OK. Forget the analysis and research and three-cone shuttle times for a minute. It's the weekend, a time for some light entertainment. You don't need to think too deeply about this, just relax and accept it.
Being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys is just about the best deal anywhere in the sports world.
Yes, no one denies this. Not, at least, if they are aware of a few simple facts and are able to look at them objectively. Consider this from a standpoint of pure logic.
1. The NFL is the center of the American Sports Universe.
2. The Dallas Cowboys are the center of the NFL.
3. The American public understand this on an instinctive and undeniable level.
Ah. You want me to defend those suppositions? Why, of course. I would be delighted.
After the jump, anyway.
If you are wondering why I am doing this, other than the excuse to post a cheerleader picture (oh, and if you like those, make sure you check out my fanshot on that subject), I just wanted to see if I could possibly put up a post that no Dallas fan would argue with. I sometimes just want to be a cheerleader myself. No, that is not about a secret desire to run around in short shorts and white boots. I mean I just want to be proud of my fanhood, proud of the Dallas Cowboys, and be happy to look forward with unbounded hope and excitement for the coming season.
But when I try to get all excited and positive about things, like I did in my post on Jason Garret, Hungry Players, And The New Culture Of The Dallas Cowboys, there are always some who want to be cautious or even negative. And I get that. BTB is a place people come to get information and analysis about the team. All of the front page types pride themselves on being (mostly) objective, and one thing we avoid, as vigorously as we would having to sit between Roger Goodell and John Mara, is putting out a bunch of unsupported, purely emotional homeristic hype. And I think we do a pretty good job of that, if I do say so myself. But we are also all fans of the Dallas Cowboys. Pretty much rabid ones. And just for the heck of it, I thought I wanted to write an article that only someone who is not really a Cowboys fan could disagree with. So here goes.
First, let's prove that the NFL is the center of the American Sports Universe. To do so, let's look at the most purely American way of measuring value that exists, the one standard that is an absolute and true reflection of the core values that bind this nation together:
What do Americans want to watch on TV?
If you go over on Wikipedia (yeah, I know, they ain't perfect, but I think this one is pretty accurate), and look up the most watched US television shows of all time, you find a list of 46 broadcasts. No, I don't know why they cut it off at 46. The point is that on this list of the 46 television shows that drew more Americans to view them than any other, there are 23 sporting events, half of the total.
21 of those sporting events are Super Bowls. No baseball. No NBA. No college anything. Professional football, baby. I think that rather conclusively proves that the American public is irresistibly drawn to brutal, ferocious combat between snarling opponents. If you remain unconvinced of that, the other two sporting events on this list should seal the deal. They were the two parts of the Olympic skating competition featuring Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Americans just want to see outright combat between people who don't like one another, even if they do tend to be a bit whiny about things. But Eli Manning has gotten better since winning a second ring.
All right. Having shown that the NFL is without a doubt the big deal in sports around the USA, let us move on to showing that the Cowboys are the big deal in the NFL. And to remain consistent, we will still use TV ratings.
The most watched regular season NFL game each week is the NBC Sunday night broadcast (along with their occasional special games on other nights). Let's take a look at the top ten since NBC decided to make Monday Night Football irrelevant. (Taken from an article at the Dallas Morning News. Emphasis added.)
1. 27.6 million, Cowboys-Giants, 1/1/12 (2011 SNF Week 17)
2. 27.5 million, Vikings-Saints, 9/9/10 (2010 Thursday Night Opener)
3. 27.2 million, Saints-Packers, 9/8/11 (2011 Thursday Night Opener)
4. 25.8 million, Cowboys-Jets, 9/11/11 (2011 SNF Week 1)
5. 25.73 million, Eagles-Cowboys, 12/12/10 (2010 SNF Week 14)
6. 25.68 million, Vikings-Packers, 10/24/10, (Favre return to Green Bay II)
7. 25.3 million, Cowboys-Redskins, 9/12/10 (2010 SNF: Week 1)
8. 24.8 million, Giants-Cowboys, 9/20/09 (Cowboys Stadium opener)
9. 24.5 million, Giants-Cowboys, 12/11/11 (2011 SNF Week 14)
10. 24.2 million, Packers-Patriots, 12/19/10 (2010 SNF Week 15)
Well, class, what do we see here? There seem to be a lot of games that involve the Cowboys. As a matter of fact, six of the top ten SNF programs of all time, including good old numero uno, involve the Dallas Cowboys. That makes them hands down the biggest draw in the NFL. The team everyone wants to watch, good or bad. There is also another interesting fact to be gleaned here. The New York Giants, current Super Bowl champions (I feel so dirty typing that), are tied with the Green Bay Packers for the second most popular team on SNF with three appearances.
All three of the G-men's appearances on this list are against - wait for it - the Dallas Cowboys. The team that won the last game of the season (I'm sorry, I don't want to type that C word anymore) depends on us to put them in the spotlight. As NBC uberbroadcaster Al Michaels put it in the same article when talking about the decision to kick off the 2012 NFL season with Dallas at the New York Football Giants:
"The Cowboys-Giants is golden," said Al Michaels, NBC's play-by-play voice and the dean of NFL broadcasters. "The league wants to come flying out of the blocks. Even if the Cowboys were coming off a 4-12 season there still would be people interested in what was happening the following season."
Notice he did not say a thing about how much people want to see the defending you-know-whats. Just how much they want to see the real top team in the NFL, our Dallas Cowboys.
Sure, I will admit to you that probably more of the watchers that night will be pulling against the Cowboys, rather than actually rooting for either team, but that is not the point. There will be more eyes on this game than anything else in the country, and it will probably break into this top ten list, increasing the dominance of the Cowboys. Americans who watch the NFL understand: The most important thing in the league is how are the Cowboys doing?
And what would you rather be, loved and ignored, or hated and obsessively followed? In a good way, I mean, not like you and that girl from high school.
Wait, doesn't everyone have a memory like that?
But I digress. The Cowboys are the premier sports franchise in the United States. And if the world will ever wake up to the fact that soccer, or un-American football as it is called, is for the most part a bunch of guys in boxer shorts and T-shirts running back and forth and back and forth and back and forth with NOTHING HAPPENING (except for occasional moments when they take off the T-shirts and weep like little girls), Dallas will be the international top dog as well.
That's really why John Mara browbeat Roger Goodell into stripping cap space from the Cowboys. (The Redskins were just a smokescreen, used because any accusation you level against Dan Snyder is instantly credible.) He knows that if Dallas starts winning again, no one will care about the Giants, especially with the Tim Tebow Train pulling into town. It was all a pathetic attempt to try and keep his team on top. He knows what the nation really wants. And it isn't the G-men.
Here, we know. We are the fans of the best sports franchise in the country. Oh, heck, why deny it? We are the fans of the best sports team in the world, win, lose, or suing the pants off the League and the NFLPA. NBC admits it. The viewing public affirms it. Everybody else secretly wishes they were us. And we love it. So just enjoy it with me.
Oh, and one thing that I have not put in for a while: