(photo by Mel B.)

Football fans are funny. And by funny I mean sad.

Neurotic, too.

Last week, Dallas Cowboys fans boo-hoo’d about the team’s poor play in its first four games and declared the season a washout before the halfway point.


Nearly every person I talked to predicted the Cowboys would be lucky to go 8-8, and few expected the team to make the playoffs.

Then the Cowboys travel to Baltimore and put themselves in position to win the game with a last-second field goal against a first-place team in a hostile stadium.

Unfortunately, the kick by the normally true Dan Bailey veered left for a near miss. Ravens win 31-29.

(photo by ijustwanttobeperceivedthewayiam)

This morning, Cowboys fans are angry and depressed. Nobody seems satisfied to have seen a competitive, hard fought game. Nobody cares that the Cowboys fought like tigers from beginning to end, overcame adversity, and almost pulled off a miraculous win.

I listened to sports radio this morning. Everyone was ranting about missed opportunities, dropped balls, penalties, poor clock management. People who gave the Cowboys no chance to win are now crying over the fact that they almost won, but came up short.

Ravens fans aren’t any happier.

A look at the Baltimore Sun‘s online sports page reveals a similar angst and defeatism even though the team is 5-1 and in first place. Winning isn’t even enough for those fans.

Meanwhile, Cowboys haters who root for other teams are still pissed off about the Cowboys loss.

Doesn’t anybody  just enjoy watching a game anymore, win or lose?

I want the Cowboys to win, but I don’t expect them to win. I’m satisfied if they play with heart and fire. They did.




  1. Jeff. Not only are you an award-winning investigative reporter and rocking guitar player, you are also … the perfect fan. Speaking on behalf of every football lover on the planet, your equanimity in the face of the kind of pigskin-horror leering bloodthirstily over you and your favorite NFL team is admirable and borderline psychotic. And, I’m sorry, not truly believable.

    Are you on the grass again?

    Or have you given up already on champagne wishes and Super Bowl dreams in the Romo Era?

  2. I still like Romo and this team. The effort put forth in yesterday’s loss bodes well for the rest of this season. In fact, it might just be the catalyst to turn around this season. I’ll watch every game and root for the Cowboys to make the playoffs. If they do, I’ll be happy. If they don’t, I’ll still be happy as long as they give an honest effort. That’s how local fans felt about the Texas Rangers through four decades of losing seasons and nobody thought twice about it. But fans don’t extend that same patience to the Cowboys. They expect a win every week, a Super Bowl every year. Maybe all these years of bad Cowboys teams have caused me to build an emotional wall around my heart out of self-preservation. These days, all I expect out of the Cowboys each week is a hard fought game and three hours of entertainment.

    • Your expectations are in the right place: beneath the limbo pole that’s three inches from the ground.

      BTW, near the beginning of the Romo era, the Cowboys were picked by many allegedly in-the-know sports “journalists” (and bookies) to win the Super Bowl at least twice.

      But look at your guys’ expectations now. Talk about a fiery plummet to cold, hard reality.

  3. Take heart, Jeff: Cowboys still have the rest of the AFC Central to play this year, so you can look forward to fattening up on games against Cleveland (sucks), Cincinnati (sucks despite Dalton and Green), and Pittsburgh (not that good this year).

    And A-Train, your rivals are seriously depleted: Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis are both out for the year, and Haloti Ngata limped off, as well. That Ravens’ D doesn’t look anything like its usual self, which is why their fans suspect that that 5-1 mark is a mirage, and also why even though the Steelers are subpar by their standards, they still have a pretty good shot to win the division. Who would have figured the AFC Central being so weak? (Same goes for the AFC East, by the way.)

    • K-Man. Both the Ravens’ and Steelers’ defenses are old and have been depleted for some time. Don’t be surprised to see the Ben-gals surge late and end up winning the division, one that’s been pretty much owned by the Steelers and Ravens dating back to the mid-1990s. Now that the Steelers’ offensive line is once again on death’s door — and with Polomalu out AGAIN and Woodley questionable — the defense is prime to get trampled. Again.

      But if you think the Cowboys are going to win all three of those games, you, my friend, are ka-razy. Even if the Cowboys are the superior team on paper in each instance, they’re still the Cowboys, still led by a bumbling Princeton grad and a late-season “star-fucking interception machine,” in the words of my friend Jordan.