This Dallas Cowboys Diehard Is Done After a Half-Century of Fandom | soccer4u
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This Dallas Cowboys Diehard Is Done After a Half-Century of Fandom



Dan Devine, a Dallas Cowboys fan who has lived in New York City for the past 53 years, was shocked to read on Tuesday that Jerry Jones, the team’s owner, president, and general manager, was keeping Mike McCarthy as head coach despite the Cowboys’ shocking 48-32 home playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. He concluded that enough was enough.

Devine,59, vowed to give up his Cowboys fanaticism forever, despite his fifty years of steadfast devotion to the team, five Super Bowl victories, thirty or so Cowboys games he has attended in person across the nation, the shirts adorning his wardrobe, and the Dallas memorabilia in his office. The forensic accountant Devine declares, “I am done.” What truly infuriated him was Jones’ claim that “this team is very close and capable of achieving our ultimate goals” in the statement released on Tuesday, which announced McCarthy’s retention.

In the first half, Green Bay led Dallas 27 to 0. “Did he miss the game?” Devine asks, getting louder. To believe that he still has a team capable of competing with the Ravens or the 49ers? They got their asses kicked while playing against the newest and least experienced squad. And you two are in close proximity?

Amidst the devastating Wild Card loss to Green Bay and Jones’ choice to retain McCarthy, the most successful coach in NFL history, Cowboys fans appear to be going through some kind of existential crisis this week. The Cowboys are the most valuable sports franchise in the world. It is the height of vitriol. Proponents used foul language on social media. Memes were created in droves. Experts were utterly furious.

However, the disapproval of Dallas by a fan like Devine, considering the team hasn’t advanced to a conference championship game in nearly 30 years, indicates a more significant issue within Cowboy Nation. Supporters such as Devine contributed to enhancing Dallas’ image as “America’s Team” and transforming the team into a multibillion-dollar enterprise. As Monday Night Football developed into a cultural phenomenon in the 1970s, they matured and became attracted to the player wearing the helmet: Roger Staubach.

The glitter, the cheerleading, and the winning ways. Young people like Devine bled silver and blue, even in the heart of competitor territory, such as New York City. They went through several difficult times in the 1980s, including losing three straight conference title games, the disintegrating Tom Landry period, and the 1-15 season under new owner Jerry Jones, who also chose Jimmy Johnson to succeed Landry as coach. But in the 1990s, “the triplets”—wide receiver Michael Irvin, running back Emmitt Smith, and quarterback Troy Aikman—were rewarded for their patience with three Super Bowl victories. They are all Hall of Famers.

But ever since, there has been some hope for Cowboys supporters thanks to the addition of Super Bowl champion Bill Parcells as coach, Terrell Owens, and quarterbacks Tony Romo and Dak Prescott. But Jones’ Cowboys have failed to deliver year after year. So many seem to be tired of it. Dallas may be losing the nation if it loses Dan Devine. The reputation of “America’s Team” is eroding quickly.

Since I’m his nephew, I am aware of all of this about Dan. In the 1980s, as I was coming of age, I would spend hours by myself in his room watching cartoons or baseball games and admiring the tiny Cowboys helmets he had on his shelf. At the time, he was a college student, either in class or out having fun. Now, my mother’s brother Uncle Dan occasionally texts me to vent about his favorite sports teams, particularly the New York Mets and the Dallas Cowboys (we have a mutual love for baseball teams; I’ve never been a big fan of the Cowboys). However, the Tuesday night one caught me off guard: “I’m going to give you the lowdown.” I think cowboys are extinct. My new favorite team is the Ravens, followed by the


Uncle Dan is the only Dallas fan I’ve ever met. When Dan was seven years old in 1971, he began to support Dallas. Bob Lilly, a Dallas defensive tackle known as Mr. Cowboy and Hall of Famer, was well-liked by his best friend’s father, who had the pleasure of meeting him. Dan also has a history of liking westerns and sheriffs. In his home, everybody liked Gunsmoke. In his room, he had posters of Randy White, Tony Dorsett, and Staubach. On a basketball court in the Bronx housing neighborhood, during pickup football games

He would insist on acting like the wide receiver Drew Pearson or Staubach where he grew up. Longtime friend and fellow Cowboys fan Bob Schaefer notes, “Those games would start out as touch.” “And result in fistfights.”

Schaefer attempted to christen his 27-year-old son Troy—after Aikman. That suggestion was turned down by his spouse. He is one who isn’t going to give up on the Cowboys. Was Dan being sincere, then? He remained steadfast when I contacted him to make sure he wasn’t merely texting furiously at the time. Dan says, “I just throw my hands up.” “I support the Cowboys more than I do my other teams. It will be challenging to lose that. The supporters don’t matter to the owners. What makes me care so much? He had already removed the hangers from all eight of his Cowboys jerseys. They’re on the ground, wrapped up into a ball.

Michelle, Dan’s wife of thirty years, attests that he does mean it. Michelle states, “That’s the craziest part of it all.” “I think he’s really finished. It’s unbelievable to me that I’m saying that. I’m taken aback. I never would have thought that day would arrive. She has experienced the highs, such as visiting AT&T Stadium in 2016 with Dan. She remarks, “It was really, really cool.” In addition, there are the difficult times. About fifteen years ago, Dan cried out, “Please, someone help me!” during a Cowboys game, and his neighbors—New York City police officers—came to see if he was okay.

Dan’s position generally depresses Michelle. She remarks, “That was such an important part of who he was.” “It seems like a part of him is disappearing.”

I think about Thanksgiving next year and our yearly gathering at Dan’s place to watch the Cowboys play. He won’t be riveted to the TV, screaming for his “Boys” if Dallas is unbeaten and appears to be a real Super Bowl contender? “No,” he responds. “It is irrelevant. They can go 15-0 in the first 15 weeks, and they’ll blow it in the 16th or 17th week of the season or the opening week of the playoffs.



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