, but it is a poison of the mind to which I do not have an antidote and no amount of brow-beating can change. I just wish they would stop bringing me flowers (impressive wins) before they decide to rip my heart out a week later.
Well, no more. Not for me, anyways. I can’t change my feelings for this organization or this game. It is in my blood. It is who I am. And for that, I am most ashamed. But I think after Sunday, I have finally gone NUMB. When the Dallas Cowboys players, coaches and management begin to care about the product they are putting on the field as deeply as I have for these many years, when they don’t quit after 15 minutes of adversity and when they decide not to get pushed around for the last 20 minutes of a game because they do not care about the result, then I will go back to being nuts instead of numb. (Where have you gone, Captain Comeback? Cowboys Nation turns its lonely eyes to you).
Until then, I will treat it like a job. My job is to watch the Cowboys on Sundays because, well, I have to. It’s like the Dr. Seuss’ character the Lorax said, “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” Right now, NO ONE in that organization cares about anything other than making money. If they did, they would have played like it for the past decade, challenged their teammates to do the same and would not have accepted anything in the intermediate. I beg of you all who are just like me to quit getting fooled by what these players say to the cameras because I can state with all the belief in my body that it is polar opposite to what they are saying when the hot, bright lens light turns off.
Some will say this is a GROSS over-reaction to the ONE loss on Sunday. I say “you have not been paying attention for NEAR as long as I have.” Some will say I am a fair-weathered fan.
I say, “I wish.”
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