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A Stranglehold On My Most Hated Team

Since becoming a fan of the Cowboys back in 1978 there has always been one team that I have hated more then any other in the NFL. Not the Redskins or the Eagles or the 49ers or the Steelers. That most hated team has always been the team from New Jersey called the Giants. It could be because I’m from the area and the Cowboys have always played them twice a season. It could be because they have had some really good players over the years and also some players that I’ve disliked. It could also be that I’m surrounded by their fans, some of which are Bandwagon Fans. I just can’t handle the majority of Giants fans and normally a day does not go by that an argument does not break out about the Giants and the Cowboys. There have also been some games over the years that have got under my skin. 

Sept, 1981 – The Cowboys beat the Giants 18-10. Yes, the Cowboys won, but not before I took a tumble down the steps in my house as I celebrated the Cowboys taking a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. I blame my fall on the Giants of course.

Dec, 1981 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 13-10 in overtime in the final game of the regular season.

Dec, 1985 – The Cowboys beat the Giants 28-21 to win the NFC East, but in the process the Giants knock Danny White out of the game as well as backup quarterback Gary Hogeboom.

Nov, 1986 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 17-14 and also loses quarterback Danny White for the rest of the season with a fractured wrist.

Sept, 1988 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 12-10 when the officials ruled a safety on the opening kickoff, but after the game said the play should have been ruled a touchback because the ball was muffed, not fumbled.

Nov, 1991 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 22-9 in one of the worst officiating games in history. Four of the worst calls ever seen resulted in 17 points for the Giants.

Jan, 1994 – The Cowboys beat the Giants 16-13 in overtime. The game is known for Emmitt Smith winning the game with a separated shoulder. But it’s also the game that the Giants offensive line chop-blocked Russell Maryland and Leon Lett.

Oct, 2000 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 19-14. Troy Aikman threw a career high five interceptions. The first interception coming on the very first play of the game. The worse part was that I was there in the Giants Stadium crowd to witness it.

Jan, 2008 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 21-17. The Cowboys finished the season 13-3 and had home field advantage in the playoffs. Even through the Giants won, it was Patrick Crayton who helped the Cowboys to defeat.

Sept, 2009 – The Cowboys lose to the Giants 33-31. The Giants destroy the home opener for the Cowboys and their new Stadium.

I’m hoping in 2010 the Cowboys will get some revenge on the Giants for losing four of the last five meetings. The Giants are by far my most hated team when it comes to the Cowboys. Like I’ve said, it could be the team itself and the history with them. It could be because I’m in Giants country or it could just be because I am surrounded by their fans and I hear it year after year. The Giants winning the Super Bowl in 2007 after beating the Cowboys in the playoffs only increased my hatred for the team.

Recently I was in New York City with my family for the day. We ended up at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Walking around I found myself in the sports room with Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Joe Namath and David Wright just to name a few. I then turned and found myself standing right in front of Eli Manning. I looked at my wife and then back at Manning. I knew what needed to be done, so I lifted both hands at the same time my wife lifted her camera. For Cowboys fans everywhere here is what I needed to do…

I’m Sorry, Did You Say You Were A Real Fan?

Monday, December 14, 2009 (Day after losing to the Chargers)

Mike: How can these guys play such a bad game? They knew how important this game was after losing to the Giants last week.

Dan: I know. That’s two in a row. Another great December run for the Cowboys! They’re done!

Mike:I just don’t understand it. Romo and Phillips needs to go! I can’t watch this team anymore!

Dan: Agreed. No way they make the playoffs, again!!

Monday, January 4, 2010 (Day after beating the Eagles and winning the East)

Mike: Oh man, did you see our Boys beat up those Eagles?

Dan: I knew they could do it. They are the team to beat right now in the NFC. No doubt!!

Mike: You know it. Phillips has our defense playing great right now.

Dan: Our Boys have everything it takes to make a Super Bowl run. Look out!!

