Monday, August 24, 2009

Why the present-day Dallas Cowboys are an awful, ridiculous, absurd monster and alternately, why I cannot wait for football season to begin

I hate the Dallas Cowboys. Really, I do. Which is extremely uncomfortable considering that they are the team that I support. Nay, the team that I follow religiously. The team that I get depressed about missing during the summer and cannot wait until they come back in the fall to depress me with their bad football playing. The only analogy I can think of is the bad boyfriend.

The Cowboys are the boyfriend that you know, on paper, is completely awful. All your friends regularly ask with frustration all over their face why you are staying with him. They like to run down the list of things that he has done to hurt you or piss you off. He’s borrowed your car without asking and disappeared for three days with no explanation when he returns. He regularly uses phrases like “killer, brah” and “fo’ shizzle”. He doesn’t “get” the movie Idiocracy and calls is “dumb”. He wears Affliction t-shirts, jeans and flip flops most every day. Worse than all of that, when you try to defend your choice to stick with him to anyone, you cannot easily provide any reasons to justify your choice. You just, ummmm, well….you just, you know….I mean you don’t know what it’s like when it’s just us and no one else is around and…..

The Dallas Cowboys are a joke. A big, fat football joke. They used to not be. I think. Maybe I was just too young to get the joke back then. But Jerry Jones seems hell-bent on murdering any integrity the team may have. Because more than winning or playoffs or Super Bowls, Jerry Jones just wants to be really, really famous. Had he been born in a different time and not come into money (may need to re-evaluate this saying before posting) as he did, he would be a fixture of the reality show audition circuit and eventually become a staple of low-level basic cable reality programming. He’d eat monkey penises or make out with a pair of midgets or form alliances with smarter people and then throw them under the bus to avoid elimination. But mark my words; come hell or high water, he would be famous. And that’s a really bad thing for the Cowboys.

Let’s start with the most current wang measuring contest. The TV. I haven’t been to Cowboys Stadium yet but will be going soon because of the one good idea Jerry has had in a decade, the $29 party pass. Everyone that has been to the Stadium agrees that it is impressive if for nothing other than its size. Fresh Kills is also impressive because of its size, so size doesn’t always matter. I already hate the TV and I haven’t seen it. You know why I know that I hate the TV? Because at Mavs games, I hate the jumbotron. I never watch replays on it. I focus on the court instead. I sometimes realize this when I start to hear boos and remember, “Oh yeah, they show replays on the jumbotron.” But horses for courses and I do understand the appeal of the world’s largest replay screen to some people.

But when you find out that the screen is low enough that THIRD STRING punters could hit it with a punt, you eat humble pie. Not that a slice of such has ever passed between the lips of Jerry. But that’s when you take big HD lemons and make HD lemonade. You go, “oh yeah, well check this out….we can move the TV up because we have the most badass stadgeium of all time so suck it." You smile and push a button and pretend it’s as easy as that to move the screens up while simultaneously texting your assistant to get some cranes over to Arlington post-haste. You don’t, under any circumstances, claim that punters just shouldn’t, you know, hit the TV and say that the screens will not be moved as they provide “entertainment value” to patrons. You know what provides amazing entertainment value? Football. Non-dead-ball-filled football. Not that I think Jerry gives a flying anything about football. He’s the Paris Hilton of owners, great at brand building and so easy to hate

Before the football season starts each year, Deadspin runs something on each team in the NFL about why each franchise sucks. Here’s this year’s Cowboys one. I’d like to address each reason, if I could. And I can because this is my blog:

1. Their new stadium will rape your wallet multiple times over. Some of the new features of Jerry Jones' (YEEEEEEHAWWWWW!) $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium include carpeted floors (whee!), the world's biggest LCD screen (fer watchin' all dem big plays!), and a retractable roof. Oh yeah, there's also the $60 pizzas, and the $35, standing room only Party Passes the team is selling to an estimated 35,000 people PER FUCKING GAME. In other words, any time you attend a Dallas Cowboys game this year, nearly one third of the people in the stadium will be trying to take your fucking seat.

