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Farewell Texas Stadium

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You know you’ve wasted too much time here over the years when you’re driving on the Westpark Tollway, pass a business named ‘Kinetic Furniture’ on your right, and immediately think of TSM.


So my Dad and I attended the final tragedy game at Texas Stadium this past Saturday night. I think I've written before about how we held season tickets to the Cowboys for the last four years but declined to renew this season for a variety of reasons. Going forward, we figured that we would just pick a game or two each season and acquire tickets from the Internet, possibly even throwing in a road game every now and then (if I can ever convince my dad to get on an airplane). For this season, we figured why not go to the final game ever at Texas Stadium?


Well, that, uh, didn’t turn out so well.


A couple of notes:


We thought it was weird that the final game was against the Ravens. How can the league NOT have the Cowboys play one of their long-time NFC East opponents in the final game at Texas Stadium? It’s crazy.


Then it came out late Saturday night/early Sunday morning that Jerry Jones petitioned the NFL before the schedule was finalized last spring to have the Ravens be the opponent in the final game because he thought they were an easy win.


Memo to Jerry: stop hand-picking opponents. You’re embarrassing yourself. First of all, if you’re going to pick a homecoming opponent this season, how in the hell did you not pick the Bengals? Or the 49ers. At least you have some history with them. Secondly, do you not remember the last time you picked your opponent?


Also, Texas Stadium is a neat place in that the Cowboys have played there for 38 years and won their first of five Super Bowls in the year it opened, 1971.


But let’s not kid ourselves. Other than the hole in the roof—so God can watch his favorite team play—and it being the first stadium built with public financing (the bonds sold for $6 apiece), there’s really nothing special about it. We’re not talking about closing down Lambeau or Soldier Field here. It’s not the most photogenic place and it just kind of sits there in the middle of a huge, ugly parking lot. The concourse is crowded, it can get really hot in there, I don’t think they’ve put a coat of paint on it since 1994, and if you sit in parts of the upper deck without binoculars you should have just saved your money and stayed home. So there’s no reason to get overly emotional about its demise.


(Note: the ticket prices at the new stadium they’re building in Arlington though? THAT is something to cry about.)


It was nice to see that they did put some effort into making the last game a big deal though. The Cowboys must have installed some new video boards in the offseason and replaced a few light bulbs because the place just looked a little brighter than usual and you could actually read all of the text displayed on the video boards without squinting. And it was nice to see them trot out a bunch of legendary Cowboy players during timeouts and whatnot, though to be honest, none of them said anything remotely interesting. I don’t think half of the crowd even knew who guys like Don Perkins and Lee Roy Jordan are.


As for the game itself, well, what needs to be said? It was truly historic because no team in NFL history had ever had two touchdown runs of 75 yards or more in the same quarter until the Ravens did it to ice the game late.


The Cowboys’ offense was terrible the entire game. We knew that was going to be the case because Tony Romo looked terrible in pregame warm-ups, missing most of his throws high. And the defense, after a hot first half, turned in a dog shit effort in the second, particularly in the fourth quarter. The two long runs made for an unfathomable way to lose a game and easily surpassed any other loss in the four seasons we had tickets, in terms of sheer lunacy. (The playoff loss last year to the Giants still ranks #1 on the “disappointing loss” list.)


It was so ridiculous and aggravating that we didn’t even stick around for the “closing ceremonies” after the game. Apparently at least half of the crowd felt the same way. Watching local TV news the next morning, we found out that it probably wouldn’t have been worth staying for anyway. The newscasters were puzzled that so few decided to stay for that ceremony but, really, would you expect otherwise after the “effort” the Cowboys put forward?


The worst part might be that, on the way home, Dad and I made our peace with the Cowboys’ 2008 season. The combination of injuries, talent regression, and often-poor coaching just added up to a “Not Their Year”. Losing to the Ravens was really damaging to their playoff chances, as it meant they couldn’t get in without a lot of help from other teams.


And then Tampa lost to San Diego.


And Philly lost to Washington.


And, suddenly, the Cowboys are back in control of their own destiny. Win at Philly on Sunday, and all is forgiven.


Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…


I just wish I knew which Cowboys team is going to show up in Philly.

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Actually, Pittsburgh was #2 on our list of preferred road trips this season (behind Green Bay/Lambeau). But then the schedule came out and had the Cowboys there on Dec. 7...and Dad immediately ruled it out because it "will probably be cold as hell up there then." Turns out he was right. Would have been a stomach-punch game to go to anyway.


I've started glancing at the 2009 MLB schedule to pick which ballparks I want to visit this next season. PNC is a strong possiblity, as part of what I'm hoping can be a Pitt/Detroit/Cleveland/(maybe) Cincy combination. If I make it up that way, I'll leave tickets at will call for you and Mrs. kkk if you want since I know you love your Pirates.


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There might be a discount for selected games through Comcast. I could try and hook you up if you want. You know where I post. And the only exception to my anti-PNC Park rule is if out-of-town guests arrive. Maybe the Cubs' Zambrano will hit for the cycle this year.

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