Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I got two words for ya

America's Team.

It is funny how those two words can send a Packers fan into a tizzy. They will froth at the mouth and go into a tirade. They simply cannot handle the fact that the Dallas Cowboys are, always have been, and will always be, America's Team. But no one but them or the media in Wisconsin ever try to insinuate to the contrary.

Look it up on Google. The first entry is on Wikipedia. They have the background summed up pretty well:
America’s Team is a term often used to describe the Dallas Cowboys franchise
that plays in the NFC East of the National Football League. The term is recognized and often used by media outlets, including ESPN and Yahoo! .
Bob Ryan, the Vice President and editor-in-chief of NFL Films, coined this for the
Cowboys in 1979. After preparing and editing the team’s 1978 season highlight film he had to come up with a title for the film. He was quoted as saying:
"I wanted to come up with a different twist on their team highlight film. I noticed
then, and had noticed earlier, that wherever the Cowboys played, you saw people
in the stands with Cowboys jerseys and hats and pennants. Plus, they were always
the national game on television."

Contrary to common belief, the Dallas Cowboys did not give themselves that nickname. It was the NFL. Sure the Cowboys took it and ran with it like any smart person would. And as they say, the rest is history.

Look at the second entry on the Google search. Opinion. Not fact. Third is the Dallas Cowboys site itself. Then again to opinion, drumming up the beat for an article. Worse yet, the author doesn't even understand the background of the moniker. She lacks a lot of facts to back it up like how the Cowboys have consistently been polled as a favorite team or how they are outselling NFL merchandise by a wide margin over the second place team (Green Bay is a distance 10th).

It baffles me why Packer fans get into a such a frenzy over such a nickname. Are the jealous? Are they feeling inferior? Are they just insecure? Or simply out of touch?

Packer fans crave attention for their team. They like to brag about selling out the stadium for years and how long it takes to get tickets. They like to talk about how Packer fans fill stadiums all over the country.

But apparently that is a recent phenomenon. For if the fans were filling stadiums across the country in the 60s and 70s, wouldn't the NFL have noticed? Wouldn't they have been featured on TV on a weekly basis? It would make sense they would have coined the phrase for them but apparently that was not happening. The NFL did not see any big support for the Packers when they were playing away from Lambeau back then. They had 40 years to earn such a distinction but couldn't. 40 years! Dallas Cowboys fans made a noticeable difference in less that 20. And that difference is still seen today.

The Cowboys have been featured on national television more than any other team and they have two games coming up on the NFL Network. Those games are on the network for a reason. They know it can drum up viewers. The Packers have yet to have a game rescheduled to the later broadcast for that purpose, though I fully expect that to change in December. Are Packer fans jealous that their team has not been showcased like the Cowboys?

Inferiority complex
Maybe Packer fans truly feel inferior when it comes to the Cowboys. Big city vs small town mentality. Competitive owner vs. community owned. The Cowboys have a better winning percentage and have won the most post-season games. Winner of 5 Super Bowls in 8 appearances. The Packers can boast their 12 championships but comparing 40 years of football when one team is not around is like comparing apples to oranges.

These teams seem to ebb and flow together, except for the 70s and 80s. But in the 90s, the Cowboys consistently beat the Packers, even in 96 when the Packers won a Super Bowl and had a better team. But Packer fans insist this is a big rivalry game. To Cowboys fans, it is not. Unlike the Packers whose big rivals seem to be the next opponent they need to beat to climb the ladder, a Cowboys fan considers the Deadskins, the Iggles, and the Gints to be our rivals.

It is something reflected on the newspapers of the areas. In Milwaukee, the Journal has prominently featured their articles about the game top of the website. The Dallas Morning News has it in the sports section. Oh, and the DMN has a much better Cowboys blog than the Journal.

Maybe it is because the value of the Dallas Cowboys team dwarfs that of the Green Bay Packers. Forbes magazine values the Cowboys at $1.5 billion. The Packers...$927 million. The Packers have a beautiful stadium. One that may pale compared to the facility being built in Arlington. Bigger and better.

Face it, the Cowboys have been a better franchise.

Or is it that Packer fans have this sense of insecurity. It is like they are a band of Jehovah Witnesses always trying to recruit people to like their team. Seriously. I would be a millionaire if I had a dime for every time I have been asked if I grew up in Texas because I am a Cowboys fan. Or how many times I have heard people say you must become a Packers fan if you live in Wisconsin. Of course I reply that you must be a Dallas Cowboys fan if you live in America. They cannot comprehend why someone would like the Cowboys in Wisconsin. They cannot comprehend how many Cowboys fans there are in this state.

Out of touch
People in Wisconsin treat Packer players like Gods. In Dallas, they are treated like football players. You hear Packer fans insisting that Terrell Owens is going to destroy the team all the while he is helping them win and being a great team player. They like to bring up the past and call the Cowboys a bunch of criminals. The closest brush with the law is Tank Johnson's antics when he was with the Bears. This is a much different team than the 90s. But still, we don't cover it up like Packer fans do with their players- cough cough Barnett. Every team will have a player go awry. Some fans just ignore it.

The bottom line is simple. America's Team is the Dallas Cowboys. It is just a nickname. It is not like the Cowboys fans go around calling Dallas titletown, a nickname made up by the Packers, not the NFL. Be happy with what you have. You can argue it until the cows come home but you know the true answer. You can say "the real", the "authentic" or "the original" all you want but all you are doing is fooling yourself. C'mon say it with me, it will make you feel better. Dallas Cowboys, America's Team!

And by the way, the Cowboys do sell authentic merchandise with the nickname America's Team. The Packers do not.

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