Three Ridiculous Excuses for Being a Cowboys Fan in Philadelphia
I don’t know who came up with the idea to create professional team sports, but I’m pretty sure they began as a form of civic pride.
If people can come out to the town square to watch a Thanksgiving parade — a grand Marshall in the open car in front with Miss Dairy Farm riding shotgun — then they certainly can charge a bit of admission to see their Cincinnati Red Stockings playing baseball against a city rival.
Which brings me to the Dallas Cowboys fans who reside in the Philadelphia area.
They are an M. Night Shyamalan movie. They are pods who walk along with us except we can’t tell they are pods. Their identities are concealed. They are business suit wearers, construction workers. They are the folks who serve your morning coffee and Egg McMuffins. But then they wake up on Sunday and slap on a Troy Aikman throwback jersey because the Cowboys are playing the 4 p.m. game on CBS.
They are weasels.
There are some hard and fast rules in sports that should never be broken. One involves fandom. See, professional teams were created for one reason: to represent the geographical area of their people. There is a reason why we are called the Philadelphia Eagles or the Philadelphia Flyers and such. If you are born into a certain territory, your rooting interest must first be for the team that has given you the roots. Rooting for pro teams isn’t ala carte. They aren’t a Chinese food menu where you pick your entree from column A and an appetizer from column B.
Dallas Cowboys fans with Philadelphia roots obviously have gone through life with an identity or insecurity crisis. They liked the Cowboys because at one point they were dominant winners, America’s team. The Eagles stunk at the time, so these weasels disavowed any interest in their home-town team, and puffed their chest at middle school. Or, their Cowboy affection came simply because they craved attention. Perhaps they had no friends. Perhaps their physical education teacher, like in that Seinfeld episode, once gave them a wedgie. I like the Dallas Cowboys, so what are you going to do about that, Mr. Heyman?
I mostly love the ridiculous reasons Cowboys fans articulate (did I just give a Cowboy fan credit for “articulating?”) for their rooting interests. Here are the top three:
- “From the beginning.” What are you talking about? I was with the Cowboys when they went 1-15 and Aikman was getting killed. I just liked the way they were putting together their franchise. Sure Skippy. You decided to like them when they were the worst team in the league. You’re a fraud.
- “My dad was a Cowboy fan.” I wanted to be like my daddy and he would sit in front of the television every Sunday at 4 p.m. to hear Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier broadcast the Cowboys games. It’s in my DNA. You know what also is in your DNA dopey? Independence. So, if your dad or your uncle still believed in segregation, would you?
- “I liked the star.” My mom bought me little Cowboy pajamas when I was three and I’ve liked them ever since. My bed frame was shaped like a football and I had Cowboy sheets. I liked the colors. This of course is the lamest reason anyone could ever have for liking the Dallas Cowboys.
Listen, this is America. I get freedom of choice. You are entitled to be a Dallas Cowboy fan if you want. Just know that, if so, you are a creep. As long as we all know our places in life, I’m good.