This game was circled on my calendar for months. As soon as the 2014 NFL schedule was released and I found out that the Dallas Cowboys were playing the NFC West, my only hope was that my team would be traveling to Seattle.
I love the Cowboys, appreciate the Seahawks and love a great fan atmosphere. If the football gods allowed it to happen, I would be there, and sure enough, the football gods scheduled the Dallas Cowboys to travel to Seattle during week six of the NFL season to play the Seattle Seahawks. I called up Crazy Joe, and as soon as he answered, I didn’t even have to ask him if he was down. As soon as I said, “Bro, look who we’re playing this season,” he said, “I’m already on it, playboy.”
From there, we copped plane tickets, got the rooms and bought tickets for the game. Even though it was early June and the game was four months out, there was no missing this one.
Leaving Dallas to head to Seattle last Saturday was bittersweet, because it meant I would miss a game that has been a staple in my life since I was a baby. That game was none other than the Texas Longhorns against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Shootout. Sure, I could have pulled up the game cast on my phone, via the ESPN app, but that option was derailed since there was no freaking option to get wifi on the doggone plane. So not only was I going to be in the air during the game, but I also wouldn’t even be able to follow it while I was flying. Nonetheless, order was restored at the State Fair of Texas, Oklahoma squeaked out a win against Texas and B-Lew has to give me my golden hat back.
After arriving in Seattle around 3 p.m. West Coast time, I checked in to the hotel and met up with Crazy Joe. He took the smart approach and got on an early-ass flight, which gave him a chance to catch football all day long in Seattle. We soon hit the streets in search of food and to get ready for the gargantuan task at hand.
Sunday morning arrived, and a peace was with me that I hadn’t experienced since the Cowboys traveled to New Orleans five years ago to take on the 13-0 New Orleans Saints. It still hadn’t hit me that the Cowboys would win against the Seahawks like it did the entire week leading up to the Saints game during the 2009 season. However, I felt confident that we would compete, and armed with that confidence, I put on my specially made Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, courtesy of Jeremy Biggers, and headed to CenturyLink Field. However, there was the task of getting something to eat, and via the recommendation of a close friend of mine, Crazy Joe and I headed to a chicken shack to get a pregame meal.
All I can say about the chicken is that it was wack. On top of that, we got there super-early, since the stadium was about 15 minutes up the street. One would think that getting to a restaurant early would give you the best chance to get a great batch of chicken, but Crazy Joe and I were wrong. It tasted like nothing more than supermarket chicken, and for two people who were hungry as shit before the game, that bum-ass chicken did us no favors. We parked the car in enemy territory, directly across the street from CenturyLink Stadium, ate that bum-ass chicken, got out of the car and started making the walk into the stadium.
A common theme with traveling to Cowboys road games is I often see Cowboys fans everywhere, but walking up to the gates, I didn’t see many at all. I asked Crazy Joe what in the world was going on, and he was just as shocked as me. However, it didn’t take long to start seeing family members in True Blue, and as we greeted each other, that familiar confidence bubbled back to the surface. There were Cowboy fans like me, who came from Dallas; there were some like Crazy Joe, who came from North Carolina; there was another like a dude who sat next to us who came from Montana. There were more who either lived in Seattle or who came from other parts all over the country, and as we started to invade the Hawks Nest, a sacred fan spot of the Seattle Seahawks, the looks of annoyance and disbelief were on the faces of the regulars who probably weren’t used to the type of presence and defiance that fans of an opposing team displayed. Dallas Cowboys fans were officially in the building.
The game began, and just like that, Tony Romo got rocked on a blitz, the Cows had to punt, we got our punt blocked, Seattle picked up the loose ball, ran into the end zone, and we were down 10-0. It happened so fast that I didn’t have a chance to properly react. The Seahawks fans were going nuts all around me. They slapped me on the back, gave me fives and taunted me (in good fun) mercilessly. As mad as I was at falling behind, all I could do was laugh and give an ominous warning that they better hope and pray they keep the Cowboys down. Of course, they didn’t, and just like that, we scored 17 unanswered to take a 17-10 lead into the half. Now the Seahawks fans were in disbelief, and I had a smile on my face as big as the Pacific Ocean. I just hoped and prayed the Cowboys would pull it out.
Thirty minutes later, the Cowboys found a way to win, and with about two minutes remaining, I heard a familiar chant that brought a tear to my eye and a pep in my step. It made my heart sing and forced my hands to pound against each other in unbridled joy and enthusiasm. As the Seattle faithful began to flee for the exits, the chant grew louder:
“LET’S GO, COWBOYS!” *CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP*
“LET’S GO, COWBOYS!” *CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP*
It was officially on then. Cowboys fans were en masse by now, chanting together while the Seahawks fans could only sit back and stare with envy, disgust and, dare say, apprehensive admiration. See, the Seattle Seahawks are the talk of the town in present time, the defending World Champions. However, the Dallas Cowboys have been around the world five … times! We have five of them silver thangs in our trophy case, and even though we haven’t been championship material in almost 20 years, the chants heard through CenturyLink Stadium on Sunday afternoon were a reminder that no matter how bad things get, Dallas Cowboys fans ride and die with our football team.
The exit from the stadium was just as much fun as the damn game. I took pictures with just about anyone who had Cowboys gear on, gave out hugs and high fives to anyone who had a star anywhere near his or her person. The chants continued in the alleys, on the street and in the parking lots. It was definitely one of the most fun games I’ve ever been to.
Shocking the world is always a blast, but it’s even better when your team handles its business. Right now, my Dallas Cowboys are playing above plenty of people’s expectations, including mine, and all I plan to do is continue to enjoy the ride, regardless of how rocky or smooth it is. It’s all I know.