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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!

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.

Jason Garrett Will Remain in Dallas

ESPN is reporting that Offensive Coordinator and former Dallas Cowboys player Jason Garrett will be staying in Dallas. He has turned down the Atlanta and Baltimore head coaching jobs.

Owner Jerry Jones met with Garrett last night and it is believed that Jason Garrett will receive a substantial raise along with the promise that he will supercede Wade Phillips as head coach in the next couple of years.

This is great news for the Dallas Cowboys and fans alike. Garrett, once Troy Aikman’s backup QB, led the offense to a record-breaking season.

Despite the rumors, I never thought Garrett would leave. He was hired before head coach was filled last offseason, and it was pretty apparent that he would eventually take over the team. His loyalty to the team and Jerry Jones has basically insured this now.

BE A REAL FAN!!!

I am currently commuting back and forth between Abilene and Dallas. Typically I’m only in Dallas on the weekends to spend time with my son. He’s 15 and a real rock star on his baseball team. Yet he’s more of a football fan. I really enjoy watching football with him. He’s of course a Cowboys fan. He’s also a really hard core Longhorns fan. He is so emotional about his teams that sometimes it’s frustrating for me. It’s really interesting to watch the transitions a teenager goes through. Just when you think you have them figured out, they change on you.

Last season, near the end, when The Cowboys had a big loss, he took down his Cowboys myspace layout and put up an LT layout. Kelly will remember this. I was pissed! I told him that he’s being fairweathered. We had a very heated discussion about this. I really didn’t think I got through to him. Then the draft came and he had a nervous breakdown over Brady Quinn being passed over by The Cowboys. I explained that it was the right thing to do in backing up Romo, on Jerry and Stephen Jones’ part. Again, I just got that look that teenagers give and figured I had gotten nowhere.

This season, I saw that I had possibly gotten through but maybe a little too much. One good thing is that LT is still on his myspace but he’s just a hero. JD makes it clear he’s a Cowboys fan. Here are some things that he is now getting angry with me about and questioning my loyalty!

I pointed out to him the difference between Marion Barber and Julius Jones and called Julius "glass legs". To him this means I hate Julius.

The Texas OU game was coming up and I told him to prepare himself for our guys to get stomped. He was livid with me because I was not being a true fan in his opinion.

I was such a nervous wreck before the Cowboys and Patriots game, saying we’re not ready. We can’t beat them yet, but still hoping for a miracle. Well that pissed him off too.

I’m calling this a 190 degree turn. We went a little too far! But I think he’s headed in the right direction. I don’t hate Julius Jones. I don’t even want him fired or traded. I’m greedy and want to keep JJ and MB. I want The Longhorns to beat the Sooners every year in the Red River Shoot Out. I wanted The Cowboys to beat The Patriots more than I have wanted anything in a long time. I am not ever what I consider to be critical. I just see the difference between a good player and a great player. I see the difference between a really good football team and a near perfect football team. Still I am so glad I am not hearing my child say "we suck" or having knee jerk reactions like changing his flag or his colors just because of one or two bad games.

Now back to Abilene. If you know me, you know I am Dallas city urban girl. Born and raised in the heart of Big D. I love my home and I don’t love small towns, suburbia, remote places of any kind. They’re great for a weekend, but that is it for me. I hate being in Abilene but I love the time I am spending with my father here. I don’t go out much without my Dad in Abilene because I stick out like a sore thumb in this God forsaken place, wherever I go. Well, I made an exception and it was a mistake. Monday night, I had watched all my primetime shows and my Dad was away in South Texas. I was at a fairly decent drive up motel here in Abilene and my much younger brother had mentioned that the bar there was ok. I was in the mood for an Amaretto or two and I figured Monday Night football was on at the bar so I thought "what the heck". I walked in and noticed every head turn to see who was coming in the door. I went on to the bar and sat down facing the big screen with the game on. I asked the bartendress for an Amaretto and then it began. She asks me "You want the real kind? Cuz we ain’t got that here." Then she walks over and grabs the "fake kind" and shows it to me. I told her that would be fine. Then she proceeds to pour it over ice and I stopped her. I asked her to please give it to me straight up. She slaps a shot glass down in front of me and fills it up. I grinned and decided it was no big deal; especially after she said "that’s a buck-fifty". So I drank Amaretto out of a shot glass for the first time ever. 

I just kept staring at the big screen and trying to ignore the stares coming at me "the blonde stranger" in the half redneck/half college student flooded motel bar on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Abilene, TX (if you don’t get the humor in that then you haven’t been to Abilene). I engaged in lite football conversation with some traveling married guy looking to cheat on his wife. It was of course a conversation about football. Once I responded that I was a die-hard Cowboy fan, I blew my chances of having any fun in this bar. ‘Married guy’ had just bought me another shot of Amaretto and the bar maid says "T.O. sucks, I hate that ‘n’-word". Then some dude who appeared to come out of the wall, says "What the ‘F’ happened to The Cowboys Sunday, they need to go back to training camp". And the idiot fest was on. I heard more crap in 2 minutes from more drunk idiots calling themselves Cowboys fans in a bar adorned with Cowboys posters and neons, then you can imagine. I chugged my Amaretto, which is really gross, you don’t do that with Amaretto! And I said outloud "Well that’s my cue, if I stay one more minute, I will have to give lessons on being a REAL COWBOYS FAN and I am not interested in spending the night in jail". I had really good timing too because as the door closed behind me I heard the words "Romo" and "Homo" and I knew I would have been in trouble had I not left just when I did.

This kind of fanship is infuriating to me. One loss against the greatest team in the league and that kind of talk? PUHLEEZ! Well at least I got my kid straightened out, although he’ll never give me credit for it. Then again, he’s really smart. I didn’t meet any smart people in that bar.

GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!!!

Tiffany