Somewhere in the greater D.C. or Dallas metropolitan area on Sunday night, a beleaguered and downtrodden ‘Skins fan, after wandering aimlessly for a few hours after the 23-0 debacle against the Bills, stumbled into a bar to find a lonely, sullen Cowboys fan sitting alone and staring blankly at a T.V. Glancing up, the ‘Skins fan observed the carnage and source of the Cowboys fan’s defeated body language: Eagles 34, Cowboys 7. “I know how that feels”, the ‘Skins fan thought. Even though he had been bred to hate the star from birth, this sort of pain required some level of basic human decency. So he mustered the energy to do the right thing and uttered the words that would help them both through the remainder of the evening, “Bartender, two of something strong…and keep them coming.”
Maybe that scenario didn’t play out exactly, but the level of pain coursing through the two enemy fan bases on Sunday made the odd event quite possible. Both the “Skins and Cowboys lost in a helpless, noncompetitive fashion. Neither team did anything well. They each failed in a way that leaves a bad hangover, triggers outrage from fan bases and, more importantly, cultivates doubt in the locker room. Where do they go from here? Does it even matter? Sure there are games next week and more than half a season to go, but all is lost. The next truly exciting thing that will happen to these two once-proud franchises will the 2012 NFL Draft.
It seems like just yesterday that Tony Romo was defiantly confident and guaranteeing a Super Bowl in Dallas’ future and Rex Grossman was talking with such a swagger that we almost believed he could transform himself into an elite quarterback. Now one is benched, the other probably wishes he was and both teams are sub-.500 and occupying a familiar place – the cellar of the NFC East.
Back at the bar and now slightly lubed up, the Cowboys and ‘Skins fans revert to form and start to bicker. The Cowboys fan contends his situation is far worse. He argues that any ‘Skins fan that was honest with himself knew this season was just a step in a long rebuilding process. Dallas fans, meanwhile, having bought in to the Dez Bryant hype, Romo’s fact-lacking prophecies, Rob Ryan as a defensive guru and Felix Jones as a star running back, had hope for something big. Pondering his points, the ‘Skins fan finally agreed. After a pause, and just as the waiter delivered another round, he looked back at the Cowboys fan and remarked, “It sure was a lot more fun when we used to argue about who would win the division.” Lifting his glass the Cowboys fan smirked and said, “I’ll drink to that.”
Hail…Sons of Washington…