No Home Field Advantage at AT&T
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Cowboys game on Sunday. Well not ha-ha funny. I had covered the Rangers 1-0 win over the Mariners and there was time for me to make it over to AT&T Stadium to do some post game interviews.
It was early in the fourth quarter as I made the short trip, and by then all of the traffic patterns had been routed away from the stadium and all signs were pointing out. I disobeyed a few one way signs and made it to one of the normal media lots. I was not allowed in! I am serious, they would not let me in. A parking lot attendant and a police officer both considered my request and both denied it.
Maybe they recognized me from all of my Rangers coverage this year and decided that I had suffered enough. Maybe they were just doing what the boss had told them, “Nobody allowed in once the fourth quarter starts.” Or maybe they were only allowing people in if they were wearing the colors of the 49ers.
In some ways the crowd became the story of the game. I heard Jason Witten say this week that the offense had to call a time out once because the 49er fans were so loud they drowned out the snap count. That is unbelievable, but it’s not the first time it’s happened at Jerry World, and it certainly won’t be the last.
Jerry himself was asked about the crowd a couple of times after the game. The first time he got testy with the reporter and the other time he went all GM high brow saying that when he was at the game he was only focused on what was happening on the field. Yea right, and I bet he doesn’t even know there are giant stripper poles in the end zones.
For decades the Cowboys have had a loyal and loud fan base in the opponent’s city. I traveled with the team for eleven years and I am quite sure we never entered a hotel without Cowboys fans waiting and wanting autographs. But in most cities Cowboys fans cannot get enough tickets to fill the stadium as 49ers, Bears and Steelers fans have done here.
The difference is there are so many seats here, and anyone who has tickets in hand but doesn’t want to go to the game is going to try to sell them. I mean, they had to buy personal seat licenses for the right to pay for these tickets, so if they can’t go they are going to get some of their money back. It’s too bad too actually, because an empty, quiet stadium would send a louder message about the current state of the Cowboys.
For years we have said and written that the only way the fan can truly express his displeasure is to stop buying tickets. Now we know – even if they do stop, the opponent’s fans will buy them up and Jerry still makes a lot of money. 49ers fans like beer and margaritas too, and they had plenty of reasons to celebrate last Sunday.
The next home game is a Sunday night affair against the Saints in late September. Feel free to sell your tickets to the “Who dat nation.” If the Saints fans actually outnumber the Cowboys fans again, maybe we we’ll get Jerry’s attention. Oh, and if anyone has a Saints jersey I could borrow I would appreciate it. I may need it to get into the parking lot.