Do not get me wrong, I hate the idea of the new stadium because all the footage I have seen of it looks like the stadium equivalent of a model home in a “starting in the $400,000’s” planned community in Southlake or DeSoto or something. Completely soulless but filled to the brim with plasma concessions menu displays, frosted glass bathroom countertops and faux-modernism. But the idea that I can finally attend a Cowboys game and stand there on a pavilion and watch my team play is genius. If you have a seat at a game and are paranoid that a third of the people in the stadium will be trying to take your seat, breathe a deep sigh of relief when you realize that if that does indeed happen, the problem can be rectified with a simple “Yo homes, that’s my seat. Cough up a ticket or back to the party zone, hombre.” Takes about 5 seconds to say and will work 100% of the time. Also, Deadspin claims that the new stadium is “a painfully expensive, unnecessary luxury stadium that replaced a perfectly useful old home”. No. No, it isn’t. It is a painfully expensive, unnecessary luxury stadium that replaces a terribly dilapidated to third-world-esque levels stadium. Texas Stadium was the proverbial “used condom stuck to a dog corpse floating down the Ganges” of NFL stadiums.

2. If I have to hear Berman say "How bout them Cowboys?" one more god damn time… Seriously, Jimmy Johnson. FUCK YOU. Just because you won the NFC title against the 49ers back in 1993 didn't give you license to coin a phrase that would stay in the football lexicon forever and ever, well past the point of tolerance.

Point taken. When I was a kid in Georgia, my dad used to say “How ‘bout them Braves?” so I think it’s more of just a good-ol-boy way to sound folksy and blue collar and possibly backwoods. On a similar note, this list of NBA franchise slogans provides many a giggle to me.

3. I'm an American, and I did not ask for this team. Speaking of annoying terms associated with the Dallas Cowboys, the phrase "America's Team" was coined by NFL Films VP Bob Ryan in 1979 because he needed a catchy title for the team's 1978 highlight film.

Duuuuuuude, we get it. The phrase was coined before I was even born. It’s not my fault. I don’t call them that. One could argue that, as the top selling franchise as far as merchandise goes, the Cowboys are statistically speaking, America’s Team. Funny story: if you watch the Mexican film Y Tu Mama Tambien, you will notice that the two main characters have a club (“charolastras”) of sorts and one of the bylaws of the club is that “Whoever roots for Team-America is a fag.” I always assumed that this was a reference to either vague anti-Americanism in Latin America or a soccer thing. Turns out, if you watch the movie with the director’s commentary on, the sentence was mistranslated on the subtitles. What the rule is actually meant to read is as “Whoever roots for America’s Team is a fag.” True story. So even Mexicans are sick of the America’s Team thing.

4. They won't even have a chance to choke away a playoff spot this year. While the rest of the division improved, the Cowboys were fit to stand pat with Wade Phillips (he of the 0-4 playoff record) as head coach. They also did virtually nothing to their roster, with the mild exception of adding LB Keith Brooking. In short, this is the exact same team as the one that shat the bed last year. Only thinner at wideout.

Again, this bullet point belongs on a list of “Why Jerry Jones Sucks”. I fully believe that Jerry purposely half-ass drafted and blatantly ignore signing possibilities to pay for his new BonerDome. Which is why all Cowboys fans should be storm the gates of Valley Ranch with torches and hastily-made nooses at the ready, calling for his head.

5. Always remember: Michael Irvin once stabbed a guy in the fucking neck with scissors.

Done. Like 9/11 and where I was when Janet’s boob fell out, I hereby promise to never forget.

Yes, our team essentially sucks. And we hear about it constantly. We hear about how egotistical and underachieving we are. We hear people bitch about us like how everyone bitches about the prom king being a total dick. And then on top of all of this chimp diaper flinging, we still have to deal with the fact that at the end of the day, we love a team that doesn’t care about us and plays poorly at least 50 % of the time. Tony Romo told us he didn’t care that we didn’t win. Jerry Jones is telling us he doesn’t care about our football performance and would probably lower the TV screens in the ultimate middle finger to the actual sport the stadium was supposedly built to host. Wade Philips, while endearingly incompetent, is still incompetent. And while I wouldn’t go as far as to say that he doesn’t care, he doesn’t seem to mind losing a whole lot either. To be a Cowboy fan is to be a glutton for punishment, shame and disappointment. We all deserve Purple Hearts.

And I can’t wait for the season to begin. Even if we go 1-15. Even if Jason Witten finally breaks in half and Martellus Bennett is taken back to his home planet mid-season and we are left tight-endless. Because it’s football and it’s my team and it sure as hell beats reading or exercising or something on a sunny fall Sunday.

Now move the fucking TV up, Jerry and stop being a prick about it.

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