Yay, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! (The excitement is so intense I don’t even care that I ended the first sentence of the first Off Asides of the new football season with a dangling preposition. It’s crazy!)

Holy Vitamin D, it’s gorgeous outside. Sun shining, cool breeze, mid-80s, a perfect day to be soaking up nature. Or so the reports say. I don’t know or care.  I’ll be breathing nothing but filtered and conditioned air for the next 12 hours, what with the pre-game, noon games, three o’clock game, and then the Dallas Cowboys game at 7:30 tonight. Father Football takes precedent over Mother Nature.

Luckily, I’m in the best sports columnist shape of my life (fat and lazy with a slight hangover, content to sit in an easy chair eating kettle-cooked potato chips, with a laptop, coincidentally, atop my lap). I’ve kept myself in this peak condition all summer long just to bring you the best Cowboys coverage found in the Metroplex and beyond, some say all the way to Sulphur Springs, maybe even the world.

Southside Cellar (300 x 250 px) (2)

For the next few months, Off Asides will risk bed sores and scurvy to bring you this award-winning column. (Full disclosure: No awards have actually been won, but a lot of famous sportswriters, including Grantland Rice, Randy Galloway, and Damon Runyon, remained anonymous throughout their careers, died in obscurity, and remain unknown to this day. That’s company I don’t mind keeping.)

My giddiness isn’t rubbing off on my research assistant. Hazel isn’t demonstratively enlivened. Or even awake. But in her defense, she gleans her best Cowboys insights while dreaming about chasing rabbits. Hazel was first to predict the Eagles would sign DeMarco Murray in free agency after dreaming that a gimpy rabbit escaped through a hole in a fence and fell into a septic tank.

[Editor’s Note: In the interest of streamlining this column for modern readers with limited attention spans, I have sliced 4,500 words from the middle section. Just imagine more ludicrous stories about rabbits, sportswriters, potato chips, and countless other inanities. We now pick up with Off Asides hours later in the moments leading up to the Cowboys kickoff.]

… which is weird because rabbits, which are genetically incapable of vomiting, can and do eat their own feces. Anyhoo, here we are, gang. Cowboys vs Giants. Romo vs his Legacy. Randle vs McFadden. Kettle cooked vs baked.

The butterfly’s wings have flapped, and a Cowboy tsunami is about to strike down Eli Manning & Co. Next stop Super Bowl, baybee. Put it in three-inch headlines.

WTF. Nobody even sings the national anthem. First Sunday night game of the year and you don’t even get a celebrity to sing the anthem? That’s unpatriotic. Instead, Carrie Underwood sings “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night,” which, technically speaking, is an anthem. And now that I really listen to the lyrics, it’s a much better song.

I suppose “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a classic, but the opening line has always bothered me.

“Oh, say, can you see… .”

It’s like Francis Scott Key was distracted when he started writing. You know, like when you’re staring into space, lost in thought, and somebody steps into you’re line of vision, and you mutter, “Oh…say…what’s up?” Kind of a timid opener for any anthem, much less a national one.

Now compare that to, “Hey, Jack, it’s a fact the show’s back in town / the Giants and Cowboys, a division showdown.” See how the lyrics get right to the point? Brilliant. Straight from the Sammy Cahn school of songwriting.

The rest of the national anthem’s first line gets worse.

“… by the dawn’s early light.”

Of course the light is early. You’ve already clearly established that it’s dawn, which, last I checked, comes early. That’s like saying, “By the hare’s furry fur.”

Might I suggest we change the line to something like, by the dawn’s “curly” light or “swirly” light?

While we’re at it, let’s change our team name to the Arlington Cowboys, or at least the Nobody’s Damn Suburb Cowboys. The last time the Cowboys played in Dallas, the Beatles were still officially a band. I could have just said it was 1970, but that wouldn’t be as effective as choosing an unrelated piece of pop culture … .

[Editor’s Note: Another 2,000 words cut here; much of it nonsensical writing tips supported by rabbit parables. Off Asides seems completely unaware that the game is already in the second quarter.  We return to the column in progress.]

… everybody knows that Jim Morrison is an anagram for Mr Mojo Risin, but few people know Axl Rose is an anagram for Oral Sex. By the way, the reason rabbits eat their own poo is because the grass and weeds they survive on don’t have a lot of nutrition, and so they … .

[Editor’s Note: Another 1,200 words cut.]

… and that’s why I decided to start drinking early today. Part medicinal, part professional.  A little hair of the dog never hurt anyone, particularly on deadline. Actually, hair of the dog did hurt people back in the old days in Scotland, where that colloquialism originated. When a rabid dog would bite a Scot, the Scot would treat himself by placing strands of the dog’s hair into the wound. Believe me, this hurts, and goes a long way in explaining why Sean Connery stays so pissed off. Had he been born in England and not been bitten by so many rabid dogs, Connery might have been more like Hugh Grant, carefree and … .

[Editor’s Note: That’s it. I’m pulling the plug on this column. The Cowboys are getting their asses beat and this guy seems oblivious. I can’t take anymore.  I’m sick of this nutjob’s drivel. If I read one more ridiculous non sequitur or self-important piece of pap from this pin head I’m going to cut off my own toe like Clyde Barrow did to get out of … oh shit!  I’m sounding like Off Asides now. Pointless trivia flooding brain …  must breathe … heart beating fast … arteries clogging tighter than Andre Agassi’s shower drain circa 1994 … oh God, make it stop!]

[[Executive Editor’s Note: Dear readers, It seems our staff is overly excited about the new football season. We need to stop and regroup. The Editor has been sedated. It’s a difficult job editing Off Asides. Please respect the Editor’s privacy as he embarks on a six-month leave of absence. As for Off Asides, he too has been sedated — pretty much since the late 1970s. He will return next week, jubilant as ever, bringing you the most insightful Dallas Cowboys coverage this side of Sulphur Springs, and possibly the world!]]

[[[God’s note: Did somebody say something?“]]]


  1. Had me laughing out loud. Great column about nothing and everything. There still was no damned pass interference on the call that changed the game. That was pure sympathy for Jerry’s two hip replacement surgeries! We was robbed, I tell ya. When we didn’t suck, we was gettin’ robbed!

    • The refs are still trying to make up for that bad call against Dez last year. The Giants deserved to win last night but they’re in for a hosing when next we meet.

  2. Hey Peter, the reason my comment seems weird is because I just found out the Cowboys won last night’s game. I switched the channel at the tail end of the game when it looked like the Cowboys were doomed, so I’ve been thinking all day that the Cowboys lost. What cracks me up most is my column about the Cowboys game isn’t impacted by whether the team won or lost, or whether I even know who won or lost. That’s my kind of column.

    • Well, that’s what the column sounded like, which was why it was so freaking hilarious! You weren’t even watching the game so much as the damned rabbits! And you were only hallucinating those!