Are You Starstruck? Then Act Like It!

Ever heard of the term “12th man”? It refers to the fans in a stadium and their impact during a home game by chanting, whistling or making other loud noises to distract the opposing team’s offense. The idea is to cheer while your team’s defense is on the field, inevitably confusing or making it hard for the other team’s offense to hear calls or plays.

With the same idea, fans of the home team should be silent while their offense is on the field so plays can be heard loud and clear and not to cause any false starts.

Homeofthe12thManIronically, the term was first used in Dallas by Texas A&M University in 1922. Its now commonly used in Seattle by the Seahawks who have made it very useful and truly believe it makes a positive effect on the outcome of the game. But the truth is it does work and every home team should be able to count on their fans to do their share. Thats also part of the benefit of  “home field advantage”.

You are probably wondering why I am attempting to give you a history lesson.

Frankly, we have a problem my fellow Cowboys fanatics. Some people have noticed and expressed their concern, specifically my friend and current season ticket holder Roy.

Roy’s rant comes from a true die hard fan who is concerned about the loyalty of the people who attend football games in the beautiful new stadium that we as fans should feel honored to call our team’s home.

I have been a fan for 40 years and have attended more games than I can remember. I used to be a season ticket holder back before I had kids, and now that they are finally grown and out of the house I am once again a season ticket holder.

I have a huge problem with the fans at the home games I have attended this season. It angers me that they don’t seem to understand when to make some noise, and when not to.

I yell when we are on defense, which is what you are supposed to do so the other team cannot hear their QB. I yell, “C’mon D make a play. Get the ball. Defense. Defense.” I start yelling as soon as the other team breaks the huddle and comes to the line of scrimmage. I guarantee you I am just about the only one yelling in the whole stadium. You can hear a pin drop.

Then when the Cowboys have the ball, the fans start yelling, “C’mon Romo make a play!” I am not a shy person when it comes to the Cowboys. I will stand up and look in all directions at the fans around me and say, “Hey! We got ball, be quiet so they can hear the count.”

When the defense returns, I stand up and ask if we have any Cowboy fans here. I get little response. I actually give instructions to the people in my section to make noise when the other team has the ball, and especially on third down.

The fans just don’t know how to make our new stadium loud when we are on defense. We need to drown out the other teams cadence so maybe we can be the 12th man and cause a false start or so that they don’t get off on the ball as quick as they need to.

I don’t know that my complaint will make a difference but I needed to vent.

I will continue to make noise and root for my Cowboys! Cowboys Rule!!!

- Life Long Cowboys Fan, Roy

Roy speaks nothing but the truth. Coming from this out-of-state Cowboys fan, I have heard, or should I say not heard the rumble of the crowd during the televised games. It seems so quiet in Cowboys Stadium compared to others. I realize my only source is what the television provides, but at the same time comparing the Cowboys games to say, the Packers or the Steelers… lets just say we should be a lot more excited and well, just LOUDER.

Fans

Honestly if you are one of the lucky ones who actually gets to attend games, I would think you would want to make the most of the experience. You know – wear your favorite jersey, be the 12th man, cheer for your team, watch every play, enjoy every touchdown, take pictures, etc. Don’t spend the entire game on the phone or start mocking or name calling your team when they are down.

Being America’s team, you better believe there are thousands of us die hard fans spread around throughout the nation that would give anything to be at the home games. Some people really don’t take advantage of going to Cowboys games on home turf. Don’t get me wrong I know there are many truly dedicated fans that attend the games (I know this for a FACT), and you are definitely appreciated. It just doesn’t seem that the majority of the crowd is really getting into the action. I would like to know how many of those seats are going to corporate big-wigs who toss them at clients or use them for business meetings. Jerry needs to pull their fan cards.

Hey, how about adding a “CHEER” and “HUSH” sign to the big scoreboard, kind of like studio audience’s “APPLAUSE” signs. That shouldn’t be hard, after all we can premiere movie trailers and host the first 3-D broadcast at a sporting event.