*Names have been changed for their own protection*

I’m sure we all know these kinds of people. They bash the teams they say they are die-hard fans of one minute and then praise them the next minute. They always want to go and hide when the team loses and then want to shout from a roof top when they win. These are not true fans. These are what I like to call “Bandwagon fans”. I’ll be the first to admit that I get upset when the Cowboys lose and I will also talk about if someone didn’t play well or made a mistake. To give up on a team you say you are a die-hard fan of when things are not going right and then jump back on board when they are going right is just wrong. It just does not make sense to me when people do that. Be true to the team that you say is your favorite and support them through the good times and the bad times. That is what makes you a real die-hard fan.

I worked with a person last season who said he was a die-hard NY Giant fan. He was “Big Blue through and through” in his words. He loved them and would not stop talking about them when they were 5-0 last season, but after they started losing and giving up 40+ points in games he hated them. He didn’t want anything to do with them. They had become a horrible team and he did not want to be associated with them. As the season went on he jumped onto the NY Jets wagon and not a word about the Giants came from his mouth. Then a week after the Super Bowl it was no longer about the Jets because his cube at work was now decorated in New Orleans Saints colors. How can someone call themselves a die-hard fan of any team when they can’t stick to one team? This person went through three teams in one season. Each time saying he was a die-hard fan of each team, but only when they were winning. I’m happy to report that I no longer work with that person.

It actually gets me mad to the point I have to walk away because talking to these kinds of people is useless. They just don’t get the true meaning of being a diehard fan of a team. During the 2007 season I knew someone who wanted Tom Coughlin fired from the NY Giants. This same person wanted Eli Manning benched and Jared Lorenzen to be the starter. Of course when the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl that season, then Coughlin became a great coach and did a great job with the team and Manning was the greatest quarterback ever.  

As a fan you also have the right to criticize players and coaches. Everyone does it during a long season, but at the same time you cannot give up on a team. As a Cowboys fan I’ve suffered through three straight championship losses in the 1980s. A three win season in 1988 as well as a one win season in 1989. It was beyond frustrating at times, but when they became the team of the 90s it was great. Why? Because I knew deep down that I never gave up and never stopped being a die-hard fan.

I’m always asked during baseball season if I’m a Yankees fan or a Mets fan. I always say that I’m not a fan of either. I watch both teams and I want both to do well. That makes me simply a person who follows baseball, but I am not a fan of either team. I cannot call myself a fan of either NY baseball team when I enjoy watching both teams. Either someone is a fan or they are not. Someone cannot be a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan or a Mets fan and a Phillies fan. How about if someone said they were a die-hard fan of the Cowboys and the Giants? If you were a die-hard fan yourself I’m sure you would look at that person like they were crazy.

Being a true diehard fan of a team is the greatest thing in the world. There is nothing better than feeling like you are part of a team and believing that you are going through what they are going through. To all the diehard fans (and you know who you are), I say keep it up. For all those bandwagon fans (and you know who you are), I share this poem with you that was written for bandwagon fans that I’m around every day.

ODE TO A BANDWAGON FAN

As we continue on with this NFL season.

A Bandwagon fan is among us with no reason.

He smiles when they win and hides when they lose.

He can’t tell you the player’s names,

But knows enough with the Internet and news.

He’s a Bandwagon fan through and through.

Please stay safe because all that jumping can be brutal.

Never a dull moment in a Bandwagon fans life,

Most likely because he can’t decide which team is right.

It gets a little confusing week after week,

To those Bandwagon fans who love to leap.

Stay on or Stay off.

That it always the question.

It all depends on the score the day after.

So I plead and I beg to the Bandwagon fans,

Stop rocking the cart and become a real fan.

Where Are The Haters Now

First of all I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and want to wish you all a very happy new year. I hope you all have a great 2010. Sorry I have not been writing but every family needs a vacation once in a while and ours was wonderful.  Like almost everyone else I have more than 1 new year’s resolution. My main resolution this year is to go to a Super Bowl party for the Cowboys next month. The way they are playing right now, that is one new year’s resolution that will NOT be broken.

