In my continuing look at some of the iconic aspects of Dallas Cowboys lore, I turn my attention to the two places the Cowboys have called home on Sunday afternoons since their move out of the Cotton Bowl in 1971.
When Dallas left their temporary digs at the Texas State Fairgrounds, the NFL had never seen anything like their new home, Texas Stadium. Some compared the massive grey structure in the Dallas suburb of Irving to a spaceship. For its’ time, Texas Stadium was state of the art. Its’ most identifying feature was what it will always be remembered for: The hole in the roof. It became a saying among the Cowboys faithful that the hole was to provide God with an unobstructed view so that He could kick back and watch his favorite team play after church on Sundays. While that assessment still triggers a collective eye roll from Dallas haters, I have to say it makes perfect sense.
The Old Grey Lady didn’t always make it easy to sit through a game. Before the heat of summer gave way to cooler fall temperatures, the sun slowing gliding across the Texas sky could provide fans with the unwanted souvenir of a halfsided sunburn. The bowl design, which is said to have been chosen to give fans a view of the action on the field without being subjected to whatever Mother Nature chose in the way of weather, also meant that there was little to no breeze circulating through the stands. For those who truly bleed blue, though, there was no happier place to be on game day. The walls were practically alive with the Cowboys mystique and the echoes of the cheers from last second catches and goal line stands that have made Dallas the team America either loves or loves to hate.
When the haunting strains of Dallas Cowboys legend Dandy Don Meredith’s trademark diddy, “Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over” turned out the lights on Texas Stadium for the last time on December 20, 2008, it was a tearful farewell for this Cowboys fan.
There’s no stopping progress, though, and Dallas moved into the monument to our owner’s ego known as Cowboys Stadium when the 2009 season kicked off. Like its’ predecessor, the Cowboys new home also has a hole in its’ massive roof. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where the similarities end. The hole in Jerry’s Billion Dollar Baby is retractable and fans in the nosebleeds can enjoy their $10 souvenir bucket of popcorn while watching a massive hdtv. Who needs to squint at those tiny little specks on the field, right? Instead of a tunnel, the latest batch of Cowboys get to walk through a bar where fans in all stages of inebriation can get up close and personal with them on their way to and from the field. If you aren’t in the mood for football in the Cowboys football stadium, there is a billion dollar art collection to tour and a Victoria’s Secret for shopping….nice!
If it weren’t obvious enough by my rather blatant sarcasm, yours truly is partial to the Cowboys previous address. Although the old girl has been reduced to a pile of rubble, I can still watch the Cowboys play from one of the seats that used to reside in Texas Stadium. Thanks to my hubby and the marketing genius that rescued everything from toilet seats to turnstiles, Texas Stadium can live on in the living rooms of her fans forever. God bless her!