By Denton Josey, Features Editor
I fell in love with someone I’ve never met.
Not romantic love, though. Not really love at all, but after watching the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football I wish I could make Nick Folk my older brother – he could even have the inheritance.
As much as recapping the game is tempting, I can’t imagine how any self-respecting Texan would not know about it by now. For the non- Texans who missed the game, the Cowboys won in one of the most exciting finishes I’ve ever seen, and Nick Folk kicked the winning field goal – and the entire population of Buffalo – twice.
Monday night’s game was full of more ups and downs than the average CW television show relationship. I may or may not have somehow lost my shirt during the process of the game or balled up in the fetal position and covered myself with pillows and peeked out just to feel safe if something went wrong. And my roommate may or may not have punched a hole in the wall.
In the end, I felt like watching the game was a refining process akin to Navy SEAL training or at least what Paris Hilton went through while she was in jail; in the end we – the Cowboys and I – came out better people.
I’m proof the Cowboys are America’s Team: a native Floridian, I don’t jest when I say my life would be different without the Cowboys in it – we have a history.
I reckon most people appreciate Thanksgiving and maybe even think about football on that holiday, but for Cowboys fans it is different – it is as important as the turkey and maybe even some of the distant family members. Due to the distance between Florida and Texas these days, I’ve not been able to make it home some Thanksgivings; as a result, I’ve spent more Thanksgivings with the Cowboys than my own family.
Come to think of it, my relationship with the Cowboys really is like the dynamic between family members. Sometimes I don’t like what they do (fire Jimmy Johnson, let Quincy Carter wear a jersey, make Tony Romo the holder for field goals, etc.) but I always love ’em. And when you don’t live in Texas it can be tough.
I’ve survived silly Dolphins, Bucs and Jaguars fans while living in Florida, but the worst was living in Kansas City during the late 90s.
The Cowboys weren’t doing too well these years, but I was still a stalwart fan. When the Cowboys came to Kansas City to meet the Chiefs I donned my XXL Deion Sanders jersey and puffy Cowboys Starter jacket and headed to the game.
It was wonderful to see Troy Aikman before he retired, but the Cowboys lost. Maybe if my voice had changed the ‘Boys would have heard me better and won the game, but I can only speculate. I remember as I left the game a drunken Chief’s fan poured his beer on me from the walkway above; as frustrated as I was, it felt good to suffer for my cause.
True Cowboys fans don’t mind enduring persecution for the faith.
My other testimony to the Cowboys comes from when I was a freshman at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. I came to ACU for a missions workshop, but the Cowboys also played in Texas that weekend. To make a long story short, I only saw ACU’s campus for an hour before heading to Dallas and seeing the Cowboys. As a result, I missed the bus back to Nashville. Did I mind that they lost or that I had to take the midnight Greyhound bus 15 hours back to school and go straight to class? If you watched the Cowboys Monday night and always believed they could pull it out, you know my answer.
So in my own, small way, this is my tribute to the Dallas Cowboys. It is for games like Monday night that we watch and risk hours of time that could have been spent on homework, hoping for an outcome that won’t ruin our weekend/ weeks. And now there is a special place in my heart for Nick Folk – a man who made it onto Wikipedia within an hour of the game’s end.
After reading Nick’s entry on Wikipedia I discovered he can’t ever be my older brother – I’m older than he is. But we’re still
like family: me, Nick and the Cowboys. And though we may never meet, we’ll always be together for Thanksgiving, just like a family should.