Confessions of a Dallas Cowboy Junkie: Session One
I love the Dallas Cowboys. I have loved them for as long as I can remember, and I will love them until I die. Some people have suggested that my devotion to the Cowboys goes beyond religious zealousness and into irrational and unhealthy obsession. I think it’s good to love something intensely and not need to give a rational explanation why you care about it so much. Anyway, here is a random collection of some of the things that my ‘obession’ with the Dallas Cowboys has caused me to do.
– When I put something in the microwave, I never set the timer for a round number of seconds. If it needs 30 seconds, it gets 33 (Tony Dorsett), if it needs 20 seconds, it gets 22 (Emmitt Smith), if it needs a minute and a half, it gets 88 seconds (Michael Irvin), if something needs 1 minute, I will Sean Lee it and then Romo it (50 an 9 seconds respectively).
– When the woman who eventually became my wife moved in with me, I made it a point to get a prior agreement that there would be no Christmas Tree in my house. My problems with the holiday and the way it is celebrated are not the point. In mid-December, our third year living together, I came home late one night after being out with the boys and was horrified to see what appeared to be the silhouette of a Christmas tree in my living room. I was furious! I momentarily lamented the fact that I did not own a flamethrower and then stormed to the bedroom ready to unleash a barrage of indignant ultimatums. She was awake and waiting, after I ranted for few minutes, she calmly got up, went into the living room and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about. There is no Christmas tree in this house.” I flew to the light-switch as I accusingly demanded, “What the hell is that then?” When the light came on, I saw a tree with dark blue and silver garland wrapped around it, a few dark blue and silver glass balls, and a bunch of silver stars. She smugly informed me: “This is not a Christmas tree. It’s a “Good-luck for the Dallas Cowboys Playoffs tree.” We have the same tree every year, even when the Cowboys don’t make the playoffs; it stays up as long as there are more games. And yes, I finally agreed to presents being placed under it.
– I used to travel a lot for work. When I had to visit other NFL cities, I always took 10 or 15 Dallas Cowboy bumper stickers with me. I would skulk around parking lots and affix them to cars. One word of advice: men who drive big pick-ups are likely to resort to violence if they think you are ‘effing around’ with their trucks.
I also tried to leave a few on the vehicles used by the public transportation. There is nothing as enjoyable as watching the horror, disgust, anger, and bewilderment of dozens of onlookers when they see a Dallas Cowboys emblem on one of their public buses or subways. (By far the most amusing place I did this was Buffalo during Super Bowl week the second time the Cowboys beat the Bills.)
– For several years, I worked abroad. The only way to watch a Cowboys game when you are on another continent is to stream it live; this is often in the middle of the night or Monday morning local time. I have canceled work on Mondays because of a game far more times than my employer could be expected to understand or tolerate. It is a risk I will take again when need be.
– When Emmitt Smith broke Walter Payton’s All-Time rushing record and then went and found Daryl Johnston on the sideline, I cried.
– When Tony Romo botched the snap on the field-goal against Seattle in the playoffs, I kicked the coffee table so hard that I broke bones in my toes.
– For years when I was a kid, I would use my own money to buy the newspaper every Monday. When I could afford it, I bought more than one. I would cut out any story, stat, or picture relating to Tony Dorsett and put it in a scrap-book. The few times he made the cover of Sports Illustrated were major events in my life (the one when he was on the cover as a Denver Bronco still haunts me: I couldn’t accept that Tony’s career was really over).
– In week 10 of the 2010 season, I was lucky enough to see the Cowboys play the Giants in the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Cowboys won 33-20 to improve their record to 2-7. All I could think about during the game was how Eli Manning had autographed a Dallas Cowboy Stadium wall the year earlier during the inaugural game in Dallas. I left the stadium happy that the Cowboys had beaten the Giants in the their own building and content in the fact that I had desecrated their ‘house’ far worse than Eli’s now rather innocent and uncreative looking signature.
If you have done something unusual in your support of the Dallas Cowboys, tell me about it by email and I may include your anecdote with Session Two or Three.
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