As for the game what an outstanding performance our Boys have been putting up the last few weeks. Tony Romo is playing to the top of his potential shutting all the critics up each and every week. Yes he had one interception against the Eagles, but I feel that if a ball is tipped at the line of scrimmage and then caught, that should not be counted against the quarterback. Not his fault just a great defensive play.

The defense played great but I do have one small concern: the wide receivers for the Eagles were pretty wide open a lot during the game. We really need to tighten up that defense because they will not be dropping those passes every week.

I love to go hang out at the local sports lounge where the “haters” have hounded me all year long saying the Boys suck, Romo is sorry, they will not win anything, won’t even make the playoffs. I walked into the SAME place Sunday night after the Cowboys shut out the Eagles and those SAME people were high-fiving me and giving our Cowboys props, and one of them even said they actually have a chance of making it through the playoffs this year. Yes, I made him say that 4 more times haha.

So to all the bandwagon fans out there, who were criticizing the Cowboys week in and week out, who never gave them a chance to do anything, I simply have one thing to say:

HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS BABY!!!!!!!!!

Cowboys’ Streak Is Sweet To Some, Bitter To Others

Two days after the great win in Philly, Cowboys fans are still on a victorious high, rightfully so. Looking around the web, most everyone’s opinions seem to have changed with a few exceptions, as to be expected.

NFL.com had some nice things to say…

Dallas — They have found a peaceful functioning locker room, which is exactly what they were looking for when they dumped T.O. in the offseason. The Cowboys must continue to control the game with their defensive line, and before the end of the season, everyone will know nose tackle Jay Ratliff is one of the game’s best.

ESPN’s Matt Mosley’s “Rapid Reaction” right after the game…

Don’t look now, but the Cowboys are in the driver’s seat in the race for the NFC East crown. They returned to the scene of last season’s embarrassing 44-6 loss and came up with a clutch performance.

Sports Illustrated is a bit hesitant to jump on the Cowboys bandwagon, but they still think its possible the Cowboys make it to the playoffs and cause an upset…

There’s a lot of football to play, and it’s too early to say anything about Dallas except that it’s in first place, alone, in the NFC East, and nobody but Bum Phillips thought that’d happen this late in the season. The Cowboys don’t have a killer schedule. They might be good enough to spoil the Favre-Brees NFC Championship Game.

There are plenty of other articles out there giving the Cowboys credit for taking charge of the NFC East. And along with the good, of course their is always bad. Some sour critics are claiming the Cowboys win over the Eagles just proves how awful the NFC East has become. Come again?

Check out this excerpt from CBS Sports analyst Mike Freeman

Someone had to win this monstrosity, so it might as well have been the Dallas Cowboys.

Oh, was this game magical, and by magical, I mean ugly as Whitney Houston emerging from a crack den.

Considering the beautiful painting by these two teams (Van Gogh or Van Gag?) the fans here were patiently behaved. For once, Eagles fans would’ve been well within their rights to smash something.

It gets a lot worse, but I won’t give him the pleasure of posting it on this site. Come on dude, gimme a break.

The Philadelphia Inquirer staff writers are angry as well, this from Philly columnist Bob Ford…

Yesterday was not a good day for the division. The Giants coughed up a dreadful loss at home against the Chargers, their fourth straight defeat; the Redskins continued their systematic withdrawal from the NFL; and then the Eagles and Cowboys played a sloppy, uninspiring game that wouldn’t have been worthy of also-rans, let alone contenders. In fact, it was a stinker.

So to wrap up, if the Eagles can’t beat the Cowboys then the entire division is in shambles?

Sorry Mr. Ford, there are thousands of Cowboys fans all over the nation that will beg to differ. It’s too bad you are so bitter that you can’t give credit where credit is due.

All we can do is laugh at the nonsense these last few ridiculous articles are attempting to portray. We can do that now, you know. Loyal fans of a team first in their division more than half way through the season have earned that right.

