last fall, i was overcome with concern and compassion, and felt uncontrollably moved to share some of my personal life insights as a life-long san diego padre fan…to my beloved texas ranger fan-friends. you can check it out here.
i didn’t say it back then, but i can comfortably gloat about it now. i am certain that my pearls of baseball fan wisdom were not only exactly what you needed at the time, but were surely what propelled you and the fighting molinas to your unparalleled success in the fall classic of 2010.
you needed me and i came through for you. you’re welcome. i’m just here to serve.
…and it is because of this selfless compassion i have for you, my adopted texas family, that i am compelled to give you another taste of fan wisdom. think of it as a double-shot. not of espresso, but of prudence and good sense for every dallas cowboy buff in my sphere of unmatched influence.
but this time, it’s personal. i need your help in return. and it took a lunch with my friend and broken-down cowboy fan, jordan, to help me see the light.
when the farraclan moved here from our socal mothership back in 1995, it was tough. we left behind crashing waves and salt air and crisp 62 degree summer nights. we said goodbye to palm trees that actually grow and real mountains…not the highway overpass posers we have in the north dallas forty.
sayonara to authentic baja fish tacos (though fuzzy’s has made a valiant effort)… bike paths that are not death traps… year-round driving with the windows down… shorts and sandals in january…and earthquakes in waterbeds (my personal favorite).
but the greatest tragedy of all is that i walked out on the padres and the chargers. the guilt i carry is still immense. even though i am the president of the texas chapters of both the padres and chargers fan clubs, it is still not enough. but when god calls, sacrifices must be made. that’s how baseball go. football, too.
now don’t take this the wrong way. (really. have some thick skin right now.) the thing that got me through…that soothed my guilt…that eased my san diego sports emptiness…was listening to dallas sports talk radio. and the over-the-top, blind, cocky, brash, and unfiltered loyalty of the cowboy faithful.
i loved the “we’re america’s team” arrogance. the over-confidence and assurance that the ‘boys were so much better than any team that ever put on pads was so condescending…and so entertaining…my listening became like a fix for a junkie. i couldn’t wait for overreaction monday. win or lose, cow fans were unflinching in their loyalty and unabashed in their football team superiority. it was what got me through.
but it’s all changed now.
cow apologists all disagree on when and how it happened, exactly. some say it was dave campo’s hair. some say it was the hiring of bill parcells. others believe it was when t.o. desecrated the star when he was with the 49ers…or the disrespecting of the great tom landry…or jerruh’s ownership. i personally think it all started long before the wadester took over, but i think i would probably be voted off the island for that opinion.
but no matter when or how it happened, the truth is this: cowboy fans have lost their swag. the confidence is shot. the cockiness that i had grown to love…and expect…has vanished. gone to where the deer and antelope play. wherever that is. there’s barely a whimper coming from the cowboy cheap seats these days.
and even when the cow faithful try to muster up some of that good old-fashioned emmitt-michael-troy dominant attitude, it’s nothing but hollow going-through-the-motions. and it hurts me. really. i hurt for you guys. you were once so dependable…so eye-popping confident…so self-assured. now, it’s like you don’t even care anymore. you’re sad. mad. disillusioned. pessimistic. resigned to expecting mediocrity.
some of you are as bad as cub fans in your feelings of despair and hopelessness.
so it’s time for me to channel my inner charger to you. you need a heavy dose of reality. you need to be to see good again.
you need your swag back. i need you to get your swag back. it’s how i make it through. if you can’t do it for yourself and your cows, do it for me. (i would say you owe it to me for all the great inner padre i channeled to you last fall, but that would be awfully presumptuous and prideful of me to assume that. a thank you would be appreciated, though.)
here are a few ideas for your cow swag restoration:
believe in tony. romolicious is awesome. great smile. he married a beauty queen. his real name is antonio. he has unbelievable mental toughness…he shot a 67. and he was born in san diego. come on! this is a recipe for greatness.
you have the deathstar. the greatest sports venue in this galaxy. it is the quintessential statement of cockiness. breathe in. breathe out.
red jesus. the symbol of quiet, understated self-assurance. the greatest interviews ever. nobody puts sports journalists in their place like this dude. easily the highest IQ of any football head coach in the history of the universe. get on his bandwagon now.
dez. he won’t have to carry roy williams’ pads this season. wait. he didn’t last year either. no matter…the youngster is ready for a breakout season. really. you believe that, don’t you?
weakest division in the nfl. hey, 7-9 could win this division. make it to the playoffs and anything can happen. if the seattle seahawks can do it…
don’t follow the charger/padre pattern of fandom. charger and padre fans are a different breed. our bar is a little lower than most. oh…we want to win. we hope to win. for the chargers, we expect to win. but when we don’t, life goes on. nothing a good wave or a day on the slopes can’t cure. there’s always more to life for us. our expectations are tempered with a simple love of the game and the joy of a trip to the stadium for great food, great weather, great people and realistic hope.
but that layed-back, friendly, soak-up-the-sunshine attitude doesn’t cut it in cowland. for you, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only…no. it is everything. this town does not accept second place. or third. or tied for last. nothing short of a world championship is acceptable. remember?
so get behind your team. get back on the bandwagon. find your fist-pump and your smack talk. dust off your attitude. go back and look at the pictures of jimmy and jerruh hugging each other and hoisting the lombari trophy. remember the glory days of yesteryear. 1995 was just a short 16 years ago. it can happen again. but your cows need you back.
don’t be the prodigal fan anymore. get your swag back on. we need some genuine condescending, trash-talking, bring-the-wood, jim romesque, welcome-to-the-jungle cowsmack to bring balance back to the world and peace to my soul.
they need it. i need it.