Bag of Randomness – Texas Stadium Edition

  • Since tomorrow will be the last day in which Texas Stadium will hold a Cowboys game, I thought I would start Bag of Randomness with randonmess of my experiences at Texas Stadium.
  • My first time to visit Texas Stadium was to watch Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers play the Cowboys and the game was aired on ESPN Sunday Night Football.  I remember that because I recorded the game and I still have the tape.  As a kid in junior high I wanted to see if I happened to make it on TV.  My brother was nice enough to get the family tickets as he knew Joe Montana was my favorite football player at the time (all time it’s Walter Payton).  But here’s what I remember best and I will never have the feeling again.  It was just such a surreal experience walking up the ramp with my father into the stadium and I was just overtaken with jaw dropping awe at the size, sights, and sounds and realizing that seeing it on TV did it no justice.  If I made a top ten moments of my life, this would make the list.  One of my friends was on the sidelines because he father got him a press pass.  Yup, the Mineral Wells Index can get you on the field.  At the time I carried a Michael Irvin card in my wallet, was able to flag my friend down, and asked him if he could get me an autograph.  When I saw him at school the following day he said Irvin just waved him off.  I also remember how yellow I thought the goal posts were, amazingly bright.  Oh, and how small parts of the stadium’s room fell, like small pieces of cardboard floating down.
  • I attended one Thanksgiving game at Texas Stadium, it was in the early 90’s.  Neil O’Donnell and the Pittsburgh Steelers came into town in a game that the Cowboys won.  Once again my brother was nice enough to get the family tickets.  Our seats were in the end zone, right behind the goal posts.  Some of you may remember a TCBY sign just over the tunnel behind that goal post, I sat directly above that Y.  I always thought that was smart advertising and wonder why there isn’t another advertisement in that spot, after all, when you see a field goal or extra point it’s a can’t miss advertising area.  I remember how small I thought Kenny Gant was at the time, how I didn’t like seeing random wet spots on the field, and another moment that sticks out was that was the first time I got to see a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader up close and I think I think I took way too many pictures of them.  But then again, I was a teenage boy.
  • During the first Super Bowl run of the 90’s the Cowboys had a pep rally on a Thursday night before they headed out to the NFC Championship game against the now hated and Montana-less 49ers.  One of the churches in town drove us to the event and I remember a girl named Lisa Crawford liked me at the time, but I wasn’t so sure about her mainly because I didn’t like dating girls in grade levels behind me for some silly reason.  I think I was a sophomore and she was a freshman.  At the time Cindy Crawford was the big thing at the time, and a few folks joked with me that Lisa somewhat resembled her.  She showed up at the church with an Troy Aikman shirt and a number eight painted on her cheek.  It was at that time I decided that if she was going to put Troy Aikman above me then she wasn’t worth my time.  Ahhh, the crazy the mind of a teenager.
  • I think my next event at Texas Stadium was the Carmen concert.  It was a free event, and since he was a Christian entertainer the church put together a nice road trip.  I remember sitting in the nosebleed section and traffic being brutal.  It was the largest single day event crowd at Texas Stadium, see the fourth bullet point here.  I remember the Sunday following the event and hearing one particular adult ponder how many teens wondered into that place expecting a rock concert but leaving being saved.  As sincere as he might of been, I couldn’t help but laugh really hard on the inside because he really didn’t understand how teenages related to music.
  • I think I may have attended one high school playoff game, but I can’t remember for sure.  For some reason I remember being in Texas Stadium and there not being many people and just thought how empty and sad it felt.  But then again maybe it was Miller Stadium.  OK, about two of you got that last line, but I really think it was Texas Stadium.
  • With a group of church friends I remember going to a Cincinnati Bengals game.  My first as an adult out fo college.  It was freezing that day, and one of the girls decided not to go because it was too cold.  At that moment I made a mental note to myself that a women who chickens out of going to a Cowboys game because it was too cold would be no wife of mine.  Two more things about that game stands out.  It was Troy Aikman’s last full game as a starter at Texas Stadium, and there was a section of folks wearing Neil Racker jerseys.  He was the kicker for the Bengals at the time.  I just checked out his Wikipedia page and see no Dallas ties.  Perhaps it was extended family, or some people just go really crazy for Cincinnati kickers.
  • WifeGeeding and I attended that Billy Graham event that was held there several years back.  I wanted to go just to be in the crowd to see this amazing and historic figure.  I took along a coworker who was an atheist.  He just wanted to go because of the historical significance.  Side Note:  I’m tired of hearing about “the next Billy Graham.”
  • A friend of mine gave us preseason game tickets during the Parcells era, and I think that’s the closest I have ever sat towards the field for a game, like three rows up.  I think it was against the Houston Texans (I can’t stand that team’s name btw . . . they don’t represent me as a Texan.)  It was the first time that I ever made a poster board to take to a game.  It said “We love Parcells so much, we named our dog Tuna.”  That’s right, DogGeeding’s real name is Tuna and he was named after the Big Tuna.  The secret is out.  The man sitting next to us got the attention of the video crew and I think we got on TV holding our sign up right after a commercial break.
  • That same friend gave me and another good friend tickets to see the Cowboys beat the Carolina Panthers, who later that year played the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  That was the game that Parcells became emotional during the press conference saying how you couldn’t call these guys losers any more.  That would be my last regular season game at that place.
  • My last trip to Texas Stadium was when WifeGeeding got me tour tickets for my birthday, something I always wanted to do.  The first person I saw was Everson Walls, which was pretty cool, even though he won a Super Bowl with the Giants.  It was great being able to see the things I only see on the news like that big ball room area where a lot of press conferences for major signings are done, checking out a luxery suit, and chillin’ in the locker room and walking down the tunnel into the field.  The field as the best part, just being able to check out the same view the players see, play catch, see the curviture of the field, and lay down and look out through the hole in the roof was pretty darn neat.
  • I liked Texas Stadium best when it had looked like it did in the picture above with the dark blue end zone and the tan boarders.  As a kid watching non-HD television, I couldn’t tell if that tan was carpet or concrete.  But that was also the time you saw that weird water spots on the field.  Speaking of those water spots, I was told the field was sprayed down so it would appear better on television, but I never believed it because I don’t think a team would risk the chance of turnovers and a slippery field.
  • That was also the time when the stars on the walls that circled the field looked nice and uniform.  Jerry added seats and did some other adjustments and then they all looked out of whack.
  • Jerry sure ran that thing into the ground over the years.  The roof needed to painted long ago, actually lots of parts of the stadium need to be painted and there were lots of exposed cement walls that looked grimy.  But I suppose that was part of the plan to get voters to approve the new one.
  • The speakers suspended above the field always scared me, that new jumbo-tron on the new field will really freak me out.
  • Depending on the time of day, watching the game on TV can be frustrating with the shadows going in and out of play.  The new jumbo-tron in the new place is going to make for some ugly shadows as well.
  • I’m going to miss games played out in the elements.
  • I always thought it should have had natural grass.
  • This will be the 313th played at Texas Stadium (213-99 record overall).  Source
  • I always thought it was funny how the hole in the roof protected only a portion of the fans.  Rain falls at an angle, and the sun will burn up a particular portion of the fans.
  • I liked the way the late great Tex Schram arranged things so that the visiting team’s sidelines would have to be in the sun exposed to all that Texas heat at the beginning of the season.
  • I liked the way the team was introduced in the 90’s when dudes with tuxes and suits blowing horns with a Cowboy banner hanging from the horn.
  • I think the Cowboys got jipped with the last game at Texas Stadium being on a Saturday night, on the NFL network, second to last game of the season, against the Ravens.
  • Texas Stadium cake.  Pic 1 and Pic 2
  • The television show always showed Texas Stadium in the intro, which I thought was pretty cool.
  • Not related to Texas Stadium, but the death of Sammy Baugh saddens me.  Many have no idea who he was, but he was one of the greatest that played the game because he excelled both offense and defense, and had a fire cracker personality.  He also for a while coached at Hardin-Simmons (Interesting article btw, he mentions his best game was coaching against LSU).
  • I wish local stations could broadcast special events so the public can be a part of things.  Stuff like special halftime ceremonies and of course the events after the game this Saturday when a lot of legends will make an appearance.
  • This is the only picture I’ve seen with someone on the very top of the stadium.  Link
  • Before there was a Texas Stadium, this is how the area looked.  Link
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6 Responses to Bag of Randomness – Texas Stadium Edition

