I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan. Yes, I was born in D.C. and I live in Philadelphia -- but I don't care. Ever since I started watching football, I've always loved something about the Cowboys. I've endured a 1-15 rookie outing from Troy Aikman. I've suffered through 3 consecutive 5-11 seasons. I've celebrated 3 Super Bowl titles in the 1990s (and two prior to my arrival on this planet). I will stick with my team through thick and thin. I will defend them when they're innocent and lambaste them when they deserve scrutiny the most. With all that being said, if I hear anyone else suggest that Jessica Simpson (now known as "Yoko Romo") had anything to do with the Cowboys losing, I may just end up having the grandest conniption you've ever witnessed in your entire life -- and that's coming from someone diagnosed with UFC-like road rage.
It has been suggested that the mere presence of Jessica Simpson provides so much of a distraction that Tony cannot perform well. It has also been suggested that his short Mexican vacation prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New York Giants was ill-advised, ill-timed and ill-fated. Is the newsworld so slow that people have to create all this fictional hype? Does this writers' strike have media outlets scrambling for clever one-liners?
Seriously, did anyone else hear Patrick Crayton when he said that she'd been to TWO other games this season? Correct me if I'm wrong, but prior to that loss against the Eagles, the Cowboys only lost 1 other game -- against the Patriots. Even if she were in attendance at that game, it is statistically impossible for the Cowboys to have lost every game for which she was present. Also, did anyone else hear Romo, coach Wade Phillips and TE Jason Witten mention that they were GIVEN a few days of vacation? The coach told them to get away from football for a few days so that they could recharge their batteries and come back reenergized for the playoff game. If you had 8 figures in the bank, were given a 2-3 day vacation and had a pretty attractive girlfriend, are you going to tell me that you wouldn't have taken a vacation somewhere tropical? Add to that the fact that Witten and members of Simpson's family were both in attendance. The fact of the matter is that my team played like crap on Sunday. You can't wholly blame any one person.
As T.O. correctly indicated afterward (although you may have been distracted by his display of emotion), they lost as a TEAM. Don't blame the coach for telling them to rest for 2-3 days. Don't blame one dropped pass. Don't blame one missed block. Don't blame one overthrown ball. Don't blame one missed tackle. Simply put they didn't do enough overall to win what was a very winnable game -- PERIOD. It's hard to work your butt off that long, playing through injuries and traveling all over the country for 4-5 months only to LOSE the big one. The Cowboys started to show signs of wear as early as December and it continued in the playoffs; conversely, the Giants started looking like the squad they are on paper and executed when it counted most. The better prepared and disciplined team won Sunday. Too bad they have to face the RED-HOT Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Did I tell you that Brett Favre is my favorite individual player? Have to love his no-guts, no-glory, balls-to-the-wall mentality. At 38 years of age, he's out there playing like a 28 year-old -- and the Packers are winning. He's broken so many records (both good and bad)... he deserves to walk out of that stadium. with that second Super Bowl ring around his finger and go down in history as one of the most unorthodox, gritty and successful QBs to ever play the game.
Imagine the drama -- the Packers had their fantastic comeback season (13-3, 2nd in NFC) and the Patriots have assembled one of the most statistically impressive seasons in the history of the sport. They've referred to the Packers as the football equivalent of the '83 NC State Wolfpack. I'm not so sure I would go THAT far, but I think it would be safe to say that this could easily be one of the highest rated Super Bowl games in recent history. I'm drooling just thinking about it. I can't wait.
Let's go, #4!