Texas Stadium, Grandpa's Wisdom, and Growing Up Dallas Cowboys

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When and where did you become an unabashed, unwavering, die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan?  My personal relationship began during December of 1980 in Garland, Texas.  I had just turned four years old and my Grandpa Joe, Father, and Uncle Steve are taking me to my first ever Dallas Cowboys football game.  I didn’t understand where we were going nor why, the events are foggy, and the details are scarce.  But, what I do remember is that it took an eternity to drive to Texas Stadium in Irving.  In reality it is only about a forty five minute drive, but time slows down for an excited four year old in a car. Relieved to be released from my metal prison, I bound out of the car when we arrived and was immediately blasted in the face with some of the coldest wind my little bones had ever felt.  The gusts were downright painful!  Going back into the car “prison” however, was out of the question, and the behemoth of a structure in front of me captivated my imagination.  I had never seen a building so big.  My tiny legs carried me forward clutching my D’s hand in a zombie-like walk; my eyes fixated on the stadium.

The next vivid memory I have of that day is emerging out of the tunnel and into the stadium.  The vastness and height of that gorgeous sports Parthenon which was Texas Stadium took my breath away.  My puny stature was made further miniscule by the huge space of the stadium, and I thought to myself, “this place MUST be special.”  Once the immediate shock of the stadium wore off, the freezing cold wind snapped me back to reality.

My Dad had brilliantly and mercifully thought to bring a thermos full of hot chocolate, and when he handed me the cup the pain in my body drifted away.  I was finally able to notice that there were a bunch of massive guys running around the field looking like they were trying to kill each other.  We were very close to the field and centrally located so we must have had good seats.  I did not understand the rules at all, and truthfully remember very little of the actual game, but I recall thinking that those guys on the fields Mommy’s are going to be really mad at them for fighting.  I also thought it would be great fun to jump on top of the human dog pile at the end of every play.  My Grandpa Joe bought me my first Cowboys memorabilia that day, which was a banner that hung on my wall my entire childhood.

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Tags: Cowboys Room Dallas Cowboys Grandpa's Wisdom Matt Thornton Texas Stadium

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    The first time I saw the Cowboys was in 1964 on TV. I witnessed Bullet Bob Hayes, Bob Lilly, Dandy Don Meredith, Cornell Green, Mel Renfro, Chuck Howley and Dan Reeves. I was sixteen at the time and became a fan of a team that I just knew was going to do great things. I suffered through the two losses to Green Bay in the NFL Championships. Those two games could have been won by either team but unfortunately Green Bay prevailed. If the Cowboys had won, the superbowl trophy would be called the Landry trophy. I was a huge Roger Staubach fan and wanted him to be the starting quarterback two seasons before Landry finally decided he would be the starter. To this day I have not seen a player who was as exciting and as determined to win as Roger Staubach. If fans could have seen the Cowboy players, coaches and entire organization in those days they would realize that something is sadly missing with today’s team. I am still a Cowboy fan hoping that someday they will have better management, more discipline and a greater desire to exceed….just like the Cowboy teams of yesteryear.

    • Matt

      Neat story and thanks for sharing! It sounds like you were able to witness many of old Cowboy “greats!” I was able to see most of Danny White’s career, but unfortunately missed seeing Roger the Dodger with my own eyes.