A Wake for a Dump, or: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen to Texas Stadium
Texas Stadium always looked better on TV. In person, it was a concrete-and-chain-link craphole with tacked-on suites and suspect pools of standing water. Still -- as I was reminded yesterday, as early arrivals for the nighttime kickoff snapped farewell photos in the shadow of the house Warren Morrey built -- it was our craphole. There was no place I'd rather be on an autumn afternoon shoulder to shoulder with busboys and CEOs, all of us cheering on the team we love so dearly.
Last night was a bittersweet farewell. Nearly a hundred former players were in attendance, many making live scoreboard appearances during TV timeouts to reminisce about the glory days and fire up the crowd. Maybe it was too much for the present-day Cowboys to handle. Nothing like having some of the best to have ever played in silver and white look over your shoulder as you try to sew up a playoff berth.
Tony Romo looked as shaky as he did the first time suited up in front of Jessica. Late in the fourth quarter, when Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain tore off the third- and fourth-longest runs in Texas Stadium history, they shanked the Cowboys' spirit, and what should have been a raucous celebration of high hopes and fond memories turned into a wake.
More than half the fans abandoned their seats after the game and didn't even bother to watch the banners being lowered from the rafters. The prospect of another one of Jerry's rambling off-the-cuff speeches prompted me to head for the exits too.
The weather had turned bitter, appropriate for the evening. After the chilly walk back to the car, it was time for one last look at the stadium with the hole in the roof. It deserved a better send-off.
Those fancy new digs in Arlington will be awful nice, but there was something to the utilitarian simplicity of Texas Stadium. Sure, the concourses always turned into a sea of trash by game's end, but it had charm and character that only comes with history.
I'm going to miss that craphole. --Dave Lane