Let's be clear right up front: I don't like the Dallas Cowboys. They're over-hyped, over-covered and fundamentally over-blown. I am a Redskins fan, with high respect for the other teams in the NFC East...except this one.
Obviously I'm far from an unbiased source, but I've heard from enough friends of different NFL persuasions to know that there is no love for the "America's Team" moniker continuing to live with Mother Jones and his Ego Ranch in Dallas.
America needs change. Say it with me friends: Yes we can!
First, the four undeniable reasons the Dallas Cowboys are no longer America's Team...
1) Adam "Pacman" Jones
I'm as sick of hearing about it as you are, which is precisely why this guy should no longer be in the NFL. If the league won't see fit to boot him, then the owners should blackball the guy and not sign him. But not Mother Jones. In America we believe in second chances. This guy has had twelve.
2) When The Going Gets Tough
In America, we are at our best when the chips are down. This team folds, fumbles and grabs the microphone. Whether it's Romo's playoff chokes, T.O.'s media mouth or Jones's meddling into the decisions of a subpar coaching staff, this team caves under pressure, plays dirty and points fingers at others. That ain't how we roll in America.
3) 301,139,947 Americans Can't Be Wrong
Jessica Simpson's foray into her Country Music "roots" yielded sales of a paltry 65,000 records in its first week. And it only went downhill from there. If she wasn't good for Tony in key games last year, and he ain't helping her sell records, then...I'm just sayin...maybe America isn't buying what they're selling.
4) Rampant Self-Obsession
The only thing Jerry Jones loves more than plastic surgery is the spotlight. Take Pacman and then add the likes of Tank Johnson, the "Eddie Haskell-ish" Tony Romo, the self-obsessed Terrell Owens and the dirtiest players in the league like safety Roy Williams and you have a rogue's gallery of all that is bad in the NFL. Clearly this is an owner who lives for drama-filled headlines, which may seem very American to some, but is a sad side effect of a celebrity-obsessed culture that is not very American in my book.
And the nominees for the new America's Team...
1) The Tennessee Titans
Nothing flashy, just solid football and a 10-1 record. America appreciates a solid running game and Kerry Collins is the kind of redemption story we love. And, incidentally, this is the team that gave Pacman the boot and they know a thing or two about country music.
2) A New York Team
Pick one, they're both great. With Favre at the helm, the Jets definitely feel like a candidate for America's team—from Louisiana, by way of Wisconsin, now rockin' the Big Apple? That's pretty damn American. And Brandon Jacobs, Eli Manning and the rest of the G-Men? That's All-American football.
3) The Washington Redskins
How could I not? But honestly, it's the nation's capital and they're constantly under-appreciated by analysts and media (five to stay alive in '05 and '07, no respect for Zorn, Campbell can't lead, etc.). Overcoming the Taylor tragedy and fighting black and blue wars every week to stay in the hunt. Portis, Cooley, Moss, Fletcher, Horton, Zorn...you have to love this team!
4) The New England Patriots
Calm down. They deserve consideration. They ARE the "Patriots" after all and they play in one of the most important cities in the founding of our country. And they may have been almost annoyingly dominant in recent years, but let's not forget this is the team that was a perennial cellar-dweller for decades (save their Super Bowl appearance against the '85 Bears).
5) The Green Bay Packers
You can't get any more American than the smallest market in the NFL. Sarah Palin says so! But seriously, THIS is what the game is all about. Lambeau Field, Cheeseheads and Snow Bowls. After all the preseason Favre-gate drama, Aaron Rodgers is doing yeoman's work in his first season as a starter. And these guys can claim Lombardi. That's huge.
I'm sure my Chicago brethren are offended and, although the Bears have a rich tradition in so many ways, I refuse to celebrate the most overrated coach in the history of the NFL (spelled D-I-T-K-A) and ONE super bowl win. We could start counting pre-merger championships but then we need to talk about Cleveland and even...gulp...Detroit.
Apologies to the Steelers as well. They're just too dark and ominous. That would be like us sending Darth Vader to the UN. It just wouldn't work.
So let's go America! We all know the Cowboys aren't "America's Team" anymore.
Change has come to the NFL. One more time:
Yes we can!