The Harris Poll reported Tuesday that the Dallas Cowboys are in danger of losing their most prized possession, their nickname of “America’s Team” to the Denver Broncos. As far as this writer is concerned, please take it!
The poll reported that out of 2,543 people surveyed (random number eh?), the top five teams were the following:
1. Denver Broncos
2. New York Giants
3. Green Bay Packers
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Interesting to say the least. But the nickname wasn’t awarded to the Cowboys, it was “chosen” for them. Here’s the story.
In 1978, after the Steelers edged the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl yet again, the NFL Films people were wanting to look in a different direction for films about the next year. Bob Ryan was one of the main men working with Steve Sabol and he wanted to do a spin on the Cowboys.
“What I noticed was there were packs and packs of Cowboys in the stands, in away stadiums, and I said this is the most popular team in the country.” Bob Ryan said. “How can I use that? Well, why don’t we call them America’s Team?”
And boom. The nickname was born even though the Steelers had more rings and the Dolphins had an undefeated season. A nickname that has brought more hatred, resentment, and hostility than say championships and love. NFL Films ran with it and it got…mixed reviews.
“We thought it was great. Tom Landry hated it.” Steve Sabol said. Landry had a right to hate it. He was a modest God-fearing man who was humble to say the least. He didn’t want to be coaching a media team with a planet-size bull’s-eye on it. But, the nickname stuck like glue.
The nickname stuck because they were the most popular team in the country. America wasn’t solely about loving the winner back then. There weren’t as many bandwagon fans as there are today. Cowboys fans were in other cities because those Cowboys were lovable despite sometimes losing.
They not only had America’s model elder of the old days in Tom Landry, who probably reminded half of the people of father or some male older relative, but they had Captain America.
No, not Steve Rogers, but Roger Staubach. The guy who every upstanding citizen looked up to. War veteran, Heisman Trophy winner, Super Bowl MVP who bought an economically-sensible station wagon with the prize money and had been interviewed by Phyllis George saying, “I enjoy sex as much as Joe Namath. Only I do it with one girl. It’s still fun.”
Fathers liked him because they wanted him for a son-in-law. Women liked him because he was handsome and a tough guy. People liked him for his patriotism, strong ethics and good virtue. You wouldn’t catch Roger Staubach in a bar having an affair or anything scandalous.
He above all was the reason the name fit and people wanted to root for their favorite American. Unless they already disliked the Cowboys. The name poured gasoline on for feuds between the Eagles (and their moronic alligator-brained fans) and the Redskins (who hated Dallas already because of George Allen). Landry never won another Super Bowl, but he got the name which fit despite how much he hated it.
The name fit because they were America’s Team and despite what and Harris Poll says, they might still be America’s Team.
But, let’s get rid of it. Forget America, I just want them to be Texas’ team all over again. Forget away stadiums, the fans have abandoned their own home. Too often, the Cowboys have had to adjust to loud noise from opposing fans during HOME games and its absolute nonsense to see so many colors that aren’t blue, silver or white in the stands. I’ve been to a pair of games and it still sickens me.
So Denver, please take the name and the hate with you. I’m sick of it.
I’m sure Landry in his grave is sick of it. I’d rather be America’s Sweetheart under the radar than America’s Team in front of the cameras. Take the media into your locker room. Let them focus on who your players are dating like they did with Tony Romo.
Take the hatred and make Oakland fans, Chiefs fans, and Chargers fans want to rip and burn the uniforms off your players’ flesh. Let your players get hurt and opposing fans cheer that they might be lying dead on the field like Michael Irvin.
I’m so sick of a nickname that gives teams even more motivation to take the Lombardi from us. I’m so sick of seeing the owner of America’s Team with that withered weasel smile and hearing his Arkansas accent. I can’t hear the voice of any other alive NFL owner except his. I’m sick of it.
So, Denver take the albatross off our back and see if you like it. No refunds though.
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