Want To Have Fun at a Road Game? Book Your Flight to Dallas

David GellerAnalyst IDecember 17, 2008

It was a miserable game.

I traveled halfway across the country to watch a highly coveted match up between two division rivals in person and failed to see a touchdown scored by my favorite team.

You would think it was a miserable experience.

You would think wrong.

I had never been to a road game before, and I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

Obviously, I have heard the stories of abuse in Philadelphia. My father experienced it in the early 1980s during a playoff game between the Giants and Eagles.

He said he would never go back.

I was ecstatic while planning the trip, but still leery.

It was a night game, I would be wearing enemy colors, and the fans knew how imperative it was for their team to win. I figured I was dead meat.

I figured wrong.

We watched the players walk into the stadium in street clothes, sporting various Giants apparel, with no restraint. We cheered when the Giants team buses drove by, and were silent when the Cowboys players strutted in to deafening cheers.

An older couple, wearing matching Cowboy jerseys, patted us on the shoulders and wished us luck tonight.

“We hope you make it out alive, it is just only a game,” they said.

They were being genuine, which was polite and respectful on their part, but it dimmed my hopes of watching the game without abuse coming at me from both left and right.

About 40 minutes before the game started, I got up from my seats in the upper deck and walked to the bathroom. I heard boo's from a couple of fans, turned around, and saw the culprits were a few guys smiling. We exchanged some friendly banter, wished each other luck, and I proceeded peacefully to empty my bladder.

Ten minutes before kickoff, the fans were anxious, but still had their sense of humor. 

A few guys rushed to their seats shortly after Ted Nugent reinvented the Star-Spangled Banner on his guitar.

They saw they were next to a group of six Giants fans, and instead of bringing with them a sense of awkwardness, they smiled and yelled, “You fellas are in the wrong section!”

We laughed and responded, they laughed, and a friendly relationship was born—at least for a few hours.

It was no different during the game.

I have season tickets, and I’m loud and rowdy when I'm "at home." I’m embarrassed to say I did the same thing during Sunday night’s game in their house.

They paid no mind. No one ever tapped me on the shoulder, telling me to sit down. No one rubbed it in when the Giants were stopped on the next play, or Romo threw for a big pass. They minded their own business and let me enjoy my time.

Granted, when tickets cost that much, that should be expected. But in today’s age of fan rivalries, that is not always a given.

We crossed paths with several other Cowboys fans as the night moved on (or in a Giants fan’s case, dragged), but it was all friendly. It was a family-like feeling. They knew what was at stake. They understood the heartbreak our team caused them last January, yet they still were respectful.

I was almost envious during the game. The Cowboys fans had fun and enjoyed the game thoroughly, but simultaneously there was a relaxed feeling of “If something good happens, awesome. If not, oh well.” I can’t say the same for the fans of New York.

If the Giants get their butts beat at home, I know fans take out their anger at the nearest fan of the opposing team. I know if the Giants beat someone down, then they turn their positive into that fan’s negative. I’m not fond of that behavior.

The only downside of a trip to Dallas is their stadium.

From the outside, it barely even looks suitable for a high school football team, much less one that has seen the hoisting of the Lombardi Trophy five different times.

With the new stadium set to open next year, this shouldn't continue to be an issue.

I know it was just one sample section, and there are 50,000 seats with several other stories to tell, but this was mine. If you want to have a good time in someone else’s house, Dallas is the spot.