I should be writing an update on Week 2 of Training Camp. I should be talking about the Blue and White scrimmage this past Sunday and B.W. Webb’s pick-6 (LOVED IT!) I should be talking about the Hall of Fame Game coming up this weekend, a mere 275 miles southeast of yours truly (WHOOT WHOOT!) I should be talking about how we are going to matchup against Miami.
But I can’t… At least not until I talk about the news that we all knew was coming. I am talking about the Cowboys Stadium renaming becoming official this past Thursday. I am going to err on the side of caution with my words, but not because I don’t hold a strong opinion on the matter.
At a time when the dollar reigns supreme in the world of pro sports, I totally understand the idea of a venue selling its naming rights. From a business standpoint, I completely understand it. From a marketing perspective, of course it’s a no-brainer. Business is business and it’s harsh and it’s cut-throat. In a world of CWC’s (Crazy Wife Clauses… It’s a real thing, I promise!) and M&A’s, feelings and business do not at all go together. For the overall bottom line, selling the naming rights makes sense.
Acknowledging those facts doesn’t mean I like them. I might as well add that I don’t even think the name is remotely cool and it lacks any form of originality. Just sayin’.
I’m the trend setting type, but in this case you can call me old-fashioned and completely out of date. I will gracefully own it. We go to sporting events to see the greatest athletes of our time perform on stages that we can only dream about. There is something about an old school stadium’s name that evokes nostalgia. Something pure and untouched by the dollar. Something that speaks to a time before the profession of being an athlete was about money and endorsement deals.
Texas Stadium, Soldier Field, Lambeau Field, the Georgia Dome, Arrowhead Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium… These names are sacred and almost untouchable. All of those names hold a history that has shaped the world of football as we know it.
I get that times change and the obvious fact that four years as Cowboys Stadium isn’t a long enough time to capture a lot of nostalgia inducing feelings… But there is something to be said about a place named after the ‘Boys. THE Cowboys. No one questioned who played at Cowboys Stadium, but they may wonder where AT&T Stadium is. And is it different than AT&T Park (San Francisco, CA), AT&T Field (Chattanooga, TN) or AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX). When the 2010 NBA All-Star game set new records as the highest-attended game in history, no one wondered where it was. In 2012 when the Alabama Crimson Tide annhilated the Michigan Wolverines in the annual kick-off to college football game, the Cowboys Classic, no one wondered where that was either. When the Men’s 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament announced they were playing the South Regional in Cowboys Stadium, no one wondered who played there. As the name stated it was Cowboys Stadium… The Home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Some could say I am over-thinking all of this and that I am attached to the name Cowboys Stadium. Maybe there is a shred of truth to both of those sentences… But to be honest, I like that truth. I think the name change took something great and spectacular and incredible and made it ordinary. Jerry sold the character and distinction that the name Cowboys Stadium held. For me, the payoff doesn’t even come close to the cost.
P.S. For the record, when the Cowboys play in the SuperBowl this year, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will still be referring to it as New Meadowlands Stadium!