We’ve got cheerleaders, we’ve got cage dancers in the upper levels… maybe instead of just looking pretty they can instruct the fans on how to participate. Now there’s an idea…

Can you imagine how wonderful it would be if Wilford Crazy Ray Jones (may he rest in peace) were here with us today? Things would be different. Crazy Ray would put the fans in their place, and do it with a smile on his face! We need to remember the passion and dedication that Ray brought to every home game during his lifetime and make him proud.  Just ask yourself, “What Would Crazy Ray Do?”

So, the moral of the story is: Make us proud, if you have the honor of attending a Dallas Cowboys home game…

1. Wear Cowboys gear

2. Make noise for the defense

3. Be quiet for the offense

4. Respect the Star

Simple enough.

Now that we have only two more home games I expect them to be heavily impacted by the fans this time around. Now, all together in your toughest football voice scream with me,

DE–FENSE! DE–FENSE! DE–FENSE!

Comments
  1. cbfan4ever

    THANKS FOR BRINGING THIS UP. I HAVE WATCHED EVERY WEEK AND THE FANS ATTENDING THE GAMES ARE QUIET. I GUESS THEY THINK THEY ARE IN CHURCH.THE MORE CHEERING YOU BRING HELPS MOTIVATE THE TEAM. THE GAMES I HAVE BEEN TO WE NEVER SAT DOWN.COME ON FANS BRING SOME NOISE!!!!!!

  2. Great post and spot on. Last year I read an article in SI that ranked the fan bases in the NFL. The Cowboys finished second to last. The Giants, Eagles, Redskins, Packers and Seahawks were top 5. The Cowboys fans were called meek and hardly inspiring and the visiting teams feeds off of it more than the home team. Let’s face it, if Cowboys stadium was full of blue collar die hard fans, instead of a majority of the rich and elite, things would be different. However with over 200 luxury suites, and thousands of premier seating options, it will only get worse in the new stadium not better. In the good old days you’d be surrounded by thousands of fans eating hot dogs and drinking Buds. Nowadays they eat their Angus steak sandwich smothered with portobello mushrooms, while sipping their champagne.

  3. nate

    The scoreboard read “QUIET! OFFENSE AT WORK!” when the morons wouldn’t pipe down at the Atlanta game.

    • Joe D

      Wow that says it all. We actually had to issue a message telling the fans proper protocol…

  4. Raina

    great article Miss Kelly! Something else that upsets me is when the fans boo the offense or a certain player. To me that isn’t being a fan at all. We should support the team even when we get upset about a bad play or dropped pass.

  5. Full Metal Black

    You would think with one of the biggest fan bases in the country we would have the loudest stadium. This has been a problem for some time now. Why? Why is it that a bar I go to 7 Cowboys are louder then the damn stadium. Its sad, cuz I envy a lot of other teams when it comes to this crap. All the people with season tickets should have air horns, bells, clickers, megaphones…ANYTHING THAT MAKES NOISE! over 100,000 seats. That’s prime real estate for Cowboys Stadium to be nicknamed the “THUNDERDOME” or something like that. And even if were losing I want all of us on our feet! That reason alone is why other fans think we’re just fair weather/bandwagon fans. I know all of you give your heart and soul to the greatest team on earth. So why not shout it! Even booing Roy-11, SHUT UP AND CHEER FOR THIS MAN! THE D NEEDS US! ROY NEEDS US! AND ROMO NEEDS! SO SHUT UP AND CHEER!

  6. TD

    I love this post….let me say that first of all. I also have to nit-pick a few of the points as well. I have had the absolute luxury of attending 4 home games this year, in our inaugural season in the new, breathtaking stadium. I also attended the Big 12 Championship game between Texas and Nebraska, but that being said; Let me start from the beginning…