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

If you’re like me, your Sundays just aren’t the same these days. Although there are many holidays, celebrations, and events that we attend throughout the year, there is no time of the year like football season and watching my beloved Dallas Cowboys on the football field. I think back to how and when I jumped on the bandwagon as we all have at one point or another. 

It was the 1977-78 season which was a great year to become a fan, of the Dallas Cowboys that is. My best friend Greg got a new game for his birthday and it was the coolest thing I ever saw. It was an electric football game with individual players that you could position and attempt to direct on a scaled down version of a football field (it didn’t always work so well). Once each player had it’s offense and defense set up, you would flick the switch and the field would vibrate causing your players to go or not go in the direction you chose. When we played my friend Greg always got to be the Dallas Cowboys. After all… it was his game. That year we watched the Dallas Cowboys go to Super Bowl XII and defeat the Denver Broncos 27-10. From then on, my life would never be the same.

 My heroes went from Batman and Superman to Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett. After all, at age 8, it was much more acceptable to wear a jersey than a cape to school. I remember guys like “Butch Johnson” (No. 86). Johnson’s touchdown celebration was known as the “California Quake”. He would simulate pulling guns out of holsters and proceed to shoot them and shake. When I played football with my friends and scored a touchdown, I would do the same. I remember my first jersey. No. 33 “TD” Dorsett. If I could have, I would have worn it everyday. One day it was thrown in the wash with a bright red shirt. UGH!! It came out pink. I wore it anyway.

 As I sit here in front of my computer writing my first blog and reminiscing, I remember watching the Cowboys every year on what has become my favorite holiday of the year..Thanksgiving! What fan could ask for more? I remember the heartbreaks and losses too…like the famous play in the 1982 NFC Championship game known as “The Catch”. Where one of my heroes Everson Walls, couldn’t jump as high as 49er Dwight Clark to catch Joe Montana’s miracle touchdown throw with 51 seconds left in the game. I cried and cried that day.

 I’ve grown up watching this team. Many great super bowl wins along with playoff losses too. Many years of great bbq’s or parties with friends and family. Watching my favorite players come and go. Now my two sons are Cowboys fans (of course) and the tradition continues. I have to try not to draft all Cowboys on my fantasy football team (it’s hard). It’s been some time since we’ve been to the big game but I feel we are very close and I just can’t wait for training camp. The Boys are loaded with talent, and with a healthy season, I feel our time is now. Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon and I never jumped off. I bleed blue and silver and like good ol’ Willie Nelson sang…My heroes have always been Cowboys.

The Bandwagon Could Get Crowded This Year

Since the success of the ’90’s Cowboys Dynasty I’ve found myself when asked what team I support explaining that I’ve been a Cowboys fan since I was 7 years old. Why do I feel the need to explain how long I’ve been a fan? One word. Bandwagon.

Now I admit I did jump on the Cowboys Bandwagon when they were being successful in the ’70’s and I feel bandwagon jumping is totally acceptable between the ages of 5 and 12. Any older than that and you’ll be a bandwagon jumper forever. You were probably a Patriots fan for a few years. Maybe a Rams fan. Obviously never an Eagles fan because, well, you know. They’ve never won anything significant enough to warrant said "jump".

Loyalty. Perseverance. Fanaticism. These are three of the big things a true fan brings. I read Shelby’s post and she epitomizes what a true Cowboys fan is. At the end of a Cowboys game your emotions should parallel that of the team.

I’m sure this year we’ll have plenty of people jumping aboard The Blue Star Super Bowl Express and that’s cool. The more the merrier. And after the 6th trophy is hoisted high in the air and we all go out and buy new t-shirts I’ll still be explaining that I was a fan way back when just in case I’m mistaken for the newbies.

What was it that first drew me to America’s Team in 1975? The cool uniforms? The great teams? The awesome stadium? I think initially it was the cheerleaders.