How do we hate thee? Let me count the ways…In this case “thee” will refer to the team we Philadalphia Eagles fans love to hate…the Dallas Cowboys. What is it about them that we can’t stand? Arrogance? Pompousness? The “America’s Team” label? It has to be more than just a division rivalary because there is no sweeter victory than beating Dallas, especially when they have a good team.
But what is it about that team that incites Eagles fans so much? Today’s Eagles fans probably don’t know why they hate them, they “just do”. They have basically been born into a Dallas-loathing environment. They learned from their fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, friends, friends’ relatives, other Eagles fans, etc — that if you’re an Eagles fan one of the requirements is to hate Dallas. And for diehard fans, make no mistake, it IS a requirement.
The best I can discern, the hate began around 1967 when Dallas went on to win 21 out of 23 games against the Eagles and went to 5 Super Bowls in the 1970’s. The fact they were constantly beating us, were a division rival, and were getting all kinds of national acclaim must have made Eagle fans of that era just want to go bezerk. The Eagles have been around since 1933 and had 3 NFL Championships by 1960 but after that, winning went into hibernation. Watching Dallas enter the league in 1960 and have a relatively quick ascension into Super Bowl winners must have really been agonizing to witness for Eagles fans.
The Eagles/Cowboys rivalry really started to heat up during the mid 1980’s. There were Bounty Bowls I and II, Buddy’s Revenge, Jimmy Johnson getting pelted with snowballs, Michael Irvin’s injury, and more recently…T.O’s Return and our back-to-back drubbings in Dallas. However, at times now it seems the rivalry is losing a little steam. Have Eagles fans gone soft on the Dallas hatred? If so we need to make a list of reminders why the hate should live on in the hearts of Eagles fans…
Why should we hate Dallas? Let’s count thy ways:
- Their fans. They are the biggest bandwagon fans you’ll ever meet. No team in the history of sports gains and loses fans faster than the Dallas Cowboys. When they’re winning, it seems fans crawl out of the woodwork like cockroaches in the night. They start trash talking, chest thumping, and are completely obnoxious. But when they are losing, not a peep can be heard as they disappear faster than a hoagie at a weight watchers meeting.
- The national media. There is no greater love affair in sports than the national media has with the Cowboys. They’re the drivers of the bandwagon and the campaign managers. As soon as there is any hint of Dallas being a playoff or Super Bowl contender, they trade in their suits and briefcases for skirts and pom poms. They drool over them the same way John Madden would drool over Brett Favre.
- Jerry Jones. He is the most meddling owner in the NFL. There aren’t many owners, if any, that get as involved in the the football side of the business as he does. Other than Bill Parcells, he has hired “yes men” as head coaches since he and Jimmy Johnson parted ways because they couldn’t co-exist. Plus, Jones tries to get his skeletal-looking face in the news as often as possible in order to promote his Cowboys.
- Their front-runner fans.
- Keith Brooking’s quote after our back-to-back season ending losses to Dallas in 2009: “The way we dominated them, obviously McNabb didn’t play his best, but they were very predictable,” said Brooking of the Eagles’ offense. “We knew exactly what was coming on every play.” The bolded part is what gets me irked about Dallas (but the rest irks me about our play calling). Brooking sounds just like another cocky Cowboy player.
- Their new stadium. It just symbolizes Jerry Jones’ huge ego. And to boot, he caused that seating debacle at this past year’s Super Bowl just because he wanted to set an attendance record. He also charged people $200 per ticket just to sit outside the stadium and watch the game on a big screen T.V. Talk about arrogance!
- Their fans.
- They still think they’re America’s Team. Give it a rest already!
- “How bout dem Cowboys?!” I really can’t stand that phrase.
- Last but not least…their live in the past “we’ve been in 8 Super Bowls” fans! (have I mentioned the fans yet?)
Luckily for us, Dallas didn’t have a draft to get excited about. But if they land one of the top free agents or make a big trade, rest assured that the media will be trumpeting them as Super Bowl favorites once again. Or even if not, there will be some who will look at Dallas’ little resurgence under Jason Garrett last season and point to that as a reason why they will win the division and contend for the Super Bowl.
In conclusion, we need to bring back the fun in hating Dallas. Let’s get back to giving them a Philly-style greeting when they arrive at stadium and all throughout the game. Let’s make them remember that they’re still the most despised team in Philadelphia. Maybe we need to bring back Buddy Ryan as a history teacher and motivational speaker for Eagles fans.
If you have your own reasons for hating Dallas, let me hear them! I’m sure I didn’t cover them all.
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