Memories aren’t the only things that light the corners of my mind – Jerry Jones’s hurt feelings do, too. When he told a questioner at an SMU event yesterday that Dallas, rather than Arlington, might’ve had Cowboys Stadium if only then-mayor Laura Miller hadn’t patted him on the knee in 2004 and told him to take his business elsewhere… well, I had some flashbacks to the ‘90s.
I was a Dallas Observer staffer alongside Laura Miller when she was an investigative reporter there. We chatted a few times. She had her share of flaws like everyone else. But damn, when she took after someone who was incontestably a liar or a swindler or just a garden-variety braggart, the resulting melee was ten tons of fun to watch.
Laura the reporter, city councilwoman, and mayor attracted fans as passionate as her foes because she wasn’t bedazzled by all the things Texans are supposed to roll over for. She didn’t give a shit about pro football, or any pro athletics. Big money didn’t impress her (she’d seen enough of it growing up). Promises about the alleged trickle-down benefits of taxpayer-funded entertainment meccas only made her suspicious. In general, whenever one of the establishment boys whipped out something that they thought was “big,” Miller’s response was to yawn and ask: “Who’s really going to pay for it?”
In 2004, few people thought Jones was seriously considering Fair Park as the new site for Cowboys Stadium – the racial and economic complexities of building something so huge in South Dallas were unfortunately too overwhelming. Miller knew that. That’s why I really hope what Jones said at SMU yesterday was true – that Laura patted him on the knee and effectively said, “Honey, go peddle it somewhere else.” He needs to hear it more often.