Well, if there was ever a picture worth a thousand words, there it is. I should just stop with the headline and the photo and be good to go. I should...but I won't! Once you have thrown a ridiculous headline like that on an article, there better be more than a captioned photo, so please allow me to explain myself.
First and foremost, to The Nation, my Silver & Black brothers and sisters whom I struggle with every day, NO, emphatically NO, I am not jumping ship, losing faith, or wavering in my support and LOVE for the Oakland Raiders.
They are my first love, my sports team soulmate, so to speak, and as they suffer, I suffer. I bleed Silver & Black, and I've been bleeding a lot the last few years; in fact, hemorrhaging would be more accurate.
No, the photo is great and so are those beautiful ladies in those wonderful uniforms, but the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are not the reason I have a lot of love and respect for the the Dallas Cowboys' organization and its football team.
That part would stem back to my days as a youth growing up in Ventura County, CA and the visits I used to make with my parents to see the Dallas Cowboys' spring training facility at Cal Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks.
Even back then as a young budding member of The Nation, I was impressed with the players and coaches and I have many memories and photos of getting to interact with Roger Staubach, Craig Morton, Lance Rentzel and others. (Please don't start on me with "The Nation," there has only ever been one fan base that can refer to itself as that and be the originators and it's not The Red Sox, enough said!)
Had I not been already enamored with those Silver and Black Oakland Raider "bad boys" and their young coach who was the spitting image of my Dad, the LA Rams fan, I'm sure those early visits would have been more influential. But as much as I tried to hide it, I always had a soft spot and a mutual admiration for the boys in blue, and I never have been a hater.
In fact there is a bond between Raiders and Cowboys fans of being the two most hated teams and fanbases in football and possibly all of sports, along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Lakers, and Celtics.
Haters will always permeate through the mainstream media with all of these teams and they are littered all over the Internet posting sites as well. I have a brothers-in-arms attitude to most of the fans from these teams except for the obnoxious few.
Flash-foward 30 years or so and here I am with two boys, ages 15 and six, who are as hardcore Oakland Raiders fans as their old man. The only little wrinkle in our nirvana is that along with my diehard Dallas Cowboys fan of a wife are two precious little girls as well, ages 11 and five, who are just like their Mamma, all dressed up in their Blue and Silver, screaming at the top of their lungs,"Getcha popcorn ready" or "How 'bout dem Cowboys!"
And if I never hear Soulja Boy again, it will be too late to keep it from being permanently burned into my brain," whatch me throw it to TO".....yes I have even heard the Romo version!!!
So, you see, I really have no choice but to like and even love the Cowboys, especially when my youngest little princess flashes those big baby blues at me and says, "pleeeease cheer for the Cowboys with me Daddy," and she really means cheer to, not just sit there and pretend to, but you better make some noise in this house.
Plus, I still think my wife looks sexy as hell in her No. 33 Dorsett throwback uniform...or the No. 22 Smith, the No. 94 Ware, and even the No. 81 Owens for that matter.
Now, as far as the two teams go, both franchises have storied histories filled with decades of success with a combined 13 visits to the Super Bowl and winning a total of eight of them.
Both teams have had legendary owners, coaches and players that fill NFL rosters and the Hall of Fame, and they both have fanbases that stretch generations that are loyal, supportive and passionate to the core.
As a kid playing football in my neighborhood, if you grew up liking the good guys, you wanted to be a Cowboy,and if it was the bad guy that appealed to you, well then, The Raiders were your team. Now the Cowboys are more of the bad guys than the Raiders are, they are just plain bad right now.
However, the tears have dried up around this household after the end of the year bomb that Dallas put up, and my boys and I have come down off the ceiling from our unexpected fourth quarter come-from-behind victory in Tampa Bay (sorry, didn't mean to screw you guys, we needed ANY sign of hope).
It's time to reconcile that for now, our seasons are O-V-E-R and it is way to early for me to start following the NBA that closely.
Am I sick because I'm ready for the draft to get here, or is it my affliction with The Raiders???