Sunday, April 11, 2010

Goodbye Stadium of Memories, Headaches

It finally happened today. Texas Stadium was brought to the ground.

The home of the Dallas Cowboys from 1970 to last year was home to so many great teams, games, and plays, that it boggles the mind. The great Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith played there. Tom Landry roamed the sidelines in his hat. Countless NFC championships were played there as well as monster games with the Redskins, Eagles, 49ers, Packers, and Giants. The stadium was home to countless memories.

It was also a verifiable disaster.

You don't hear about Texas Stadium among the awful stadium lists. Old Veterans Stadium in Philly usually takes the prize of nasty fields with it's giant seams in the turf where players could snap an ankle, the rock hard playing surface on cold days, and the jail located directly under the stadium.

I don't argue with that list, but don't think Texas Stadium was some sacred building because it wasn't. That place sucked. I went there many o' times.

There was the pre-season game against Oakland when I almost suffered dehydration because I drank one beer. ONE. Not an alcoholic's version of one beer which is roughly seven to ten beers. One beer. The rest was the hot, airless, atmosphere around me.

There was also the time I saw a late season game against the Giants when Big D had an early season freeze. I spent most of that game shivering uncontrollably.

There was the time when I had to walk what seemed like a mile to find a bathroom in working order and there was the time I had a great big fat person sitting next to, no, on top of me.

The point is, Texas Stadium was a place that had as much gameday atmosphere as a library. The stadium looked like a bowl of concrete surrounded by pavement. There was very little tailgating (you can blame that on the fans if you'd like), and there were no discernible visuals as you walked towards the stadium.

The most recognizable trait of Texas Stadium was the giant hole in the roof which was fabled to be there so God could watch his favorite team play. Well, I hope God had fun because the rest of us were caught in a trap that was closed off enough to prevent any cool breezes from blowing in, yet the hole made air-conditioning impossible. That meant a stagnant mass of nasty air and the smell of sweat all around you during the early season games.

When the weather turned cold late in the season, the metal seats managed to turn your butt and feet into blocks of ice. While the dome build of the stadium may have kept out the harshest of winds, the giant hole allowed plenty of frigid air into the place.

The field was built to drain water to the sidelines and it was built at such an arc (to allow water from the middle of the field to run to the sides), that if a quarterback was throwing a pattern to the sideline from the middle of the field, he could only see the top half of his receiver.

I know most stadiums aren't super comfy. I can't imagine watching a December game in Chicago or Green Bay. But those places at least have atmosphere. All Texas Stadium had was a crowd that seemed more suited for the Master's gold tournament than a football game and a lot of concrete.

So as we waved goodbye to Texas Stadium let us remember that it wasn't the stadium that brought us the memories, it was the teams playing in the stadium that brought us the memories. Those will stay with you with or without the giant eyesore off of Loop 12 in Irving, Texas.

1 comment:

  1. Well said.

    I like the idea that God may be omnipotent, yet lacks x-ray vision.