The Texas Rangers and their fans, the long-time ones at least, spent the night celebrating the team's division series win for the first time in franchise history.
With the win and straight Cliff Lee dominance, the Rangers pushed the Dallas Cowboys to page two for the first time in, well, a long time.
What made this series strange was, even though the Rangers wrapped up the division series over the Rays on Tuesday night, they still have not won a playoff game at home in franchise history. In fact, the visiting team won all five games of this series.
The Rangers took two from the Rays in Tampa, the Rays took two from the Rangers in Arlington, then the series shifted back to Tampa for Game Five, where the Rangers won again.
So much for home-field advantage.
When football's training camp opened, I heard a lot of calls into the local sports stations here in Dallas asking the on-air guys to stop talking about the Rangers and how they weren't going to matter soon. There were even more fans who were of the opinion that "no one cared about the Rangers."
I've had several friends tell me that this is a football town and that the lead story is and will always be the Dallas Cowboys.
That always makes me shake my head. How could a team that has one playoff win since their last Super Bowl Championship in 1995 consistently be the lead story year in and year out? How could a team that hasn't sniffed the Super Bowl in over 15 years still want the front page of every paper in Dallas/Ft. Worth?
It's because outside of the Dallas Stars of the NHL there really hasn't been much else to celebrate in the way of championships.
The Dallas Mavericks got close but chocked away a series lead before losing to the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat.
The Texas Rangers, however, haven't ever been in the championship conversation. They were always the team that could lead through most of the year but couldn't ever hang on. They were always the ones that would choke away a division lead, or they would be so far out of the race at the All-Star break that the focus would have to turn to the Cowboys.
However, here we are in the middle of October, and here we are still talking about the Texas Rangers. They are the lead story everywhere you look this morning. Fans flocked to DFW Airport at 3:30 a.m. this morning to welcome the team home. Rangers merchandise is flying off the shelves.
In other words, baseball fever is still very much alive and well. For those of you who still have the opinion that "no one cares about the Rangers," didn't you watch the news this morning and see the hordes of Ranger fans in their Ranger gear waiting for their team to arrive at the airport?
They will have two days to get ready for the start of the ALCS, which gets underway on Friday night from Rangers Ballpark.
Arlington, Texas is buzzing about this team. They are buzzing about their matchup with the New York Yankees. The radio waves are spending the majority of their time talking about this ball club and what they could possibly do in the ALCS.
To me, there's no question the Rangers can hang with the Yankees. Say what you want about New York's record when they get to the playoffs and their ability to get to the World Series. But they're not unbeatable. Ask the Anaheim Angels.
This Rangers team deserves the spotlight. They've earned it, and they deserve the front page of the newspapers here until their season comes to a close.
Why focus on a 1-3 Dallas Cowboys team that has one won playoff game in 15 years? Why give the front page to a team that may not even make the playoffs?
Newy Scruggs, on-air guy for 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas, said during his show Wednesday morning, "I'm not ready to deal with the disappointment that is the Dallas Cowboys."
Like I said, not only does the Rangers mantra "It's Time" stand for this team's battle for the ALCS title, but "It's Time" for the Cowboys to take a back seat to the team that is getting it done right now.
It's playoff time in Texas and, for the first time, we're not talking about the Cowboys.