September 27th, 2006

How ‘Bout Them Cowboys?

So now, a week and a half later, we come to the Cowboys game, ostensibly the reason I made the trip to Dallas. As I’ve said, I’ve wanted to see the Cowboys play in Texas Stadium for a long time. Really, though, the game served as a backdrop for meeting friends, either again or for the first time.

We’d been told that we should allow three hours before game time to get to the game. We figured that was because of traffic, but we figured wrong. We got to the stadium rather quickly. What took us so long was walking from our parking spot to the stadium itself. In fact, that walk might actually have taken longer than the drive there. On the way we passed many a tailgating party and we realized just how hungry we were. Brian was tempted to wander over to a Redskins tailgating gathering and see if they’d give him some food but ultimately decided against it.

Along the way the various fan groups gave the opposing fan groups a hard time, but none quite so humorously as a group of Cowboys fans that blew whistles and flagged Redskins passersby. I’m not sure what the penalty was, but it was a hoot to see a dozen or more little yellow flags flying through the air.

Here’s a picture of me with the stadium in the background on the way towards it:

Me and Texas Stadium

You can see how gray it is, but I don’t think you can tell how much it’s raining. It was a steady drizzle pretty much our whole walk there, and it turned into a regular downpour when we got to the gates. My newly-purchased hat kept my glasses fairly clear, so that was good. We got some food before heading to our seats (and judging from the prices, the food was laced with gold – really, really tasty gold, fortunately), which were under the covered part of the dome. It’s sorta hard to tell from this picture, but I think you can see how much it’s raining through the hole in the dome roof:

Dome Rain

The game itself was a lot of fun. There’s something kinetic about 65,000 people in one building, let alone 65,000 yelling people. Our ears were ringing most of the time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that we had suffered permanent hearing loss.

This picture gives you the view from our seats:

On the field

It was difficult to see things that happened on the other end of the field, but for the most part we could follow.

The thing that saddened me about the game is that it’s not really an environment you’d want to take kids to. The ticket prices are exclusionary enough, but we heard more than a few obscenities yelled. Add to that all the “birds” flipped and the obscenities on shirts and signs held aloft and, well, it’s too bad. Taking a kid to a football game used to be something great to do. It doesn’t look like that’s the case any more.

I’m sure Brian (dirty Washington fan that he is) would disagree, but the game was made even better because the Cowboys won, 27-10. The game still would have been great to see, but I’m glad they won. It’s been suggested to me that I am perhaps the Cowboys’ lucky charm and should therefore attend all their home games so they can win. I am completely up for this idea and am now taking donations to fund this season-long adventure. Who knows, with all that extra time in Dallas, I might even start being able to find my way around.

The trip back to the car after the game was fraught with danger. This is one huge mass of excitable people, all pressed together and fired up from the game. If the Cowboys had lost, I probably would have been worried for our safety – even more so than I already was, that is. But no, we made it back to our car without incident. But that’s as far as we made it incident-free.

See, the traffic to get out of the parking lot was bumper to bumper. We didn’t see much point in trying to get out, so we sat in the car to wait it out. We’re talking to each other and to other people on the phone when the guy in the spot in front of us decided to pull out and around us to get into the line of leavers. He’s apparently new to this truck he’s driving, as he doesn’t turn wide enough behind us and scrapes the rear passenger corner of our shiny purple Chevy HHR. That wasn’t enough for him, apparently, because he kept going. Loud screeching noises mean nothing to this brave adventurer! Finally he realizes what’s happening – maybe because of our wild yells and gesticulations – and he backs up. This, of course, is like pulling a broadhead arrow back out of a person and caused even more damage and screeching.

Brian was immediately on the case, getting all the needed info from the guy, calling the insurance company, calling Alamo, all that stuff. Meanwhile, the guy’s wife is sitting in the truck, rather put out. “Can we get this taken care of as quickly as possible?” Yeah, sorry, lady. Sorry your husband ran us over and put you behind schedule. Oh, and we’re fine, by the way. Thanks for asking!

Here’s what the back of the car looked like:

Wrecked HHR

Somewhere along the line Brian called the police and they suggested he wait there for an officer to come by. We couldn’t really go anywhere anyway because the traffic was still backed up, but just when we had decided not to wait any longer, a policeman showed up. He pretty much said, “There isn’t much I can do here. Here’s a blue form which you could fill out, I suppose, if, you know, you wanted to.” He was nice, though, so that was good. It can’t have been in his plans for a great evening to drive to Texas Stadium on a game night to inspect an accident. Beats getting shot at by hoodlums, I suppose.

The nice thing was that by the time we were done talking to the policeman, traffic had cleared up and we had pretty much clear sailing back to the hotel, getting there a little before 1 a.m. A quick nap later and we were back on the road by 4 a.m. Brian and Lisa’s flight left at 6:something and it was easiest for me to just go with them and wait for my flight at 11:30.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. Coupled with my great trip to Canada earlier this summer, I might just have to rethink my anti-traveling stance. The secret, I think, is meeting great people. In fact, you should come on the next game trip. We’ve got one planned for when the new Cowboys stadium is built – so, somewhere around 2009. Are you free?

3 Comments on “How ‘Bout Them Cowboys?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great, now I sound like a pig for thinking about trying to get food from fellow Redskins fans. ;)

    Also, I don't think the lady in the truck was his wife. They had different last names and addresses. She seemed pretty upset, regardless.

  2. MadMup says:

    Is it your goal to come in here and thwart every last post I make? :)

    It wasn't piggish at all – you just knew there was a sense of camaraderie since you all were in enemy territory.

    And her not being his wife might have explained her anger…

  3. the obscure says:

    Fantastic Weekend.

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