Sunday, December 12, 2010

America's Team, the Cowboys

Americans love things that are big, and everything is bigger in Texas. This weekend my youngest brother and his wife flew to Dallas to watch the Dallas Cowboys face off with the Philadelphia Eagles tonight at the new, luxurious Dallas Stadium, now the largest domed stadium in the world. This very special weekend was a 50th birthday present from his wife, whom I believe is an Eagles fan.

Domed stadiums are nothing new. Minnesota Twins and Vikings fans have enjoyed their Metrodome for several decades now. Unfortunately, the weather can play havoc with Northland domes as in this morning's collapse of the Metrodome roof at 5:00 a.m., thereby sending tomorrow's Monday Night Football game to Ford Stadium in Michigan. Bummer for season ticket holders who can't make it to Detroit.

This isn't the first time the Metrodome collapsed. In 1981 Susie and I were returning from a year in Mexico when severe storms iced the Northland. We had our sights set on Minneapolis, but freezing rain turned Iowa bridges into skating rinks and we were forced to take shelter in a motel. We saw a lot of cars in the ditches that night. And the next morning we entered the Twin Cities to a scalped stadium. Ice had cut through the fabrics that shrouded the dome, leaving it shredded and sunken. Ah, but I digress.

Being a Cleveland Browns fan I took umbrage to the coining of the Cowboys as America's team. Nevertheless, you really can't fault the franchise for becoming darlings of the NFL and a fan magnet. And like most such stories, if you dig into the details you can usually find a reason or two for their uncanny success. In this case, I doubt the lion's share of the credit can be attributed to their Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry.

Landry's imprint on professional football was significant. Whenever you hear great coaches and players tell their stories, many will speak with reverence of the two acknowledged greats, Lombardi and Landry, who not only influenced how the game was played, but about the role of character and the real meaning of greatness.

In addition to two Super Bowl titles, Landry led the Cowboys to an unprecedented and unmatched twenty consecutive winning seasons. Many of his innovations in both offensive and defensive formations have become the standard in today's football.

So today, helmets off to the Dallas Cowboys and their legendary coach Thomas Wade Landry.

Tom Landry Quotes

"A winner never stops trying." ~Tom Landry

"Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it's so incredible, it's unbelievable." ~Tom Landry

"I don't believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game." ~Tom Landry

"I've learned that something constructive comes from every defeat." ~Tom Landry

"If you are prepared, you will be confident, and will do the job." ~Tom Landry

"Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you're in control, they're in control." ~Tom Landry

"Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve." ~Tom Landry

"Right after the game, say as little as possible." ~Tom Landry

"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan." ~Tom Landry

"The secret to winning is constant, consistent management." ~Tom Landry

"Today, you have 100% of your life left." ~Tom Landry

Trivia: Tom Landry was born on my birth date, September 11 and died on my daughter’s birth date, February 12.

Hey, bro'... Enjoy the game.

For more information on this great NFL innovator.


M. Denise C. said...

Ed, I'm glad they saw an exciting game in the new stadium. That is sad about the Metrodome. I heard they think they can have it repaired by next week.

I noticed no mention of Jerry Jones.

"Hats Off to Landry" is a song someone made shortly after he died. Also, Interstate 30 between Dallas and Ft. Worth is now called Tom Landry Highway and has a logo of a hat like his . . . designated so before the new Cowboys Stadium was built. It passes by there.

A tour of the new stadium is worth doing when you are here yourself.


Ed Newman said...

I doubt they will have the Metrodome repaired that quickly. It was a mess... as are the Vikings at this time.

I failed to mention Jerry Jones because I wasn't focused there. The tagline "America's Team" pre-dates Jones by about fifteen years.

Jones did make a good move when he bought the Cowboys for 140 million or so. Based on current valuations, he's gotten an 865% Return On Investment... and his personal net worth is 1.6 billion and climbing. Must be nice.