    The first game I went to was Monday Night Football against the Panthers, I was so dang excited and in awe of the stadium that I am thankful I went in several hours early to take it all in. The fans were pretty lively as the minutes ticked away to the kickoff, as a matter of fact I specifically remember getting the chills when they played the intro to MNF on the big screen and when we all heard the anthem to MNF everyone was going crazy…..and then we watched a half that ended with Carolina up 3-0. That does sort of take the wind out of your sails. I sat in the upper level for this game and there were several groups trying to start chants and even the dreaded wave, and it was a decent atmosphere. Alot of cheers during the defensive series. The second game I attended was a 3 o’clock kickoff vs Atlanta. I was very lucky to get free lower level tickets, on the 15th row. This is where I saw a marked difference. There was little to zero passion down there, as a matter of fact, there were at least 10 empty seats on our row! The face value of these tickets were $375.00 each, so I seriously doubt that someone would pay that and just decide not to go, so they must have belonged to some gigantoid corporation. I remember early on in that game texting my friend who was in the 200 level and telling him that there was no hype, no excitement. And this was during one of our best wins of the season. Sam Hurd was dancing and waving his arms before every kickoff to get the fans into it, and this would work to an extent. I almost felt bad once, because I stood up on a 3rd down to cheer and looked around and I was the only one. So, on that occasion it was NOT a great atmosphere. I loved the view, but not the vibe. My 3rd game was Thanksgiving and again, I was in the upper level. This game was sort of a tweener, sometimes really good, sometimes very quiet. Miles Austin brought the biggest cheer of the day when he was doing a little celebrating on the bench and it was shown on the big screen. He was smiling and holding his arms up and the place went nuts. Overall, this being a holiday game and a very lackluster opponent, I was a little disappointed in the atmosphere. Now, to last weeks game against the Chargers. I was shocked to see so many San Diego fans! This must have just not translated to the TV because this was a loud game. The fans knew how important this game was, and if not then the loud, obnoxious Chargers fans put a little life into them. The 4th and goal debacle and lack of points took some steam of off things, but I really enjoyed Sunday’s game from an atmosphere standpoint. I have some theories to why things seem to be the way you wrote….but first, let me just say that the most insane, intense game was without question the Big 12 Championship. With the crowd split about 65/35, there was never a quiet moment, the marching bands in the stands filled every break with fight songs and such, and the colors were vibrant….it seems that every person in the building was wearing red or burnt orange. It was an amazing experience. Now, my theories on why the stadium is or can be quiet. First theory: the product on the field. Let’s be real and honest with ourselves as die-hard fans. We are disappointed right now, we have no consistency, we can’t seem to make the defensive stops we need so badly, cheering or not! The offense racks up yards but can’t put points on the board and we are very unsure about our head coach. Just because we don’t boo doesn’t mean we are not concerned. Now, if we as knowledgeable fans feel this way, imagine the schmucks and trophy wives that sit down along the first level, they don’t know anything but when the Cowboys score it’s good and when they don’t it’s bad. While this may be a reflection on ticket prices, I believe it’s more of a reflection on casual fans. Secondly, the afore-mentioned ticket prices. When you out-price the average joe, then you lose your most passionate fans. If there is one thing I walk aways from thinking after each game, is that this is NO Texas Stadium. In both good and bad ways; I remember being at many games there and while you would freeze your you know what off trying to walk to a 30 year old bathroom, you had an awesome time screaming and yelling and cheering. I recall a Sunday night game 4 years ago, the first home game against the Redskins and it was electric. When Romo hit Terry Glenn in the endzone for a TD, my friends and I went crazy, jumping and chest bumping and so was everyone else. You just don’t see that now at the new place. There is no community of fans, no tradition yet. And my last theory: the big TV. It is amazing, the most awe inspiring thing you could imagine but it draws people in like a tractor beam. You just sit there and stare at it. I have weened myself off of it to an extent this year and now am able to actually watch the live game below, but look around and everyone is sitting back, eating their popcorn watching the game on TV. It almost brainwashes people into forgetting they are AT A GAME! Who knows, maybe these could all have a little truth to them, or maybe none at all. I am with you and with Roy, and I try to do my little part. I know that winning and consistentcy cure all. The fans, for the most part, start off with good intentions. It’s those 7-6 games against the Redskins that seem to turn even the best intentions, into disappointing actions. I want to give it time, let the stadium grow it’s own traditions, let’s get some landmark victories in there and let’s let the corporate suits give their tickets away to clients for now, and as time goes by we can hope that the stadium becomes more accesible to the true fans! Go COWBOYS!

  7. Mary Lou Herrera

    Respect the star! Remember guys our Dallas Cowboys will always be Americas Team. GO COWBOYS!!! BEAT the c—- out of the saints!