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Anatomy of a Cowboys Fan

 

jowdy_photography-Lyn

“How does a young man, born and raised in West Philadelphia, become a lifelong Cowboys fan?” is probably the question that I have been asked more than any other during my lifetime.  I know that they are “America’s Team” and most people who are fans of professional football are a fan of the Cowboys’ but that was not my deal growing up.

My path to Cowboys fandom began in 1977 during the Thanksgiving holiday when I was just 9 years old.  My mother and I took a plane ride to Los Angeles, CA (my first plane ride) to visit with my grandfather during Thanksgiving.  The magical land of palm trees and t-shirt weather was everything that I had viewed on television and I instantly fell in love with LA-LA Land.

The agenda for our visit was awesome to say the least.  After settling in from the six-hour flight, the Thanksgiving meal with my west coast family was a delight to behold with the best of the trip yet to come…yes, a trip to Disneyland on Friday.

Unfortunately, I learned that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the few days of the year that the park was closed.  I was devastated and my grandfather knew it so he thought real fast and took his daughter and grandson to an amusement park that was open; a great little amusement park called Knotts Berry Farm.  Grand pop reached heroic status that day but he had more in store for his grandson.

The day would end with the attendance of my very first college football game.  But I would soon learn that this was not just any game, this was “the USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins annual battle for Los Angeles college football supremacy” college football game.

Late in the game, UCLA was down 26-10 and mounted a furious comeback that eventually earned them the 27-26 late fourth quarter lead.  On the line for the Bruins were a Rose Bowl berth and the LA area bragging rights for the next year.  What happened next was this little 9-year-old was treated to a fantastic finish that saw the Trojans boot a winning 36 yard field goal with just “two” seconds left in the game.  UCLA was out of the Rose Bowl and the Washington Huskies were in…amazing.

Instead of heading for the parking lot like most of the 65,000+ fans in attendance my grandfather had us headed to a different destination…the Trojan locker room.  There he introduced me to a young mountain of a man that he was mentoring, Dennis Thurman.  Dennis, still excited from the nail-biting win, greeted me very enthusiastically and my first “man crush” was born.

Dennis Thurman

Of course I had no idea at the time that Dennis Thurman was not just one of the best players on the team but one of the best in all of college football.  What he did not know is that he had just earned a new lifelong fan.  So when he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1978 NFL draft a new Cowboys fan was born.

I now loved football because I had actually met someone who now played for the Dallas Cowboys.  What I did not realize was I would learn so many great life lessons by watching a championship team go about their business of winning football games, most notably in the fourth quarter.

Instead of following a team that played not to lose (Philadelphia Eagles), I was now following a general named Roger Staubach who refused to lose.  I marveled at a coach that wore a suit, tie and hat along the sidelines, who when you looked at him you could never tell if he was winning or losing, lead his team to victory after victory.

What Roger and Coach Landry taught me at a young age was that even though the game was in doubt, it was never over until the clock read “0:00”.  In fact, I was never more certain that my team would win than when Roger would break from the huddle, rub his little white towel, bark out the signals and then carve up the opposing defense all the way down the field to the end zone.

Then came Super Bowl XIII, the second meeting of the Cowboys and the Steelers in the big game.  I was not yet a fan when the Steelers beat the Boys in Super Bowl X 21-17 but my appetite was wet for revenge nonetheless.  The game was back and forth and Roger was magnificent until his picture perfect pass was dropped in the end zone by some guy had never heard of named Jackie Smith.

The Cowboys never recovered from that dropped touchdown pass and lost the thriller to the Steelers 35-31.  The following year I watched the greatest quarterback I have ever seen throw his final pass to the other team (LA Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoffs) and then Roger Staubach retired from his NFL Hall of Fame career leaving me with his back up and punter, Danny White.

Danny White provided me with some thrilling regular seasons and then three consecutive NFC title games in which we lost each one to the Eagles, Niners and Redskins respectively.  I loved the Danny White years and in my opinion he never got the credit he deserved but when it was all said and done he didn’t win the big one.  I still had Dennis Thurman to root for no matter what.