  1. Kevin says:

    As an Eagles fan I have four distinct memories of Texas Stadium.

    1. Chris “Bleepin'” Boniol missing an extra point distance field goal on Monday Night, letting a sure victory for the Eagles slip away.
    2. Eagles intercepting Troy Aikman in the end zone and returning it for a touchdown on the final play of the game, cementing an Eagles win.
    3. Jeff Garcia and company beating the Cowboys on Christmas day a few years ago (“Merry Christmas Philadelphia!” will live as a classic Philly sports moment)
    4. Donovan McNabb’s 14 second scramble and deep completion to Freddie Mitchel on Monday Night Football. That play was one of the greatest in McNabb’s highligt package.
    5. You knew I was going to say it at some point, right? Pickle juice.

    Yeah, I guess I’ll miss that dump too. 🙂

  2. Kevin says:

    I made a typo in the previous comment. I started out saying four and then listed five. I thought of one more while typing them out and forgot to edit my opening statement! D’oh!

  3. Warren says:

    Isn’t there a chance for another home game. If the Cowboys are seeded 5th and they play the 6th seed for the Conference championship. Is that still possible?

  4. dan says:

    Very nice, personal retrospective, Keith. I enjoyed reading it and bringing back my own memories of watching games there with my family.

    I also noticed over the years how seedy the place was becoming due to Jerry’s carefully engineered plan to abandon Irving for Arlington.

  5. JB says:

    Sammy Baugh was my great uncle. My grandfather was his brother. I remember going up to his ranch around christmas every year north of Rotan and the best memories were listining to all the stories about his playing days. He had a very “colorful”way of talking about the good ol’ days. It was weird hearing he passed away. My mom called and told me and then I saw it run accross the screen on ESPN as breaking news about 30 minutes later. I had forgotten all he did until I started reading all the articles about him.. God broke the mould and there will never be another like him. Thanks for the mention of his passing. Keep up the good work on BON.

  6. My fiancee and I are having a NFL themed wedding and I saw your Texas Stadium cake photo. It was really impressive! How was that done? My website above is all about my trip to all 31 stadiums in the NFL. i was in Texas Stadium this year forthe monday night game against the Eagles. Awesome facility, even greater fans, fantastic tailgating! I can’t wait for the new stadium to open up next season!

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