Imagine you are Jerry Jones (yes, I know that is a scary thought, but just go with it). You have awoken this morning to a very hallowing reality: you officially own the worst franchise in the DFW area based on recent performance. Not only that, you promised that the Cowboys would make a Super Bowl appearance, a home Super Bowl appearance no less.
The fans believed it, the national media bought in, and the Cowboys went on a 1-7 face-plant that led to the firing of head coach, and now national laughing stock, Wade Philips.
You start to think back to how your whole world started to crash down.
Your next door neighbors, the Texas Rangers, a team you likely laughed at as you built your gigantic Death Star next to their stadium, started doing what your team couldn’t: win, and win in the postseason. While you still had refused to fire Phillips from patrolling your sidelines, your beloved Cowboys were being embarrassed on Monday Night Football. To add insult to injury, they also broke Tony Romo in half. And then your fans, the fans you have always counted on to fill your seats, buy your merchandise, pay for your overpriced parking and concessions, starting chanting something that damn near gave you a heart attack:
“LET’S GO RANGERS!!!”
For the first time ever, the Rangers were at the forefront of everyone’s sports mind. The Cowboys, “America’s Team”, took a backseat to the Rangers and their little Ballpark in Arlington. And after their run ended, you could still hear talk about how soon spring training would come up again while you were introducing Jason Garrett as your new head coach.
Sure, firing a Cowboys coach mid-season for the first time ever grabbed headlines and the national attention that you crave, but you still had mumblings of those other sports that were growing louder and louder.
Then your mind fast-forwards to the moments you believed hosting the Super Bowl would save you. Sure, your season was a nightmare, but your stadium, your masterpiece of over-extravagance, would take center stage. The whole world would be in awe of your stadium wonder and how great future Super Bowls would be there.
Then your nightmare grew exponentially.
Sure, you couldn’t control the weather and how ill-prepared DFW was for the ice and snow that seemed to be God’s cruel joke against you, but you couldn’t believe the negative reaction that got. All those “hardened” northern writers were apparently shocked that winter could exist here, but hey, they probably think everyone rides a horse here too right?
But then the game happened…well really, “temp-seat-gate” happened and all of a sudden everything you did again was overshadowed by failure, failure with your name attached to it. You knew deep down that no one would remember this game, just this ticket disaster in which fans cursed your name as they were turned away from your stadium.
Your mind comes back to today and you think about the other sports franchises in the area. The Mavericks are fighting to hold down a 2-seed for the NBA playoffs. The Stars, a team whose incompetent owner completely handcuffed them (seriously, Hicks is nothing like you because you at least pay the bills on time right?), came within just a single win of clinching a playoff birth no one expected. Hell, even that soccer team in Frisco, FC Dallas, damn near won the MLS Cup. And those damned Rangers had their World Series run, but now they are the best team in baseball looking to go 10-1 this afternoon.
The Cowboys, your pride and joy, were the 9th worst team in the NFL. Normally, despite such a season, you would believe the media here would be examining your draft pick twenty different ways, but the main stories are the Stars falling short and the Rangers making a historic opening season run.
Hell, you wonder if there will even be a season. You are on the inside of the lockout mess, you know how bleak the outlook is.
This all has to be someone else’s fault right? You put together enough talent to win. So what if people kept on talking about your supposed weaknesses in both trenches, you had the QB, the star WRs, Felix freakin’ Jones (you do love your Razorbacks), and Ware could play defense all on his own right?
Your mind races, you remember Wade. Only a bumbling fool could’ve messed that up. After all Garrett went 5-3 when he took over. You take a deep breath, you know things will be ok. Another star skill player with that number 9 pick will surely put you over the top with your new coach.
You completely forget that the Ranger game is on this afternoon and start channel surfing. You finally see something to make you smile, a football commercial.
But wait…you don’t remember signing off on this. You keep watching it talk about winning football coming back to Dallas. “Of course it will!” you say to yourself.
Then you realize it is a commercial for the new arena league football team coming to town, the Vigilantes.
A thrown remote, a cracked 72-inch plasma, and several expletives later, you don’t know what to do. You are sick to your stomach and your blood is boiling. Then your Blackberry buzzes and its a text from your son wondering if you just saw the Rangers take an early lead on the Tigers.
As your Blackberry creates another divot in your plasma, you keep telling yourself “it isn’t your fault Jerry, it isn’t your fault.”
The sad part is, you believe it.