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How Bad Can “America’s Team” Get? The Dallas Cowboy Season Collapses and Wade Phillips is Fired

Wade Phillips in Defeat (NFL.com photo)

Let’s get this straight. I am not a Dallas Cowboys fan. In fact I just find football mildly interesting and I pretty much will watch it to keep from watching the talking heads on the cable news channels, home shopping networks, televangelists or the latest episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit Bucharest. However my favorite team was playing last night, actually my favorite team of the week, the Green Bay Packers who happened to be playing the Dallas Cowboys.

After having been subjected to the Cowboys up close and personal for 7 years in the Dallas Fort Worth area and having to suffer “America’s Team” about everywhere I go I spare no effort to root against them, even when they played the Red Army Team of Warsaw Pact back in the Cold War.  Call me un-American but I think that any team that really believes that it is “America’s Team” is pretty arrogant and deserves to lose just for the principle of it.

Now please know that this is nothing personal against any former Cowboys players, one of my friends from High School played on their Super Bowl teams in the 1990s.  Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith are all pretty cool and seem like generally nice people, so it is nothing personal against any Cowboys greats or even most of their fans including many that I know who are good people that pay their taxes, go to church and adore their kids except when they want something on Sunday afternoon that conflicts with the game.  In fact my only issue with these wonderful people is their choice of football team. The team that was the first to make an away jersey its home jersey stretching the overdone western cliché “the good guys in the white hats” just a bit too far.

For years the Cowboys have labored under the illusion that they are a good football team.  Now it is true that until this year under their now deposed Head Coach Wade Phillips won a lot of games but tended to choke in the playoffs having one just one playoff game this millennium or something like that.  This year playing in the Temple of Doom or as it is better known the New Cowboys Stadium and Arcade they really believed that this was their year. They were going to be the first team to ever play and win the Super Bowl in their home stadium….well that was the hype.  Unfortunately they forgot that they had to play 16 regular season games to get there. Now since a team usually needs to win 10-11 games to get a spot in the playoffs and the Cowboys had 11 last year I think that they really believed that all they had to do was show up and other teams would say “My God we’re playing America’s Team, we can’t win!” and then go back to their hotel rooms to get drunk and eat pork rinds while the Cowboys celebrated another well deserved win.

The mantra in Dallas was that the Cowboys were a great team, loaded with talent and potential destined for greatness like those that went before them. Even when they started losing they kept repeating this like if they just said it enough that it would be true. Each week they went out on the field and had their ass handed to them often by teams that were supposedly lesser quality and each week the mantra was repeated.

A Cowboys’ Fan in Green Bay (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The only problem was that the other teams tended to show up and play good football and America’s Team failed to play good fundamental football. As my sophomore football line coach said “it’s the little things that count.”  The Cowboys stopped playing good fundamentals on day one and by Sunday night when they were annihilated by the Packers they were just going through the motions. Guys were quitting on plays, failing to make blocks and getting called for incredibly dumb penalties. It was an embarrassment that professional football players were performing in this manner. Heck if the Army went to war that way we would have our ass handed to us in about 5 minutes by the Moldavian Army, even faster by Serbania or any of those other “Anians.”  The Cowboys have been so bad the past few weeks that I think a College team from a less than elite conference could have beaten them.

The illusion crashed hard last night at the Packers pounded the Cowboys 45-7 and it wasn’t even that close.  I watched the Cowboys players and they had quit. Wade Phillips looked like Napoleon at Waterloo except he couldn’t run away in a carriage as his Army dissolved. Now don’t get me wrong I think that as a head coach that Phillips was way overrated but appeared to be a nice guy.  Everyone says that his players really liked him but if you ask me the way that they played they looked like they loathed him. It was like they were intentionally letting him down. If they liked him so much they picked one hell of a way to demonstrate their loyalty to him.

Last night I watched the Wade Phillips press conference. You hate to see a nice guy look like he did. He looked like he had lost his last best friend and his dog had run away with the couple next door. He was a beaten and depressed man. He had lost his ability to command and had to be fired by Cowboys Dictator and Cheerleader in Chief Jerry Jones.  When Jones was interviewed last night he said what everyone knew, that the Cowboys had more than one problem and that not just a few changes would be made. The first change came today when Phillips was given his walking papers and Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett was named the Interim Head Coach.

One hopes that for the integrity of the game that the Cowboys players and organization will get their act together. They are cheating their fans as well as the NFL and doing nothing for themselves. The first step to getting better is to admit that you suck and Jerry Jones basically said that last night and today. If the Cowboys are lucky and they pull themselves together they might eke out a couple of more wins but they will have to go through some really good teams to get them.  I really don’t think that much can be down with this bunch of Cowboys, even when the Cowboys went 1-15 in the first year of the Jones-Johnson years they didn’t stop trying and even though they were a bad team they played with heart and character. This team shows none of that. I may not be a Cowboys fan but this team is dishonoring the Cowboy’s legacy and tradition.  If Jones is smart he will dump half of these guys some even before the off season. The Cowboys’ culture which has been built on hype and ghosts of the past has to change.  I think that Jones now gets to point as he said:

“I think there are a lot of people here that certainly are going to suffer and suffer the consequences, I’m talking within the team, players, coaches. They’ve got careers, and this is certainly a setback. I know firsthand what it is to have high expectations. I think that unquestionably our expectations were thinking we were something we weren’t. … But again, we have so many things that we need to correct and address as this game so vividly exposed and previous games have. So I’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of decisions to make, and it’s not just one, two, three or four. There are several decisions. I think everybody in this country would agree there’s a lot wrong with this team. We’ve got to address them and certainly I’m the one to address them.”

