I was sitting at the hospital late last night while my wife was being monitored for contractions, and I got to thinking about my soon-to-be-born daughter (our first child for those interested).
Oct 2, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys fan cheers on his team during the game against the Detroit Lions at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
What if my daughter decides to NOT root for Dallas Cowboys? Even worse, what if she decides to root against them? What if she doesn’t even like football (not possible with my family by the way)?
Rather than force the Cowboys on her, I decided I am going to allow her to make her own decisions. I just figure, if you force one team and only one team on them, they might naturally rebel and go the other way. If that happens, so be it, although if she does decide to root for daddy’s team, that would make my life a lot simpler!
People are enamored with winning; they instinctively flock toward a team that consistently wins. Current Cowboys fans below the age of 25 or so have a very faint view of what success looks like. I am 30 years, which means I was at the ripe age of 12 years old the last time we brought home a Lombardi Trophy. I would LOVE to experience that euphoria in my adult life before I’m middle-aged.
If you don’t believe people flock toward winners then take the recent story of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for example. His father is a die-hard New York Giants fan. He remembers his father yelling and cursing at the television set because his Giants were a bad team for much of the 1970’s. Christie then decided as a boy to make the healthy decision to root for a winner; enter the Dallas Cowboys and Roger Staubach.
But you see, that’s the whole point and what got me thinking last night; it does not matter that I am a Dallas Cowboys fan. What matters is, when my daughter is old enough to choose the team she is going to root for, she will want to choose a winning team. And if my Cowboys are not a winning team when that time comes, then who am I to blame her to want to root for a winner?
And it’s not just MY daughter; it’s YOUR future sons and daughters too. ALL of our children will have to choose their team, and if our ‘Boys are not winning and winning consistently when that time comes, our worst fears might become reality folks!
People who grew up in the 1960’s eventually saw the Dallas Cowboys evolve into winners. The Cowboys were the talk of the town and we climbed the mountain the hard way, and Americans and fellow Texans related to that kind of eventual success. Dallas Cowboys fans were born.
People who grew up in the 1970’s had “Captain Comeback” to consistently pry the Cowboys from the jaws of defeat. They saw a team that appeared in five Super Bowls in 10 years. They witnessed the birth of “America’s Team.” Dallas Cowboys fans multiplied.
When the 1980’s came along, the lasting moniker “America’s Team” was in full force. The great Tom Landry was still there as was the always electric Tony Dorsett and the second edition of the Doomsday Defense. Dallas Cowboys fans grew stronger and dealt with adversity for the first time since the 1960’s.
The 1990’s brought three more Super Bowls titles to Dallas. The decade also saw the culmination of the greatest trio in NFL history, The Triplets. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin gave fans what they wanted; success and lots of it! Dallas Cowboys fans grew in record numbers.
That was then, this is now.
Since our last era of dominance, our fans have had very little reason to be proud. Yes we have a great big stadium and plenty of star players to fill it, but fans want a reason to cheer; they want hardware!
We don’t want a single playoff win since 1996. We don’t want three consecutive years sitting on the couch watching the playoffs like we have the last three seasons. We don’t want empty promises; we want a winning team again…a Super Bowl winning team!
For the sake of my child and the sake of all your young and future children; we need a dominant and consistent winner again. If our Dallas Cowboys do not change our fortunes soon, our children and people like Governor Chris Christie will find a winner.
We are still the most popular team in the country. Despite popular belief, we are still “America’s Team.” We still have a legion of fans across the country that bleed silver and blue.
These fans are you and I. These fans grew up watching a winning team. These fans are in it for the long haul, the die-hard faithful that grew up on “America’s Team.” These are not the fans I am worried about. They call us “lifers” for a reason.
I am worried about the fans 10, 20 or 30 years from now. The fans that will become our grown children. These are the fans that will carry the Dallas Cowboys into the future when we are dead and gone; the future generation of Dallas Cowboys fans.
If we don’t change our culture to what it once was when we were kids, the proud and passionate fan base of the Dallas Cowboys might look far different when we’re in our twilight years.
It’s up to the current team to prevent that treachery from ever happening. What does the future hold for us?