Here in Southern California, last minute trip itineraries are being set and navigation maps to the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard are being double checked.
The ‘Boys are back in town
From here and places in Northern California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Scottsdale, Arizona and St George, Utah, reservations at hotels in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura are being verified.
Vacation days at work were put in months ago, or, if you are like me, are being put in today. The closer you live to Oxnard, the more likely you are going to try and go on a weekend or your usual day off (SoCal residence are used to driving a few hours on the freeway).
The Romo jersey we threw in the back of the closet after the Washington Redskins has been dug back out and washed. We are going to wear it to the training facility along with our flip-flops.
It’s CowboysNations annual mecca to Oxnard, Ca. to see our Dallas Cowboys practice.
How can we not go? The Cowboys come to us. It’s our own back yard.
Cowboys training camp always has a big turn out. The local community, if a little put out, welcomes the tourists. Even if they are coming from just a couple hours away. We spend money in the area. We go to the area beaches in Ventura, Oxnard and Port Huename. We eat at the restaurants and (unfortunately for us) buy gas at, like $5 a gallon.
It’s not a question if we go, just how long we go. The crowds are big, and just like you’d expect, if the Cowboys are winning, the crowds that year are bigger with Bandwagoners and casual fans.
I can’t speak of whether this same event status and buzz would happen in Michigan, for example, but I get the feeling it would. When you arrive at the Cowboys training camp, you look around and understand the term ‘America’s Team’ . Most likely due to the Cowboys being on TV all the time back in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s, the places in this great country that don’t have their own team, overwhelmingly adopt the Dallas cowboys.
For the last month or so, whenever I run into a Cowboys fan (randomly, multiple times per week -and this is near Palm Springs, Ca) one of us asks if the other is going to Oxnard. San Diego is closer to me than Oxnard is, yet you’ll rarely hear a Chargers fan talk about going to their training camp or even their preseason games. The Cowboys fan, however, already has plans to go the the Cowboys-Chargers preseason game in San Diego. It is not a stretch to anticipate that Cowboys fans will outnumber Chargers fans in the stands at their stadium.
Enough boasting. It’s not about the popularity of the Cowboys, it’s about the steadfastness of CowboysNation. Winning season or the recent 8-8 seasons, we turn out. We go.
July is the month the Dallas Cowboys fan wipes the slate clean. Romo will throw fewer interceptions. Dez Bryant will become a star. Miles Austin’s hamstrings will hold up (wait…no one expects that).
The point is, CowboysNation does nearly as much preparation as fans, as the Cowboys team does as players. We are our own best PR department. We don’t need spin, we spin ourselves, and I’m fine with that. Every year at this time, we put away last season as we pack our vehicle for the road trip to Oxnard.
This is our year.