Web Posted: 12/29/2008 11:10 CST Cowboys fandom mourns
Cary Clack Earlier this month, video out of Chile showed a dog braving speeding traffic on a highway to pull an injured dog out of further danger and to the side of the road. The animal was hailed as Chile’s Hero Dog
Sunday afternoon, early in the third quarter of the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game, about the time the Eagles returned a fumble 96 yards for a touchdown, I hoped, looked and waited for Hero Dog to sprint from the sidelines of Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field and drag the injured dog that was the Cowboys off the field and out of further danger. But Hero Dog, who possesses more heart and character than the Cowboys, never showed up. And the stench from the team’s carcass will linger over Cowboy fandom well into next season, or whatever season it is when the Cowboys next win a playoff game — or even a meaningful game in December.
I’ve been a Cowboys fan for 40 years, and should they never win another game in my lifetime, I will remain a Cowboys fan. If the Chicago Cubs faithful can remain true to their team even though it hasn’t won a world championship in 100 years, I can do so with my team, remembering the Cowboys’ unsurpassed five Super Bowl wins and eight Super Bowl appearances.
Remember those years? To paraphrase Barbra Streisand, misty-colored memories of the way they were. And I believe Streisand could do a better job of play-calling than offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
In their most disappointing year, Sunday’s game was the most humiliating Cowboys performance in history — far more disappointing than that 1-15 season, because this season they were the prohibitive favorite to get to the Super Bowl. And they don’t even make the playoffs? Excuse me for a second ... OWWWWWWWWWWW!
... OK, I’m back; just a little primal-scream therapy.
There came a point during the game, after there was no chance of a comeback, after I’d become numb to the barrage, after I realized that Hero Dog wouldn’t come or that a referee wasn’t going to step in and stop the beating, that I began wanting the Eagles to keep scoring. If my team was going to be embarrassed then, dadgummit, I wanted it to be embarrassed in historical proportions. If I have 10 expensive glass goblets and you break nine of them, here, finish the destruction.
The 44-6 beat-down was the Christmas gift to Cowboys haters that will keep giving for months to come. And there’s not a thing we Cowboys lovers can do but take it until we have something more than memories of past glories to throw back at them.
The Cowboys had so many costly turnovers that they looked more like an upscale bakery than a highly paid professional football team. I may be a hopeless ROMOntic, but I truly believe that Tony Romo will be a great, Super Bowl-winning quarterback. This isn’t the best season to make my case and it may be harder to sell that argument than shares of stock in Lehman Brothers, but I think the kid has “it,” if he can just learn to hold on to “it.”
Wouldn’t it be great if the Cowboys had a head coach who was not only a genius but also a strong disciplinarian who commands respect and fear in the locker room? Someone like Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells? The two immediate things that Jerry Jones can do to help the Cowboys is, one, petition that the month of December be eliminated from the calendar and, two, sell the team so that he can devote more time to televising his plastic surgeries.
Short of that, the only hope for Cowboys fans to be relieved of his bad personnel decisions is to hope that the feds have some incriminating wiretaps on him.
In the great scheme of things, sports are unimportant, a mere distraction from reality. In a world of death and devastation, of hatred and heartbreak, of tragedy and trauma, where people are broken and oppressed each day and — I’m sorry — but this just isn’t the column for that today. I’ll have all of 2009 to write about those things. It was 44-6! On national TV. As the nation laughed at them. And with good reason. Hero Dog, where are you? A wounded Cowboys nation turns its lonely, winless-in-big-games eyes to you. Cary Clack’s column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. To leave him a message, call (210) 250-3486 or e-mail [email protected]. Cowboys fandom mourns