Friday's game with the Titans has been circled on calenders for months because it is the first time the Cowboys take the field in their new stadium. Almost as significant, at least to the people going to the games, is that it will be the first chance to tailgate in the shadow of such magnificence. And, like everything else at JerryWorld, it's going to be different than what people are used to.
Tailgating is no longer allowed throughout the parking lots as in past years, but will be limited to areas next to grassy knolls near the outskirts of the lots. That's fair enough, especially since you can set up a grill and toss the ball as if it were any other day in the park. And who among us doesn't prefer relieving ourselves on Mother Nature's majesty rather than pavement after we've had three or four Shiner Bocks to get a Sunday morning off to a proper start?
One thing to be careful of, though. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram points out that while there appears to be plenty of space to romp around, "there is the potential for a dangerous mix of cars and pedestrians." Let's all do our best to make sure that future Drivers Ed students aren't watching videos called "Blood on the JerryWorld Asphalt."
All of those regulations apply to daytrippers, but those looking for a fuller experience are going to be well taken care of as well. Double J's crack planners have also set aside space for those who want to camp out before and after Cowboys games. For $150, you get an RV-sized parking spot (there are grassy areas there as well) for 72 hours before the game and can stay until 5 p.m. on the day following the game. There's no electricity, but there is a dump station which those familiar with the RV world know isn't just a euphemism for a public toilet. Sadly, former Cowboy Chad Hutchinson isn't planning to serenade the campers with a nightly round of folk tunes.
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For those that think it's ironic to find a Depression-esque tent city close to Double J's gleaming stadium on a hill, think again. Given the ticket prices and the state of the economy, there may be some Cowboys fans who have had to choose between following their beloved football team and making their mortgage payments. That's not a problem any longer, which just proves that the Cowboys thought of everything when it came to planning their new home.