The Fanily Tree

The Dallas Cowboys are my team, they are not America’s Team, they are my team, fore I am a Cowboy fan. The first time I watched them on television that I can remember was the famed Ice Bowl against Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. I laid there across my parent’s bed with my Dad and watched as Bart Starr sneaked into the end zone. That day I had no idea why, but my heart was broken. The simple fact was that day I became a Dallas Cowboy fan for life.

I witnessed Bob Lilly throw his helmet when the Baltimore Colts won Super Bowl V. The day when Jerry Jones fired Tom Landry a part of me died, but Jimmy Jones gave me new life. When Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl wins in four years I was on top of the world. The Quincey Carter, Chan Gailey, and Dave Campo years hurt, they hurt bad because the Cowboys were better than that, or at least I thought they were because I was a Cowboy fan.

I still hate to hear about “The Catch”. I long for the success of the 70s’ and early 90s’ and hearing Brad Sham say “Your Cowboys are World Champions”. As a fan I know those days will return to Dallas. Because of these feelings and the way the NFL and our country has evolved over my lifetime I have come to the realization, I am not alone.

The way people of our country move around these days a Cowboy fan can live anywhere, they do not have to live in Dallas. I was born a Cowboy fan and if I moved to Pittsburgh, I still would be. Other fans are no different although I have never given that much thought until this past weekend. That is when I realized I have a “FANILY TREE”.

To be more specific about what a FANILY TREE is, it is the friends I have that are fans of other teams. Much like a family tree these people are important to me, I feel for them, love them, and hurt when they hurt, but for them not for their team. I want them all to feel what I feel when the Cowboys win, just not when they play my “Boys”, and I am sure they feel the same way.

They have similar memories, loyalties, and similar hurts for their teams because they are fans too. This past weekend, my Cowboys beat the Eagles and it felt good. The game was ugly and Tony Romo got hurt, but we won. On the other hand my friend and the biggest Eagle fan I know Kevin Strang had to feel bad, and I hurt for him, not for the Eagles, but for him. Kevin like so many other Eagle fans have to be wondering what is wrong with their Eagles, they have so many talented players.

Another friend of mine Sean Nelson, an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan texted me within minutes of Romo getting hurt offering to cancel a bet we had made on whose team would go the farthest this year. Sean said it was in the interest of fair play, but the truth is, he is on my Fanily Tree, and he knew Romo’s injury hurt me as well.

Later that night I found myself rooting for the Green Bay Packers one minute and the Seattle Seahawks the next because my good friend Rob Sloan(yes that Rob Sloan) is a Packers fan and my cousin David Kinsey is a Seahawk fan. In the end I was happy for Rob, and sad for David.

I know this week my team won, and I know that on any given Sunday they might lose, but that is what makes NFL football great, along with the rivalries, the wins, the heartbreaks, the championships, there is the Fanily Tree. #JustSayin

J. Brackston

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