Of course as the GM Jones needs to should some of the blame as he helped pick the players and the coaches. He also because of his cheer leading helped promote a culture of hype.  He will need to get a strong coach and let him coach to make the Cowboys a winner again.  I think that he gets it. In his post firing press conference admitted that he had “been in denial” for a number of games prior to this.

It will be interesting to some to see what happens in the coming weeks and months. Real Cowboy haters will love it and Cowboys fans will have to wear bags over their heads just to get through the games. Like them or loathe them the Cowboys need to get better for the good of the game.


Padre Steve+


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Things that I Don’t Get-Why do Guys take Their Beer into the Ball Park Restroom?

pub2Engaged in deep thought at a pub-wondering about things that I don’t get

Note: This is the first in a series that I will periodically post here called “Things that I Don’t Get.” Most I’m sure will be light hearted takes on issues that are not of earth shaking importance, but are relevant to me.  When discussing the subject presented here with Elliott my usher buddy he made the comment: “I’ve always wondered that but never heard someone ask the question. Maybe that’s a subject for your website.”  So here it goes.  Elliott this one’s for you!

One thing that always amazes me is that no matter how hard I try there are some things that I just can’t figure out.  Sometimes I have to just scratch my shaved head and say: “What the hell? I just don’t get that.”  I mean really….I don’t know if this happens to you but I face the question often enough that I finally I am going to ask it and others that have stumped me in this forum.

I was attending services at the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish last night and it was the largest crowd of the season. This is a good thing, it means the weather is getting better and I probably won’t be freezing my ass off like Monday.  There is a drawback as it meant that concession lines and those in the in the men’s restroom were long.  There was a common theme that connected the two…beer.  Being a lover of good beer of which there is plenty at Harbor Park, I frequently stand in line to get my beer.  I then will take it to my seat or stand and talk with Chip or Elliott the ushers in section 202 and 102 respectively.  My “pew” is section 102, row B seat 2.  Elliott has my section and really knows the game and is a good guy to boot.  Chip is a retired Navy Chief and before I had my season ticket would often sit up in his section.

Last night after the rent on my beer ran out…face it you can only rent beer for a very short time, I decided that it was time to make a head call.  That is latrine for those of the Army persuasion and Spa for those in the Air Force.  Walking up in the middle of the 5th I went to make my visit and raise a glass to Admiral Nelson.  The line of course was long and as I looked around I saw a familiar sight.  A good number of the guys had their beer in one hand and something else in the other as they stood at the urinal.  Some were refueling and defueling at the same time.  Others left their beer on the top of the urinal.  Now I have seen this before many times and I can’t get around the fact that it completely creeps me out.  I cannot see a good reason for this.  All the seats have cup holders which even the largest beer will fit into and if you leave the beer in the holder it is very unlikely that anyone would steal it or drink from it.  Nonetheless a fairly substantial number of guys won’t do the sanitary thing and insist on taking their beer into the restroom.  I asked Elliott about this and he was equally perplexed.

Now I wonder about this.  Why do this if you have a place to keep your beer?  I wonder sometimes if guys who do this should be issued a Foley catheter for the game.  They could have a Foley station where those who need to need to keep drinking while peeing can do so while seated or even when walking around.  At the end of the game they could go back to the station, have the Foley removed and stagger out to their ride.  Of course there is some pain involved with this.  A conscious man will feel a great amount of pain as a Foley is inserted.  I remember working the ER at Parkland when a member of the local football team which calls itself “America’s Team” ended up after a car crash.  He screamed like a baby when the Foley went in.  The Foley is a bit drastic but it would save the rest of us the pain of watching this spectacle in the rest room.  Another and less painful solution would be to have paid rest room attendants as designated beer holders.  These people would stand outside the rest room at a table with neat little slots for beer.  A guy would come to the door, give the attendant his beer, get a numbered token corresponding to the slot that the beer is placed in.  When done he would pick up his beer and go away…sanitation concerns and beer security ensured.

Now I wonder if women do this too, although I don’t imagine so.  In fact I have it on good authority from the Abbess of the Abbey Normal that indeed that they do not engage in such crudity. This was seconded by one of our female bartenders at Gordon Biersch. I held those of the female persuasion in much higher esteem than guys.  I expect more out of them as being a guy I know that most of us can go from civilized to uncouth in three seconds. Now if I’m wrong and if the female persuasion does this I will be disappointed.  I figure since the Deity Herself created women second that they are the more refined model of the species.  So if this is true don’t tell me.

Have a great rest of this Memorial Day weekend.

Peace, Steve+

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Filed under Baseball, beer, Loose thoughts and musings, things I don't get