A mild bit of grumbling can be heard in some North Texas communities over the temporary renaming of AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The place — known colloquially as Jerry World — was named over the weekend as a semifinal site for the 2026 World Cup soccer tournament. The locals had hoped the place would become a site for the finals. But … no dice.
FIFA, the World Cup governing body, doesn’t like to have corporate names on its venues, so it demanded they take down the name of the telecommunications giant. The new name?
The name has rankled some folks. I tend to agree with their hurt feelings.
The place is 30-some miles from Dallas. It’s closer to Fort Worth than to Big D. I can think of several non-corporate names one could have put on the place other than Dallas Stadium.
North Texas Stadium. D/FW Stadium. Arlington Stadium. They all come to mind. I’d even settle for Cowboys Stadium.
It just ain’t in Dallas. I get that FIFA wanted to have a name associated with the largest city in the region. That would be Dallas, with its towering skyline full of gleaming office buildings. Then again, Fort Worth has its share of cowboy glitz and glamor, too.
I should point out as well that the Dallas Cowboys, the pro football team that calls the place home, hasn’t played in Dallas since the team’s founding in 1960, when they played their home games in the Cotton Bowl. They have since moved to Irving and then to Arlington … where team owner Jerry Jones built the place now known temporarily as Dallas Stadium.
As for the grumblers, well, I’m with ’em.
Just when I thought the world had spun off its axis and that a great Latin American country had suffered from collective apoplexy over the defeat of its national soccer team, I came across this story on CNN.com.
It turns out the Brazilian soccer fans — stunned beyond their ability to comprehend — cheered the German team that beat their beloved men in the World Cup semifinal match.
The Germans won that game 7-1 in what’s being described as the most astonishing performance in the World Cup … ever! That they beat the host team in that fashion gives extra punch to the Germans now as they get ready to play the winner of The Netherlands-Argentina match for the World Cup championship.
I’ve also been wondering about this passionate love of the sport that seems to transcend anything with which I’m familiar in the U.S. of A. When the Denver Broncos lost the Super Bowl this year to the Seattle Seahawks, did the Mile High City’s fans go into the kind of collective funk that has fallen over Brazil. What happened in Miami when the Heat got blown out by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals? I think folks in South Florida went about their business.
Granted, the U.S. doesn’t have a national soccer team that’s able to compete — at least not yet — on a consistent level with Brazil or Germany.
But the craziness is beyond anything I can quite grasp.
Still, I was heartened to know that despite their grief, the Brazilians had it within them to pay proper tribute to the young men who gave their guys a good, old-fashioned whuppin’.
And yes, the sun rose this morning over Brazil.