My father, from a very young age, made it perfectly clear that being anything but a Cowboys fan would be close to blasphemy. He also made it clear that supporting Dallas, particularly in and around Philly, is never going to be easy.
My earliest memory of extreme pain was the 2007 NFC Divisional Round. In case you are unfamiliar with the ending of the Cowboys’ short-lived playoff appearance in 2007, it ended abruptly with a botched field goal attempt as time expired. This was to be the first of many times that I was on the receiving end of many crude jokes pertaining to football. I was left heartbroken and berated by my Eagles fan “friends” who knew of my dismay.
This has become the root of my derision toward the Eagles franchise and the fanbase that feels the need to spell their name every five minutes. Take note that they, Eagles fans, started it.
Eagles fans hate others’ success. This fundamental issue explains the hatred for the Dallas Cowboys, who have won a total of five Super Bowls, two in the seventies and three in the nineties. In the same span (40 or so years), the Eagles have won none. Zero, zip, zilch. Nada. Their only “championship team” was in 1960, before the era of the Super Bowl (which doesn’t count for much, considering that there were about ten teams in the league).
Because of the franchise’s continuous failure to win a Super Bowl, the fans have developed an “us against the world” attitude that they frequently take out on us Jersey-born Cowboys fans.
“Front-runner” is a name that I have been called many times in my life. I have one primary problem with this allegation: in my lifetime, Dallas has won a single playoff game. How am I front-running if I haven’t seen my team even sniff an NFC championship game?
My next memory of disappointment, punctured by mockery from Eagles fans, took place in a late December matchup between the Cowboys and the Eagles, back in 2008. This was a game about which every Eagles fan I knew at the time felt the need to talk to me. The final score was 44-6, in favor of the hometown Eagles. I stopped watching at halftime. This was the lowest point of my Cowboy fanhood because it not only put Dallas entirely out of playoff contention and landed the Eagles a spot in the postseason, but it also proved that the Eagles were 38 points better than us that season, which was equally demoralizing.
This season offered no consolation for my woes. December 28 marked yet another late-season matchup between the Cowboys and the Eagles, and once again, a vital game; a win-or-go-home affair for both teams. Before the game, Cowboys fans received terrible news that Dallas’s starting quarterback Tony Romo would be sidelined for the game with a back injury. This proved an insurmountable loss for the ‘Boys: after failing on a 2-point conversion that would have tied the game, replacement quarterback Kyle Orton threw a game-sealing interception to the Eagles’ Brandon Boykin one play after Dallas got the ball back.
Once again, the Cowboys’ run at the title that year ended prematurely with the loss to the Eagles that Sunday night. As if on cue, social media erupted with the mocking of Orton and Cowboys fans around the world.
The life a Cowboys fan lives is not an easy one. This franchise was once known as America’s team, and had a stretch, long ago in the nineties, in which it won three out of four Super Bowls. Knowing this, and realizing that this team, with Jason Garrett leading the way, is far from great is very aggravating. We Cowboys fans understand what it means to be great, and still cannot do anything to fix the team we have now.
In short, I would like to encourage people (cough cough, Eagles fans) to back off; we have enough problems to deal with already.
Picture uploaded on Flickr by Billy Bob Bain; licensed under Creative Commons