A little after seven in the morning on April 11, God couldn’t see His favorite team through the hole in the roof anymore.
After almost 40 years, Texas Stadium, which became synonymous with “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys, was finally demolished in front of more than 20,000 Cowboy fans and well-wishers (that’s not counting the tears that were shed by those fans, including owner Jerry Jones and his daughter and granddaughter).
It was a mainstay in Texas culture for its entire life, playing host to not only Cowboy games, but also a professional soccer franchise (the NASL club Dallas Tornado), a college football team (Southern Methodist before their scandal), and even a Pro Bowl (1973, before the NFL moved the game to Hawaii).
The stadium also hosted religious crusades (a Billy Graham revival opened the stadium), TV shows (the namesake TV show, “Dallas) and even a movie, the Al Pacino flick “Any Given Sunday.”
What I will remember most about Texas Stadium, however, was the Thanksgiving games the Cowboys hosted every year. Cowboy fans would leave their dinner tables and families (or, quite possibly, have a Thanksgiving tailgate dinner) to pack Texas Stadium for a game that would become a mainstay of Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, our family’s table was always strategically placed so that we would not miss a second of the game.
Cowboy fans will always remember the great players that came through that stadium: Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin…the list goes on and on. Even as the Cowboys began to decline in victories, over 65,000 people still piled into the stadium to watch their beloved team.
Even if you weren’t a Dallas fan, there were still some memorable moments in that old stadium that you wouldn’t forget for anything in the world.
Who could forget Terrell Owens, amid angry shots and catcalls by Cowboy fans, standing on the midfield star?
Redskins receiver Santana Moss destroying the Cowboys as new Ring of Honor inductees Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin looked on at Washington’s first victory at the stadium?
However, as Willie Nelson once said, “They say that all good things must end.” Unfortunately, progress sometimes has a way of making the end come quicker.
Even though there were only 20,000 people there to mourn the end of a great stadium and millions upon millions watching on webcams and YouTube videos all over the world, every single person who saw the demolition of Texas Stadium will carry with them the memories they had of the stadium.
They can also be optimistic that in Cowboys Stadium, the new stadium in Arlington, they, along with the Cowboys, can (and in some cases, already have) make some new memories and tell their children and grandchildren (and so on down the line) about all the good times they had there as well.
Rest in peace and in pieces, Texas Stadium.