Don’t question my fanhood, ever! Fanhood, the loyalty a person displays to a particular sports team or franchise. Those with diehard fanhood get baffled when encountered by someone with multiple favorite teams within the same sport. Some people have a favorite NFC team and a favorite AFC team which is marginally acceptable. There are the totally clueless individuals that not only have two favorite teams, but those teams are rivals! Usually, those individuals follow their admission with a lengthy explanation.
A dear friend from high school, Mathew “CatDaddy” Martin, recently informed me that he knows a Cowboys fan that lost his fanhood. Like me, Mathew’s fanhood runs deep, except he’s a Redskins fan and unfortunately I know plenty of them because I was born and raised in Washington DC. Mathew’s friend didn’t depart Cowboy Nation to ride a better bandwagon either. Unbelievably, he left the Cowboys to cheer for the New York Jets. That’s a drastic downgrade. He traded an Audi R8 for a bicycle with one wheel and a broken chain! What could cause one to lose their fanhood and depart Cowboy Nation?
As a lifelong member of Cowboy Nation, I’ve been pretty spoiled. I know some of you are older than me, but the worse season I’ve ever had to experience was going 1 — 15 in 1989. It was my junior year in high school (gasp!) and Troy Aikman and Jimmy Johnson’s rookie year. I survived the teasing because that lone win came against the Washington Redskins in DC. If you were a part of Cowboy Nation then, you deserved to celebrate the Super Bowl victories that followed in the 1990’s.
Jul 21, 2013; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a pass at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Since 1990, the Dallas Cowboys have had 7 losing seasons including three straight during the Dave Campo years (2000, 2001 & 2002). Out of the last 23 years, the Cowboys have had a record of 8 — 8 or better, 16 times. Our most recent losing season was 2010 and I believe that should get an asterisk! Injuries happen but our starting quarterback, Tony Romo suffered a broken collarbone early in the season. Since 1990, the Cowboys have won the Super Bowl three times.
The Philadelphia Eagles have had 6 losing seasons since 1990, including three straight in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Their most recent losing season was last year. While their fans may have grown accustomed to winning during the regular season, they don’t have any Lombardi trophies!
The New York Giants have had 7 losing seasons but only two in consecutive years (2003 & 2004). The Giants also managed to win the Super Bowl three times.
The Washington Redskins haven’t seen much success recently. They have had 11 losing seasons since 1990, including three straight in 2009, 2010 and 2011. They won one Super Bowl in 1991. Thanks to a 7 game win streak, they really started from the bottom to win the NFC East.
I like to joke that my friends in DC found their fanhood in week 13 of 2012. That’s when they finally reached 6 — 6 after starting the season 3 — 6. Unlike us, Skins fans have been tested with 11 losing seasons. When ending the season with a .500 record was out of the question, a game against our Cowboys became their Super Bowl. Meanwhile, we have been spoiled by consistent success.
June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett talks during a press conference after minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
For Cowboy Nation, anything less than a Super Bowl victory is a disappointment. This season is no different, even though we may not be the consensus pre-season favorite to win it all. Reaching the playoffs may help head coach Jason Garrett retain his job but Cowboy Nation believes reaching the playoffs is something that automatically happens every year. After all, we’re the Dallas Cowboys!
That’s why the last three years have been disappointing. Cowboy Nation simply has higher standards than everyone else. We have had so much success in the past, that becoming average has weakened fanhood among us. With last year’s 8 — 8 record, there are fans of 16 other NFL teams that wish they could’ve finished with our record. Keep the faith, Cowboy Nation and show your love for the star with pride. We will rise to the top of the mountain again. Then we can boast how all we do is win, win, win no matter what! It’s not a cliché — Win, Lose or Tie, Be a Cowboys fan til you die and never let anyone question your fanhood.