After watching a string of one-sided playoff contests, NFL fans finally had something to cheer about with not but two absorbing games last weekend. First, the Atlanta Falcons held off the Seattle Seahawks and then the Green Bay Packers edged the Dallas Cowboys in a classic. What a terrific match ! When Green Bay surged to a 21-3 lead, I thought it was going to be a cakewalk for them. Then, as Dak Prescott chipped away at the huge deficit and quarterbacked the Boyz to a 28-28 tie, I thought that the momentum had shifted decisively in Dallas’ favor and that they were going to pull off a miraculous win. Even after the teams traded FGs, with barely 35 seconds on the clock I thought the match would go to OT and that the Cowboys would prevail. Except for Aaron Rodgers and his teammates, I don’t think anyone envisioned what followed as Jared Cook pulled in a laser-like Rodgers pass and Mason Crosby calmly kicked a 51-yarder to send the Packers to the Conference championship game. Wow!
Dallas has nothing to be ashamed off. After a slow start, the two rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot pulled their team back into contention only to be denied by a red -hot Aaron Rodgers. Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and others also did their part in making this a game to remember. With a stellar offensive line and a more experienced Prescott and Elliot can anyone doubt that the Cowboys will be back next year?
My two favorite teams are the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers, in that order, and I was unhappy that the two had to meet in the wild card game. I didn’t really think the Giants had a chance and I wasn’t too upset when they lost after their defense had kept it close for most of the first half. However, the injury to the Packers Jordy Nelson was dispiriting because it kept him out of the game against the favored Cowboys. I need not have worried as Aaron Rodgers turned in an unbelievable performance even though he was missing his favorite receiver. Fans tend to judge a player by the number of Super Bowl rings he has, which I think is unfair because a player on a weak team is at a disadvantage in any such comparison. In my book, Aaron Rodgers is superior to both Tom Brady and Payton Manning even if he never wins another Super Bowl ring.
One of the memes, after the Packer win, was a circle chart purporting to show the reasons why fans were happy with the result. A very thin sliver of the circle supposedly represented the fans who were celebrating a Green Bay win. The rest of the circle chart ( more than 95% ) allegedly showed the people who were just glad the Cowboys lost. I myself have a foot in both camps… I was happy the Packers won AND I was also happy that the Cowboys lost.
Indeed the number of football fans who hate the Cowboys is legion. As one meme put it ” Cheering for the Cowboys is like watching the movie Titanic and rooting for the ship.” Another said ” My favorite team is whoever is playing the Cowboys“.
I was not always against the Cowboys. Along time ago, when Don Meredith and Roger Staubach were the quarterbacks and Chuck Howley, and Leroy Jordon were shoring up the defense I actually rooted for them. But then three things happened. I became a die-hard Giant fan, the Cowboys styled themselves America’s team and Jerry Jones became the team owner. I just can’t stand the man’s arrogance and his management style. There are plenty more who feel as I do. One fan wrote in to say” I felt nothing but joy watching Jerry Jones ‘ team get trounced by a team that is actually owned by the city it represents a nd isn’t just a rich man’s toy financed by hapless taxpayers.” I couldn’t agree more.