It’s game day! On my short list of life dreams, one of them was going to Texas Stadium for a live Dallas Cowboys game. With only one more season till the ‘Boys move into their new digs, this was a dream I wanted to make reality ASAP. I’d missed out on seeing my Canadiens in the old Montreal Forum so I didn’t want to do something similar with my football team!
Texas is beautiful. I’m not sure I’ve stressed that enough. While you see lots of open land and not the same kind of historic architecture you might see in somewhere like New York City, there’s something special about texture of it all. The way the houses line up against each other, the fields you just know are used for football by kids and the farms that hearken back to the whole cowboy image of Texas…it’s pretty awesome. While these pictures don’t tell the whole story, here are some images of the view from our hotel room.
Our hotel shuttle for the game didn’t leave till 1pm, so Nick and I had lots of time to relax before the game. Somehow we settled on watching Fellowship Of The Ring, the first Lord Of The Rings film, and took our time getting ready for the game. We did make it in time for the very impressive breakfast buffet and scarfed down some great eggs, fruit, pancakes, juice and more. All the pundits seemed to predict an easy win for the Cowboys over the Philadelphia Eagles, but I wasn’t quite buying into it, as the Cowboys seemed ripe for an embarrassing loss after some questionable recent performances.
I do wish I’d been able to stay in Texas for an extra couple of days, so I could’ve driven around the state more and really seen what it’s like during the week. I wouldn’t have become an expert, but I think it would be interesting to see everyday life and experience that instead of just being there for a busy football weekend.
At 1pm, we boarded the bus and headed for the stadium, the first thing I noticed is that the highways were packed. You couldn’t move an inch, cut in a lane or even see empty pavement—everyone was on their way to Texas Stadium.
Exiting the shuttle and walking towards our gate, it was impossible not to notice the passion of the Cowboys fans. From tailgating parties to face painting and a near one hour line-up at the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, these are the most devoted fans I’ve seen outside of Canadians during the hockey playoff season. I also realized I love that damn Texas accent—maybe it just reminds me of old cowboy movies or it’s just different than that New York drawl, but it’s also awesome to me.
Thanks to our father, Nick and I had great seats but we spent an hour walking around the stadium, observing all the different concession stands—Cowboys Cheesesteaks, Cowboy Margaritas—and the numerous merchandise stands. Since it’s a cash-only stadium, every ATM had long lines, so much so that even an hour early for games you could find yourself getting to your seat late if you didn’t bring cash.
We eventually settled at our seats, which weren’t too far from singer Jessica Simpson (below in a pretty crappy photo) who got blamed for distracting quarterback Tony Romo that day.
The NFL is an awesome spectacle. The game opened with fireworks, tons of cheerleader routine and our Cowboys sideline, midfield seats gave us a great view of all the action. The entire stadium came alive…but soon we bore witness to one of the worst football games I’ve ever seen. Both team played horribly, with only one touchdown scored between both sides and the Eagles winning 10-6. Beyond some women rubbing my hair all game (they said it was “perfect”), not much eventful occurred- but it was great for my brother and I to spend time watching the game together. At the end of the day, we made the trip to Dallas, went to the historic stadium and watched our team, cheering at every opportunity.
Now I don’t know what happened, but our shuttle didn’t show up for 90 minutes after game, leaving dozens of us from the hotel stranded in the cold. I can’t in good conscience not warn others about using Marriot’s shuttle service, as Marriot customers from other hotels had the same problem and I wished I’d just driven to the stadium myself.
Arriving at the hotel so late, we decided to get a quick dinner and I downed a couple more Shiner Bock beers, as I doubt I’ll ever find it outside of Texas. After packing everything into our now bulging suitcases, we watching Return Of The King and soon went to sleep, as the weekend was pretty exhausting. I also have to note that our hotel room had the Book Of Mormon and the Bible in the bedside table—I’ve never seen that outside of Utah.
The next day we returned to New York and while the Cowboys didn’t win, it was a real special trip, as I can now say I’ve completed another life’s dream and did it with my brother. I look forward to seeing the Cowboys in 2009, when their new stadium opens up, but it’ll never compare to this first experience of discovering Texas, my first NFL game and seeing this team of Cowboys. Of course, maybe next time they’ll actually play well, eh?
I wish there was something more profound, more enlightening I could say about this trip, but it’s just a great family trip to see our favorite team play at a historic stadium. Nothing crazy, no drunken escapades and no debauchery. We didn’t spend a lot of time there, but we had a great time and we’ll definitely make a return trip.
Fuckin Dallas, eh?