Well, we are just days away from the unthinkable. The start of a football season in which I vow not to watch even one Cowboys’ game. The year was 1973, the Cowboys were just two years past their first Super Bowl win, I was a nine year old boy that had just moved to Texas from Minnesota. I was transported from a universe of casual Vikings fans to the heart of Dallas Cowboy country in a state that lived and breathed football. The fever was contagious and I found myself watching football for the first time. I was hooked.
Those were the days of Roger Staubach, “Bullet” Bob Hayes, Billy Joe Dupree, Drew Pearson, Mel Renfro, Charlie Waters, Walt Garrison, Robert Newhouse, Cliff Harris, D.D. Lewis, Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Lilly… I can go on and on… these were to me, the “originals.”
I have seen as many games as possible each season from that time forward. I watched Tony Dorsett, Hollywood Henderson, Troy Aikman, Harvey Martin, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Emmitt Smith, Randy White, Charlie Waters, Michael Irvin, and many more join and leave the team enroute to greatness during the next 33 years. The scandals of Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson, the Dallas CrackWagon, the firing of the greatest coach in history (Tom Landy), hiring the stupidest (Barry Switzer), and even that fateful 1-15 season were not enough to make me forsake “The Boys.” Terrell Owens was.
Maybe T.O. alone really doesn’t warrant such a switch in devotion. Maybe what he did was not that unforgiveable… he is a showboat and showboats do things like that. Maybe it is just the total disregard by the NFL toward the fan in general. Maybe it is the total destruction of the “my team” aspect caused by the Player’s Union and the infamous Plan B Free Agency. Maybe it was the skyrocketing cost of attending an actual game. Maybe one too many spoiled sports professional got away with crimes or other bad behavior. Maybe it was just the last straw. Maybe as Dave says, I have indeed officially become a curmudgeon.
Regardless of why… I am less than three days away from ending a streak of 33 years. I have to admit, as I get closer and closer to kickoff, I hope I can hold out.