I have a curse. It hit me last night like a bolt of lightning as I was watching the Dallas Cowboys come completely undone in front of a national TV audience at the hands of the Chicago Bears. I really wanted to turn off the TV and walk away. Not out of the room, but away from the Cowboys forever. The pain and anger and embarrassment has become more than I can bear (pun intended). But, I can’t. Like being banished to hell, I am forever doomed to sit myself down in front of the TV and relive the horror week after week after week. Thank God for the bye this week. Not only can we not lose but we’re spared the humiliation of how the losses transpire.
The once proud Cowboys franchise has devolved into the NFL’s version of the keystone cops. You could fill an NFL bloopers film with just the Cowboys low-lights. They not only lose but they lose in truly unique and embarrassing ways and usually in front of a large audience. I realized fully just how powerful and real this curse is when at one point in last night’s game, Danny McCray seemed poised to intercept an under thrown Jay Cutler pass as he stepped in front of the receiver. Instead of pulling in the turnover, the ball bounced from between his hands and floated harmlessly into the waiting lap of the Bear’s TE already laying on the turf. The stat sheet will show that as just another completion but for those who saw it live, it was voodoo magic at its best. Romo’s second interception also floated right to Lance Briggs. Other teams might have fumbled the ball but only the Cowboys have it go right to another player like it was on an invisible string. It reminded me of a play several years ago against the Giants (another loss at Cowboys Stadium) where a pass actually ricocheted off Jason Witten’s heel and into the waiting arms of Kenny Phillips for a pick 6. I watch a lot of NFL football. I just don’t see this kind of stuff happen to other teams. Had I known then what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of pain and anguish. But, I can’t do it. Like King Sisyphus, I am compelled each morning to push that boulder of shame heaped upon me by another Cowboys loss up that hill. Sadly, I’ve passed this curse on to my daughter Allison as well and she is now trapped. I pray she has the courage to break the cycle.
It doesn’t help that I’m surrounded on all sides by intense Cowboy haters at work. When the Cowboys occasionally win and cruelly raise my hopes, the haters are strangely silent. At dark times like these, they circle like demented hyenas. Craig, the village idiot Giants fan stands at my desk with his toothless grin tapping his grotesquely over sized foot barely able to contain himself as he slurps, “Homo thucks man. Homo thucks.”. It takes every ounce of self control I have not to stab him in the eye right there with his own pen. It doesn’t really matter that the Giants have the same record as the Cowboys right now. It’s not the 2 losses that matter, it’s how bad both the Seattle and Chicago losses were for the Cowboys. Awful. Embarrassing. There is plenty there to celebrate for the irrational and dim witted.
Then, there is having to endure the endless blather from Jerry Jones and his group of obedient sycophants after another bitter, embarrassing loss. We get to hear how disappointed Jerry is and how they’ve got to work harder. Meanwhile he and his boy Stephen are counting their money and busily cooking up another horrible personnel decision like bad mad scientists in an even worse B movie. We get to hear Jason Garrett calmly – ever calmly – talk about “stacking one good day on another”. Well, Jason, you should sit in our seats every once in a while and see how bad what you’re “stacking” looks like from this end! Or, maybe you could try and arrange to have one of those “good days” actually be on the field during a game.
It doesn’t get any easier from here forward this season Cowboy fans. After the bye we likely get our under performing center Phil Costa back and our very talented nose tackle Jay Ratliff, but that is like trying to plug 20 major holes in the dike with a single finger. It’s helps probably, but it isn’t really going to do the trick. So, off we go to Baltimore in week 6. At least it is a noon CST game so the whole world won’t be watching that probable beat down. Then, its Carolina on the road (no sure thing) and a home game against the Giants (who have never lost at Cowboys Stadium and aren’t likely to start this time around). Then its currently undefeated Atlanta on the road and our first match-up with the Eagles in Philly. A brutal stretch if this team were running on all cylinders instead of leaking oil from every rivet. It would not be a stretch to say we could be looking at a 2-7 record 6 weeks from now – maybe 3-6 if we upset one of those teams. Bandwagon fans, this would be a good time to jump off (as if there were any left). Us poor unfortunate loyal fans will hunker down and do our best to hold off the hyenas. Going to be a hard winter.