So I then entered my first “desert of despair” as a Cowboys fan that would see Dennis Thurman leave, the team get sold and then fire their legendary coach, Tom Landry.  The firing of Landry made me vulnerable to leaving for the hometown team but two things kept me in tow; I liked the new coach’s pedigree and the Eagles were still a team that played not to lose which is a mindset that I can never align with.

Slowly but surely the “Big 3” (Troy, Emmitt & Michael) were assembled and righted the Cowboys’ ship to lead them on an unprecedented championship run that would leave them one pass interference non-call (thank you Deion Sanders) away from 4 straight Super Bowls in the early to mid 1990’s.  That dynasty like performance will never be duplicated in my opinion.

Today the Cowboys are still America’s Team but find themselves in yet another desert of sorts.  They have had good regular seasons since the glory days but they just have not put together a championship run with their current quarterback Tony Romo.  Like him or hate him (I love him), he has been more like Danny White and less like Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.

As I type this story, Tony Romo is ranked #3 through six weeks of this season only behind Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.  Tony will have his critics until he can put together a nice playoff run and restore the Cowboys back to their proper place in NFL championship royalty with their record tying sixth Lombardi trophy.

I have no doubt that the Cowboys will again be Super Bowl champions, that Tony Romo will be their quarterback when it happens and it will happen very, very soon.  Of course I believe this with every fiber of my being because…I AM A COWBOYS FAN!

And just think if Dennis Thurman would have been drafted by any other team this would never have happened. Thank you Dennis Thurman for getting drafted by the Cowboys and thank you grand pop for introducing me to my first real sports hero back in 1977.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Life, Love, Relationships, Sports, Uncategorized

 

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Bronze Medalist

It is indeed my hope that you will find the information that I am going to share with you funny, informative and best of all sharable with your fellow-man or woman.  I have told this story to many more women than men because they always want to know why married men cheat.  The answer is one that I have subscribed to as making the most sense from a logical male perspective but first let me set the record straight.  Contrary to public opinion, all married men don’t cheat.  In fact, the percentages of married men and women who cheat are not that far apart.  Married men stray about 1 in 3 (33%) and married women fool around on their hubby 1 in 4 (25%).  I have joked that if I wrote a book entitled “66% of Married Men Will Never Cheat” no one would ever buy it.

There are a million different reasons why someone makes the decision to be unfaithful to their spouse and I’m only going to dive deeply into one that I have found to be quite common.  I would be willing to bet that if this common reason could be somehow eliminated, the male cheating percentage might even be cut in half.  I have named this cause of infidelity the Bronze Medal Effect for reasons based solely on logical male thinking patterns.

The Bronze Medal Effect is based on the sexual activity levels of four different types of men.  The men are described as Single Man, Divorced Man, Married Man and Man Living with Girlfriend.  Everyone that I have asked to order these men in their level of sexual activity from most to least has failed.  I always have to give several guesses just to get 2 out of 4 correct.  Ladies, you are the determining factor for the activity levels but you rarely come close to getting the order right.  Rather than have you guess incorrectly for the rest of this post I will give you the answers in order from most to least sexual activity.

*Man Living with Girlfriend

*Divorced Man

*Married Man

*Single Man

Before you get upset because the order is not the one that you guessed, I will give you the logical rationale behind the order of these four types of men.  I will give the rationale in order from least to most just for suspense purposes.

Single Man has the least amount of sexual activity of these four types because he has to spend a lot of time meeting a lady, taking her out on a few dates and then eventually closing the deal.  This can take a few weeks and there is no guarantee of a successful connection, meaning they both enjoy the encounter.  Without mutual satisfaction in this first encounter, he will probably find himself having to begin the cycle all over again.  That means going out to a club, even club internet, identifying a potential young suitor and then going out on a few dates to get to know one another.  As you can see, this can take a lot of time for Single Man without yielding a lot of activity.  I know that there are exceptions to this guy that I am describing but for most Single Man types this is the unfortunate cycle that occurs.  Lots of time, lots of money but not necessarily lots of action with the opposite sex.

