Looking Back, Looking Forward

If you have read some of my previous posts, you will realize that I love history.  I am fascinated by trying to understand what happened, and why, and how it affects us today.  One of the my favorite sayings is "Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it".  So I was doing a little research in recent history, and I came up with the following numbers:

12 or more 23 votes 20%
10 or 11 84 votes 72%
 8 or 9 7 votes 6%
7 or fewer 2 votes 2%

Those, folks, are predictions of how many games the Cowboys would win in 2010, voted on by you, the BTB readers, between the last preseason game and the first regular season game.

Nobody said history was pretty

The fanpost was called Still searching for meaning, and it was the third and last in a series of polls I took trying to get an idea of what, if anything, the preseason meant.  I don't know if I figured that out at all, but in looking back, I can say, rather conclusively, that we as a Cowboys lovin' community were really, really wrong.  (Well, except for the two votes at the bottom.  Anybody remember casting those votes?  I'd love to hear what you based them on.)

So one point I have in writing this post is to say, very clearly and very plainly, BE CAREFUL 'BOUT DRINKING THAT KOOL AID.  We (I was part of the 72%) either (A) are totally blinded by our deep commitment to the Cowboys and unable to make objective evaluations of their potential, or (B) know next to nothing at all about football. 

Personally, I hardly believe that (B) is really valid.  There is too much evidence to the contrary.  If you are reading this, you must have seen the front page articles and fanposts that are up right now, and surely you noticed the quality.  While I will not claim that there are no football ignoramuses at all on BTB, I will argue loud and long that the percentage of totally dummies on this site is way less than 98%, which the numbers above could be interpreted to indicate.  No, clearly it is just rampant homerism, the desire to put a positive spin on everything that the team does (anyone remember the reaction to the Carpenter/Barron trade?), the belief that wearing that star on your helmet makes you a better player.  And there is another very simple explanation.

It's our job.  We are fans.  It is what we do.  Face it, right now, I would bet that the fan base for about 28 NFL teams totally expect their team to make the playoffs.  Which, according to the use of my higher math skills (which means either taking off my shoes and socks to count on my toes, or asking OCC to employ his giant supercomputer brain) is a wee bit impossible.  But until hard, harsh reality (like that horrid opening game in Washington) hits us, we will continue to believe.  Sometimes we will persist until more reality sets in.  How many still had hope after the second week?  The fourth?  Face it, it was hard to let go of the dream.

Now, with the lockout hopefully coming to a close, it seems like a good time to check the temperature of the Dallas fan base.  This year, I am going to take my first poll on how you  expect the Cowboys to do before the first preseason game is played.  And I will try to take one after every preseason game, to see if you as a group change your minds after watching the team play.  Then, one day , I can go back and see how well we did.  (If you are wondering why it took me so long to review last seaon's results, well, I am not a masochist.  Had to have some time.)

So here are this year's options, a little different because it is a very different world for Cowboys fans:

12 or more wins.  You don't want to hear it from me or any scurrilous doubters.  Garrett is the Red Haired Genius who will not be denied, Ryan is the baddest defensive coordinator in the league, Romo will be MVP, Ware will get 25 sacks, Dez will bloom, and Witten will simply be Witten.  Look out NFL, the Boys are Back and Superbowl Bound!  The only bad thing coming out of this season is all the head coaching offers for Rob.

10 or 11 wins.  This is a talented team for the most part that just needed some adult leadership and good drafting.  Those things are mostly in place now and the team is going to be relevant again.  They will most likely get into the playoffs, and will be dangerous every week.

7 to 9 wins.  The team is better, but this is a tougher climb than some people think.  There are too many areas that need fixing to turn it all around, especially with the lockout screwing everything up, but Garrett and his staff will make some strides.

6 or fewer wins.  The issues are too big, the holes too gaping to fill, the team is screwed by the cap, Romo is still Romo, and Jerry Jones will just be Jerry Jones.  At least the Mavs had a great year.

No idea.  Either you are sagely waiting to get some more evidence, or you are just a lily livered chicken.  By the way, how do you lily a liver?

Where do you stand?  Cast a vote.  And keep you fingers crossed that the lockout is really almost over.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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