Tag Archives: Cotton Bowl

Getting set for the Red River Rivalry

Hey, they’re going to play a football game just down the highway from my wife and me this weekend.

It’s a pretty big game. They call it the Red River Rivalry, the annual game of blocking and tackling between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma.

This is the first UT-OU game my wife and will get to witness from something approaching an up-close location. No, we don’t have tickets to the Cotton Bowl. Indeed, we’re likely to steer clear of the venue over the weekend.

The State Fair is under way, too. The Big Game is part of the festivities. We attended our first State Fair just a few years ago, even though we’ve lived in Texas since 1984; we never found the time or had the interest in going until our granddaughter came along. So we took the DART train from Collin County and got off the train at the fairgrounds.

This year? No thanks.

I do, though, want to say a brief word about some of the talk I’ve heard in recent years about moving the game out of Dallas. I understand there’s been some chatter about moving the game west along Interstate 30 to the stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play football … in Arlington. There’s also been some talk about making it a home-and-home series: rotating between Austin and Norman.

Keep the game at the Cotton Bowl! During the State Fair!

Fill the stadium with half the fans wearing Burnt Orange and the other half wearing Crimson and White.

The venue is roughly equidistant between the UT and OU campuses, which makes it a “neutral field,” even though it’s in Texas.

I get that the Cotton Bowl — which opened in 1930 — lacks many of the amenities found in many of the newer stadiums. Still, the game played there is a slice of Americana that needs to stay put.

The Metroplex is going to be thrown into a frenzy no matter who wins this Red River Rivalry contest. It will be maddening to be sure. It needs to stay right where it is.

Feeling a friend’s bowl game ‘pain’

A friend of mine, a native Texan, posted this message on Facebook the other day:

If you want to know the extent to which college football has strayed from the primrose path I thought would never end, here’s this year’s Cotton Bowl match up:
1. Neither team from Texas
2. Neither team from the old Southwest Conference.
3. Neither from even the Big 12.
4. Cotton not grown anywhere near these two universities.
5. Game no longer on New Year’s Day.

What’s our sports world coming to?

I feel his pain. The Cotton Bowl matchup this year features the University of Southern California vs. The Ohio State University.

It strikes me that the Cotton Bowl will involve teams that used to play exclusively in the Rose Bowl, which used to invite  the champions from the Big 10 to play the champs of the Pac 12.

And … speaking of the Rose Bowl — the game I watch with great interest, given that I grew up on the Pacific Coast — has an, um, interesting matchup as well.

The University of Georgia will play tackle football against the University of Oklahoma. Georgia comes from the Southeastern Conference; Oklahoma hails from the Big 12.

There’s a glimmer of good news to report. At least the Rose Bowl will be played on New Year’s Day.

But I get my friend’s angst over the jumbling of these bowl dates and the matchups that have not a damn thing to do with intercollegiate football tradition.

How ’bout them Arlington Cowboys?

ALLEN, Texas — Something’s come over me.

I am welcoming the new year with my son, daughter-in-law and their family watching a Dallas, ‘er Arlington, Cowboys football game.

Am I now going to become a Cowboys fan who cheers wildly whenever this team scores touchdowns or prevents the other guys from scoring? Is there a new year’s resolution in the making?

Uhhh, I doubt it.

That’s not the point of this brief blog post, however.

What often interests me is why this team is still called the “Dallas” Cowboys.

The team came into existence in 1960. Its first few seasons took place in the Cotton Bowl, which is on property where they have the Texas State Fair every fall. It also is smack in the middle of Dallas.

Then the Cowboys moved to Irving in the early 1970s. Irving is a suburb between Dallas and Fort Worth.

After a few years in Irving, the Cowboys blew that stadium up and moved way over yonder to Arlington, where they play in that monstrous venue called AT&T Stadium; it’s also known more colloquially as “Jerry World” in honor of the Cowboys’ owner/general manager Jerry Jones.

I have had several friends over the years who have lived in Fort Worth. To a person they have bristled at the mention of the title “Dallas Cowboys.” It’s especially true these days, I reckon, given that Arlington sits at Fort Worth’s doorstep, about 25 miles or so west on Interstate 30 from Dallas.

One friend, who moved away from Fort Worth a number of years, refused adamantly to use the term “Dallas” when describing the NFL team. He would call ’em the “Irving Cowboys.”

I’m almost willing to bet a huge percentage of the fans who fill Jerry World on a given Sunday hail from places far from Dallas.

Does it really fit, therefore, to refer to this pro football team as being from Dallas? Just askin’, man.

Would the Cowboys’ owner fire himself … please?

I hate commenting on sports because I don’t know enough of the nitty-gritty to talk intelligently about it.

However, I do know bad management when I see it. It’s running rampant inside the head office of the Dallas/Irving/Arlington Cowboys professional football franchise.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1890803-cowboys-wont-find-success-before-massive-culture-change-in-dallas?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=cnn-sports-bin&hpt=hp_bn15

The team owner Jerry Jones also is the team’s general manager. He’s got his own TV show on which he blathers on about football strategy and other on-the-field things about which he knows next to nothing.

I haven’t been a Cowboys fan since Jones bought the team in 1989 and fired a living legend, Tom Landry, the team’s head coach since it entered the NFL in 1960. I used to like the upstarts from Big D, when they tried to knock the Green Bay Packers off in the late 1960s. They came close — and nearly froze to death in the Ice Bowl game played in Green Bay.

Then along came Jones. The former Arkansas Razorback hired his old Hog teammate Jimmy Johnson as head coach. After a spell, the two parted company because Johnson didn’t like the owner meddling in football strategy and tactics. Their friendship ended, too.

Now the Cowboys are languishing again. As the blog linked to this note observes, the Cowboys are known as one of the NFL’s best teams — on paper — but they are managing yet again to prove they cannot win consistently.

Yep, the Cowboys have won some Super Bowls since Jones took over the team. It’s looking, though, as if the next one is slipping farther and farther into the future.

Why? It has to be Jones. The owner is a smart businessman who made enough money to buy himself a professional football team that has moved from the Cotton Bowl at the State Fairgrounds in Dallas, to a new stadium in Irving and now the place nicknamed Jerry World way over in Arlington — which is a lot closer to Fort Worth than it is to Dallas. Take it from me, many of the folks in Fort Worth detest the reference to the Dallas Cowboys.

Jones may be an adequate owner. He needs desperately, however, to turn over the day-to-day management of the team to someone who knows what the bleep he’s doing.

That someone is not Jerry Jones.

Take a hike, big guy. Sign the paychecks, pay the bills and get the heck out of the way.