Married Man is the guess that I get the most from women who humor me with this exercise.  They have normally broached the subject and of course believe that 99.9% of married men are running around on their wives.  They can’t believe that Married Man is not getting the most action of the four types.  They are shocked to learn that he comes in third place.  Well guess what?  Married Man is shocked to be in third place as well.  He is also pissed with his 3rd place status.  Why, because he is the one that took the plunge into the world of matrimony and he believed that his leap of faith would at least yield the most sexual activity of his other counterparts.  His disappointment will probably manifest itself later into one of a variety of different destructive behaviors and one could be infidelity.

Divorced Man is in the number two spot because he was probably in a marriage that did not end overnight. It was bad for one or a few years and it was no secret to those who knew him…both male and female.  He may have fooled around or wanted to fool around and now all of those temptations are up for grabs with his new-found status.  Just think, Divorced Man is now able to pursue once forbidden fruit, the mistress and he also gets to take a bite out of Single Man’s playground for his pleasure.  Want to take a guess who else may have crept onto his sexual activity roster?  That’s right.  His ex-wife may be a real possibility especially soon after the divorce is finalized.  Some divorced women don’t want to lose that familiarity they had with their former husband.  She may not like him but if he was decent in the bedroom there’s a good chance she’s still in the picture from a sexual activity standpoint.

And last but not least, we have our good buddy Man Living with Girlfriend.  He is living a charmed life from an activity standpoint.  He is shacked up with his lady and has the option to walk away from that deal whenever he chooses.  Now this is where the fun begins.  The girlfriend doesn’t like this setup one bit but it is a means to an end.  Because she wants to be married to this man she is doing a lot of things to get her man to pop the question.  They do it when they go to bed at night and first thing in the morning.  They fight like cats and dogs and then enjoy the collateral damage called make-up sex.  Eventually the girlfriend will wear down Man Living with Girlfriend and he will pop the question.  At that moment, he has convinced himself that the sexual activity that he is experiencing now is what he will have forever after.  If it is he can consider himself a very lucky man but when it isn’t he will find himself now coming in 3rd place and earning the unwanted “bronze medal.”

How did this happen to him he wonders?  One day he was fighting to get away from his horny girlfriend and just get in the shower and the next day he finds himself praying for “sports talk radio sex” with his wife (that’s once during the week and once on the weekends for you non-sports talk call-in fans).  Once he feels that he’s been played for a fool, he really starts to get pissed and considers doing destructive things such as getting back to the life he once enjoyed.  You remember the one that involved a girlfriend.  We love girlfriends.  Girlfriends are always ready to please.  Girlfriends play by our rules because if they don’t we can always walk away.  Once you become Married Man walking away becomes a difficult undertaking and if there are kids involved just forget about it.

So what just happened here?  Hopefully you saw how a man went from being a gold medalist (#1) when he was Man Living with Girlfriend to a bronze medalist (#3) after he marries that same girlfriend.  Logically it doesn’t make sense that when you make the highest level of commitment for a lifetime that you end up coming in third place.  Men want to win and if getting married means you’re going to get less loving then why would you ever make that choice?  You make the commitment not knowing that you’re making the choice of less activity.

Speaking from a man’s point of view, when we commit, or propose, we do so believing that things will remain at least the same but we are really pulling for better ever after.  When things don’t quite work out that way we get down and try to figure out a way to fix our problem.  Contrary to what you may think, I am not condoning or giving unfaithful men a pass.  I am just shedding light on just one possible root cause for why he may have made a choice that will possibly end his marriage one day.

I know that every man doesn’t live with his future wife before they marry.  I know that every divorced man doesn’t sleep with his ex-wife.  I know that every married man doesn’t suffer with a reduction in sexual activity and I know that there will be some single men who will read this and say “last place…please.”  This piece was based on surveys conducted using thousands of men that fit one of those four descriptions.  The logic of where they place is really quite sound when you process it as a rule and not as an exception which I know some readers will.  That’s just human nature.

I decided to post this topic because I believe that it might help one woman from letting her activity with her hubby fall off from its premarital level as well as letting one man avoid the pain of going from first to third.  If we were playing baseball that would be great but in the marital olympics no man is trading his gold medal for a bronze one.  Hope this one man’s opinion/perspective was enjoyable as planned.

 
 

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