[Ed. note: This article was published in 2011 on the Monday following the Cowboys' 44-7 win over the Buffalo Bills in which DeMarco Murray rushed for 125 yards and Terence Newman notched two interceptions.]
On this sunny Victory Monday morning I feel the strong urge to talk to somebody about the Cowboys. I dial 703-571-3343. I have reached the Department Of Defense.
"Can I talk to Secretary of Defense Rob Ryan please?"
"Mr. Ryan is not the Secretary of Defense."
"He most assuredly is."
"I'm sorry, sir. Is there anything else I can do for you?"
"Yes. Fear The Star."
Shortly after the game on Sunday, in what has become a little bit of a habit, I googled "sports bar Philadelphia". Lots of bars to pick from, so I chose one at random and dialed their number.
"Hey, is there a guy named Andy in your bar?"
"Who wants to know?"
The guy covers the phone with his hand, but I can hear him shouting into the room for an Andy, and that his boss wants to talk to him. Sure enough, a different guy picks up the phone.
"Fear The Star." I hang up.
When I get to work, this French colleague of mine is already there, and as I walk past his office, he rushes out eagerly and shakes my hand vigorously.
"Bonjour, did you ‘ave a nice weekend?"
I am beginning to suspect that the dude takes some kind of perverse pleasure in these Monday morning meetings.
"Yes, " I tell him.
He proceeds to tell me what a great weekend he had, but I'm not really listening, because the dude is still holding on to my hand. He asks me what I did over the weekend.
"I went Buffalo hunting".
"Mon Dieu! You 'unt se Buffalo? 'ave you killed one?"
"All of them".
His eyes go wide. But he also lets go of my hand.
I leave him standing, and as I walk away I curse under my breath for forgetting how to say 'Fear The Star' in French.
When I get to the office, I tell my secretary to put me through to Mr. Newman. A minute later she calls back and tells me, "We don't have a Newman listed in the company."
Darn it. Foiled again. I tell her to get Herr Neumann on the line. Neumann answers.
"Hey, Newman! Great job you did there, you old rascal. Nobody thought you had it in you."
"Why ... thank you, sir," Neumann answers tentatively. Neumann is 59 and will take early retirement next year.
"Keep it up Terence, I want to see more of that next week. Fear the Star."
I hang up.
Neumann is in accounting. He doesn't know what just happened.
My son is 10 years old, he's in fifth grade and has just started learning English this year. He was asked at school recently what his favorite American Football team is.
His reply: "Fear The Star."
I am a great father.
It's five weeks till Christmas, and my ex-wife made a list of things that she wants me to buy as presents for my son. Years later, and she's still making lists of things that I need to do. But I digress.
After my son recently watched all three Transformer movies, the list is predictably full of Transformers stuff. This morning, my phone rang. I see it's my ex-wife, but pretend not to know who's on the phone.
"Hey, it's me. Listen," I swear she starts every conversation she has with me with ‘Listen' and then proceeds to tell me what to do. "Listen, did you get the Transformers stuff?"
"Did you get him something else?"
"I told you not to get him anything else! What is it?"
"I bought him an Optimus Bryant shirt." Her knowledge of Transformers nomenclature is sketchy at best, but that just can't be helped, so I leave her thinking what she wants to think.
"Hrmpf, okay. As long as it's not some Cowboys stuff."
I hang up.
I know there's going to be hell to pay when my son unwraps that Dez Bryant jersey, but hey, I'm paying every month anyway. Might as well have some fun doing it.
As I settle into my office routine, my secretary walks in, gives me one look and declares, "So the Cowboys won again, huh?"
I cannot deny this.
She proceeds to unceremoniously drop a huge pile of paper on my desk. "Here, sign these," and walks out. Invoices, expense reports and vacation requests.
I sign as 'DeMarco Murray' at the bottom of every single piece of paper. Let somebody else figure that one out.
The local soccer team here, Eintracht Frankfurt, has an eagle as its logo, and many cars have that logo emblazoned across their rear windows or their bumpers. Gives me the creeps.
As I was driving to work this morning, I made a point of pulling up next to those cars, pointing at their oversized eagle logos and then giving the driver two thumbs up while flashing my winningest smile.
All of them smiled and waved back.
Those poor guys don't have any clue about the NFC East standings, of course. But I do. And that's enough.
I'm putting the final touches on a couple of charts that I have to present at a board meeting this week. On a whim, I change all the bullet points into blue stars.
It's the little things in life that keep us going.
You think I'm kidding about the Fear The Star stuff, right? I'm not.
Siderophobia: An excessive fear of the Star or some danger that might come from the Star. Comes with intense feelings of anxiety and feelings of underachievement. Distorted vision and increased heart rate can also be common symptoms. A separate core fear that is often associated with Siderophobia is the fear of not making the playoffs.