Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Trails to a Legend

Magnet # 219:  Dallas Icon Letters

Material:  Acrylic

Purchased By:  Me

Just a week ago, I woke up to news that saddened me - the iconic Texas Stadium was no more.  Apparently, this was basically old news to Cowboys fans or those who live in the Dallas Metroplex, but, in case you can't tell from my posts, I don't follow sports all that closely here in Savannah.  I'm surprised that it never came up in any conversations with my relatives who live there, but what can I say - unlike quite a few others, I was totally unaware that the stadium was scheduled to be destroyed.

Clearly, I am not a big fan of sports but the one team I always cheer for is the Dallas Cowboys.  I am nowhere near what you could call their biggest fan - if they played in the Super Bowl, I'd probably turn it on. I never really watch any of their games, but I do want them to win.  I guess the Cowboys are tied up in my love for Dallas, where pretty much all of my extended family has lived for decades.  Growing up, I gained an enthusiasm for America's Team.  And whenever we visited home, I always looked for three sites - Reunion Tower, Six Flags, and Texas Stadium.  Fortunately, Texas Stadium was just off the Interstate, so I pretty much got to see it on every trip.  But then, along comes Jerry Jones.  Like a cartoon villain, he fired the legendary Tom Landry, who had won the Cowboys two Super Bowl titles and gave them a 20 year winning streak, a record unmatched by any other team.  After further shaking up the management, the former oil monger and businessman had, in effect, taken all control over the country's greatest football team.  The Cowboys still managed to win three Super Bowls in the 1990s, but they have fallen a long way since the golden days of Landry.  And, like many others, I think that the team has more won in spite of Jerry Jones than because of him.  Jones soon turned his attention toward the historic Texas Stadium, in which the Cowboys had played since 1971.  Although this place was a beloved icon of Dallas - heck it's featured in the opening credits for the 80's television hit Dallas - it wasn't good enough for Jones.  He began planning the biggest and most expensive stadium in football history, one where he'd be able to have even more seats and sky boxes rake in the dough for him.  By 2006, construction on Cowboys Stadium began in Arlington, not Dallas or any of its suburbs.  I did drive out to the site with my family during its construction, but it just seemed like one more attraction sandwiched in with Six Flags, the Texas Rangers Ballpark, and even Hurricane Harbor across the Interstate.  At least its predecessor was set apart from everything else, a fitting tribute to the Cowboys.  And, yes, I was concerned about Texas Stadium, but from what I understood, it was still going to be used for high school and college football games.  Sure, it was old but I was still shocked that it was blown up.  They couldn't even turn it into a museum?  As you can tell from this blog, I love historic places and the stadium where Tom Landry coached and Cowboys greats like Roger Staubach, Randy White, Emmet Smith, and Troy Aikman all played definitely ranks as one.  It's a shame that future generations of Cowboys fans will never be able to set foot there.  I can't help but wonder if someday this won't be looked on as a really bad decision.  And the fact that the last game played at Texas Stadium and the first game played at Cowboys Stadium were both losses for the Cowboys has to make you wonder if this whole change hasn't been cursed from the beginning (okay, they won their first pre-season game there, but that doesn't really count).  Sure, it's state-of-the-art and impressive, but Cowboys Stadium has been another step towards taking the Cowboys away from their fans and making them more of a cash cow for Jones.  After all, who can really afford to pay $75 just to park to see the game ?  And that doesn't even count the tickets to see the game or any refreshments there.  Yep, the Cowboys may be America's Team, but thanks to Jones, less of America can afford to watch them in person these days.

I guess someday I'll get over the fact that Texas Stadium is gone and maybe even grow to accept its replacement.  But, for now, I'm going to stay miffed, and I know just where I can direct my ire.  Make no mistake Jerry Jones - you will be gone from the Cowboys someday and, unlike the great Tom Landry, nobody is going to miss you.  Personally, I'm looking forward to those days because the Cowboys will truly have a shot at becoming the undisputed greatest in all of America once again.  Perhaps then, Cowboys Stadium will be renamed Landry Stadium, as it ought to have been in the first place and you'll get a tribute worthy of your contribution - your name on a series of toilet stalls.  For better or worse, you're leaving your mark on the Cowboys but they are still America's Team and will continue to be once you're gone.  So here's to the Dallas Cowboys and seeing them back on top again - no matter where they play!


  1. I agree it was sad to see Texas Stadium go down last weekend. On the bright side though, the next Super Bowl will be at Cowboy Stadium which will be awesome!

  2. Here's hoping the Cowboys are in it -and win it!