Let me start off by congratulating the man who was one-third of a triumvirate that broke Washington Redskins fans' hearts throughout the 1990's.
Emmitt James Smith III was truly a phenomenal running back out of Florida, who ran behind a stacked offensive line and gave former Cowboys' quarterback Troy Aikman relief and release when defenses tried to shut down on Dallas' passing attack.
After all, this is a man from Florida who was not only a great Gator but a great pro, too, especially on Monday night games.
During those classic Monday Night Football games, he'd demolish the Giants', Eagles', and particularly, Redskins' backs in front of millions, and wave the teams bye-bye on to 100+-yard performances.
Those special days were overshadowed by his accomplishments in January, a month in which Emmitt seemed to give the team his all in order to hoist Lombardi Trophy after Lombardi (three in four years, to be exact).
(Because he had the luxury of a solid line protecting him and Aikman at almost all times during the 1990s, he truly had the benefit of the doubt in reaching (and later eclipsing) Walter Payton's NFL all-time rushing record [amassing over 16,000 yards] faster than Barry Sanders in Detroit ever would have.)
In addition, I was very impressed with the speech that he gave on Saturday, August 7, 2010. He dedicated it to his father, family, and Cowboys' execs and former teammates alike. It showed a touch of class and grace that he has reflected on the gridiron as well.
When his friend, former Dallas wideout, Michael Irvin went on cocaine binges and cavorted with ladies of the night, Smith's name never surfaced in any type of scandal.
Furthermore, even though he eventually married comedian Martin Lawrence's ex-wife Patricia, no brouhaha evolved from that transition. (In fact, Emmitt and wife have been married for over 10 years with some nice kids.)
Yet despite this occasion of celebrating NFL legends such as Smith, San Francisco giant Jerry Rice, New Orleans linebacker Rickey Jackson, and Boss Hog Russ Grimm, I was sick of hearing ESPN announcer Chris Berman ask rather indulgently of the partisan Dallas crowd in Canton, Ohio, "How 'bout them Cowboys?"
I've never been a Cowboy fan, and I never will.
The blue and silver, the star, the hubristic nonsense of hearing how there was a retractable roof with a hole, built specifically in the middle of Texas Stadium, so that God can watch His favorite team play on Sunday...
I'm sick of Jerry Jones, Roger Staubach, Tom Landry, Bob Hayes, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Tony Dorsett, Tony Romo, Wade Phillips, Miles Austin, TO, DeMarcus Ware...and even the Starz Westerns' cable channel...
Yes, people (read: Dallasians, or whatever is the title for people who live in Dallas) will read this article and regard me as a hater. (True!)
They'll say that I need to come join the team and erase all the worries of staying pat with a moribund team like the Redskins, who haven't seen steady glory since U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush I were in office. (Whatever!)
So be it. You can call me what you want, but again, it was good to see Emmitt inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Then again, seeing the eloquent, "Dancing-With-the-Stars" shimmying, Just-for-Men-wearing gentleman from Pensacola, Florida, just made me one of probably a thousand people (heck, a million-plus) who cringed to see another one of "them" get his due by a league which continues to leave out Hall-worthy Redskins, like Gary Clark, Dexter Manley, Richie Petitbon and Chris Hanburger.
I get sick when I see too many Cowboys in Canton or when one gets a cushy national network job on say, Fox, yukking it up with Joe Buck.
Again, it's not a rarity to see Redskins' fans give praise to our NFC East rivals—when they truly deserve it. (We're classy like that.)
But we pride ourselves on seeing idiots like Lawrence Taylor (the New York Giants are the second most-hated, followed by the Iggles) receive their comeuppance as LT did on May 6, 2010.
With all that said, Emmitt, you're a semi-class act, the same one who reportedly mentioned his glee whenever he watches the nation's capital's team lose to "America's team" (another sick Dallas claim)—even years after you retired.
So, behind the ear-to-ear, pearly-white grins, and the accolades the league still bestows on you, you are the enemy. Always will be regarded as such.
Dallas fans, yes, gloat and berate me. Point out to me several, several times that I'm just sour for not being in solidarity with the southern conglomerate that has won five Super Bowls to our measly three.
Show me tons of evidence, stats, facts to convince me that Dallas is—and always will be—No. 1.
So, yes, it's on, Dallas. I can't wait to see you get thrashed by the Redskins at FedEx Field on September 12, and later on in your Mall-of-America mess of a stadium on December 19.
And, of course, I want to see Dallas get beaten by Washington in every two inter-division games every season.
Hail to the Redskins!
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