One of my first memories as a tiny human is - in, oh about 1968 – sitting on Dad's shoulders in the Cotton Bowl, watching Don Meredith lob perfect bombs to a speeding Bob Hayes. And one of worst memories as an adult: Watching Tony Romo’s horrible decision/worse throw that flat-lined the 2012 season with an interception in Washington on Dec. 30.
In between those two distinct images, I’ve been nothing if not a dedicated fan and devout follower of your Dallas Cowboys.
That will continue, even amplify, as I proudly join NBC 5’s Blue Star Blog.
I’ve been fortunate to do what I love, in the place that I was born, for the last 27 years. And most of what I’ve written about in newspapers, talked about on the radio and blabbed about on TV has centered on not America’s Team, but – more importantly – my team. And since you’re here, likely your team.
Our family of four had only an 1,100-square foot house in Duncanville. But we always – priorities! – saved enough money for season tickets to the Cowboys. At Texas Stadium we sat in the lower level, about the 8-yard line behind the visitors’ bench.
I was there for the first game at the stadium in Irving in '71, back in the days when the Cowboys boasted a band, Tommy Loy would trumpet the National Anthem, Blue Parking went for $5 and Tom Landry patrolled the sideline with stoicism and success.
In the late ‘70s I sold souvenirs at Texas Stadium. And I also attended the closing of the iconic building in 2008, when the Ravens ran two 80-yard dive plays up the middle, into the end zone and right through our hearts.
I never missed a game at Cowboys Stadium. And I don’t plan on skipping one at AT&T Stadium either.
At the Fort Worth-Star Telegram, I covered Jerry Jones' dramatic arrival, the Triplets’ Hall-of-Fame careers and documented three Super Bowl wins. At the Dallas Observer I chronicled the tales of Terrell Owens, Pacman Jones and the stumbledoofus of a coach named Wade Phillips. And at 105.3 The Fan, the last four seasons I hosted pre- and post-game shows and segments with Jerry Jones, Brandon Carr and Sean Lee. I’ve written a book about the Cowboys. I’ve cried over losses – and wins. And I realize, that in Texas, there are only two sports: Football. And Cowboys football.
The Cowboys’ blue star is the most iconic logo in all sports. The Cowboys are the NFL’s most valuable, most important franchise. And yet over the last 16 years – with just one playoff win – the Cowboys are undeniably the most over-hyped, underperforming team in all of sports.
You’ll get all that – from pulse to pizzazz to pratfall – from me on NBC 5’s Blue Star Blog. This year’s team, yet again, has a bunch of talented pieces seemingly camouflaging a mediocre core of average-at-best defensive and offensive lines. Will Bill Callahan’s play-calling solve the inept running game riddle? Can DeMarco Murray and Sean Lee stay healthy? Can Dez Bryant ascend to the best receiver in the NFL? Can Travis Frederick help protect Romo?
With most predictions calling for 8-8 or, at best, 9-7, can your Cowboys – for the first time in a long time – actually overachieve?
In a market that salivates for every detail about every hangnail on every finger of every Cowboys’ practice-squad player, I can’t wait for the next chapter. From last-second field goals on the field to the breaking news of the quarterback’s second child off it, thanks for having me along for the ride.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.