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.
Ironically, 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.
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
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,