Whoa. That was an insane day. And tempers are fraying.
First, the BTB community goes apepoop (I'm watching the language here) over the Nnamdi Asomugha rumors. Then, when he winds up landing in Philly, a mob gathers with torches and rope looking for someone to string up. Over in the Fanposts, a nasty little tiff breaks out about Fanpost/Fanshot policing. And the front page writers get more than a tad testy about language and decorum on the site.
And it's day two of preseason. Hey, let's all grab an adult beverage, kick back and relax a bit. Otherwise, it is going to be a long season.
I want to restate something I have said before: I am here at BTB because it is the best sports blog I have ever seen or read. The quality of the writing, both from the staff and the fans, is superb. And most of the time, the stupid, childish name calling and insults I see on other sites does not happen here. It is what sets this site apart.
Frustration is to be expected when you have a team you love and follow. There is only one champion each year, and that means that all the other teams in the league are going to face disappointment at some point. Last year, the Cowboy lovers faced that disappointment early and often. I was so upset, I had to stop trying to write Fanposts. I largely quit commenting for a while. I just stopped coming here for a couple of months until things started looking up with the advent of the Jason Garrett era. See, I knew if I had tried to comment on the fetid septic holding tank that was the Wade Phillips Cowboys 2010 edition, I would have been using terms referring to fornication, including with oneself and with one's female parent, punishment in the afterlife, sodomy, fecal matter, and people born out of wedlock, among other things, but the exact wording would have been a problem, leading to my likely banishment from these pages. So I refrained. I did not let myself go all vent mode. I backed away and tried to gain some perspective. I really did not want to drop a load in the back yard of the place I love to visit.
That was my reaction to the team starting 1-7. I think that is understandable, especially after the way the Cowboys were played up in the media, in our minds, and in Jerry's plans for the Super Bowl. I don't understand what happened today. But, being me, I am going to look at what happened and try to figure it out.
Part of what happened has to be the pent up demand for real football that the lockout (which, if you never heard, really sucked) forced on us. The teeth grinding uncertainty, the pointless (to us) squabbling between millionaires and billionaires, the onrushing deadlines, the possibility of no games for an indeterminate time. We all were feeling queasy about this. And then, at the last minute, things started coming together. Not smoothly, and for several days we got whipsawed between joy that the lockout was ending and despair that it was all going to fall apart, but finally, just as time was running out, the deal got done and both sides bought into it. Football was saved and things were going to happen.
Really, really fast. There was a new CBA, but no one was sure what it meant. Our own Cowboys were in cap hell, or had plenty of money, or were outmanuevering the rest of the league. Opinions varied wildly, and mostly it just meant uncertainty. Some said that the Cowboys were totally SOL, would see all the team's free agents leaving, which meant we would be mired in futility. The harbinger of doom was Doug Free. I saw several comments from people who were certain he would be lured away, taking with him all hope for football success in Dallas. Time to blow the team up, give up trying, all was lost!
Wait. First thing, Jerry signs Free. Hold it. And cuts some of the most notorious underachievers from last year, Davis, Barber, Columbo, even Roy Did We Ever Get Taken On That Trade Williams.
Why, of course, if Jerry could sign Free and cut the deadwood, he must have essentially unlimited resources to go out and sign a team of superstars, right? So when a report hits the media that we are interested in Nnamdi Asomugha, the excitement goes through the roof. He is the second coming of Neon Deion! He would come play in Dallas for half of what he would want anywhere else! He . . . gets signed by the despised, scurrilous, known to jaywalk Philadelphia Eagles.
The season is over! Cancel your cable, get rid of the flatscreen, throw out your computer, and start studying the rosters of soccer and cricket teams. All is ruined becasue Jerry let Nnamdi get signed by Philadelphia! They have already been annointed the Superbowl favorites, so there is no point in playing the season, right?
Come on. Of all people, we should know that you have to play the game. Being (supposedly) loaded in talent is no guarantee of anything (see: Dallas Cowboys 2010). There is also the repeated ability of the Eagles to blow it. Oh, and one other thing:
IT IS DAY TWO OF TRAINING CAMP! Gosh, could we be , perhaps, jumping the snap count here?
I will concede that things have been happening at a breakneck pace, thanks to the last minute resolution of the CBA. The team signed all of the draft picks in two days, I think. When did you ever hear of something like that? And after the euphoria of getting Doug Free signed, almost anything would be a letdown. I don't know if Jerry could have matched the money Philly was throwing around, and it does seem like he is making some rational moves with signing our own free agents.
And have you been reading the reports from San Antonio? Raf and Birddog seem to be seeing some things they really like. Some of the disappointments from last year seem to be stepping it up. Meanwhile, the free agency period is not over. Let's see how it ends up.
Above all, please consider how you treat the other posters around here. Slow down a minute before you tee off. There are two buttons that you may want to use a little more. One is Preview. Look at what you want to say before you put it out there. Consider if it is too hasty or too nasty. Make sure you read what you are commenting on correctly. And sometimes hit the Cancel button, and try again.
On that topic, remember that you can say things more than one way. Sure, you may think that a certain team owner/general manager s**** rat d***. But you could state it by saying that he fellates verminous rodent genitals. See? Same thing, but now OCC and KD and Rabbl and the rest of the front pagers don't have to waste time editing you and can get back to writing their excellent articles. This is, in my mind, one of the finest sports blogs anywhere. That is a result of the high standards and hard work of the people who run it, and they expect the same from those of us who comment and post. Quite frankly, so do I. It makes it so much easier to spot the trolls.
So chill. Have an adult beverage. And look forward to the new season. Yes, there is a huge amount of uncertainty. This team may only win 6 or 7 games. But I can also see them notching 11 or 12 wins and making a serious run in the playoffs.
It's a new season. The Cowboys are undefeated. Football is back. Life is good.
Enjoy. Or I'll have to hunt you down and give you the mother of all wedgies.