A Cowboy’s Carol

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The Triplets were retired: To begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. For the Glory Days of the 1990’s have long since passed, replaced with a pedestrian output of unwavering mediocrity. Jerry Jones was well aware of this, having personally accepted the Lombardi trophy years ago. He was also cognizant of the time that has passed since. Jones was a free spender quite far from miserly. If only the short falling was so clear to identify. But still Jerry charged on with his business in the same manner he felt he always had.  The way that worked once upon a time.

Jan 23, 2012; State College, PA, USA; Community members during a candle light vigil passing respect to the passing of former Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno in front of Old Main. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With the work day complete Jerry grabbed his coat and departed for home. Still reminiscing about the day’s interview he had in which he answered a rude reporter’s questions. “Would I fire myself as a GM” he grumbled repeating the questions that caused particular annoyance. “Do I feel I undermine my head coaches? Will I ever bring in an additional football mind to help me? Help? Bah. Humbug.” He dismissed.

He entered his house noting how cold it was inside. His wife Gene liked it warm but she was doing charity work in Arkansas and will not be home until tomorrow, Christmas Day. Jerry turned the heat off when she left but he didn’t exactly intend it to be this cold. Oh well, he was a stubborn man and refused to admit he turned it down too far. He would endure the cold and show his toughness to her when she arrives home in the morning.  He ate at the office and the night was already late so he readied his bed and changed into his winter dressing gown. Before settling in he leaned in to kiss his Lombardi’s goodnight as he always did. As he leaned in to apply the first kiss something happened. What should appear on the trophies Jerry so loved and admired but the faces of Emmitt, Michael, and Troy.

“Jerrrrrrryyyyyy.” They said in unison.

“This can’t be!” Jerry exclaimed. “You are not real! You are the product of bad sushi, that’s what you are!”

“Jerrrryyyyyyy!” The triplets escalated. “You are on a path of failure. You are doomed to a fate of embarrassment. Tonight you will be visited by 3 ghosts. Expect the first when the clock strikes one.”

Jerry was speechless – not a familiar state for him. He scurried up the stairs and dove into bed. Pulling up the covers and refusing to look as he softly fell asleep.

 The Ghost of Football Past

Feb 6, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detail view of the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the Super Bowl most valuable player and winning head coach press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The clock chimed once. It seemed louder than usual and woke Jerry up instantly. Looking down on him was the shadow of a stalky but well-built man. He had the most beautiful silver and perfectly styled hair Jerry had seen since….”Jimmy?” Jerry questioned. “Is that you?”

“Yes Jerry. It’s your ol’ buddy Jimmy Johnson. I’m here to help. Take my hand and we will go.”

Before Jerry could speak again or even offer his hand, Jimmy reached down and seized Jerry’s hand. Like a rocket out of North Korea Jerry and Jimmy flew through the sky sputtering and popping through the air. Landing softly on a runway of roses Jerry asked, “Where are we?”

“We’re in Pasadena Jerry. We just won our first Super Bowl.” Jimmy answered.

Champagne was spraying everywhere as Jerry saw a younger (and less surgically enhanced) him, hugging his best friend Jimmy Johnson. A flood of emotions and remembrance overcame Jerry as he looked upon the 1993 him speaking to the 1993 Jimmy.

“Do you remember what we talked about when we left that night, Jerry?” The ghost of Jimmy asked the 2012 Jerry.

“We spoke of meeting with the scouting department, reviewing college tape, and even some guys you had your eyes on.” Jerry replied to the ghost of Jimmy.

As the Super Bowl scene faded in the background, Jimmy whispered back, “Yes Jerry. You wanted to talk to everyone you could. You wanted to build a team that would last forever and wanted all the best minds working to that goal. And we did.” Adding even more softly and barely audible, “For a while at least…”

With that, Jerry was asleep safely at home. Sleeping as still and soundly as he ever had. Until the clock struck two of course.

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