by Ryan Meehan
I’m a little behind on this one, but it’s something that I feel needs to be addressed. Back on March 27th, (which seems like forever ago) the NFL announced who will be playing in their opening night game that will take place on Wednesday, September 5th.
The NFL now usually opens up their season on a Thursday night in early September. (This year it will be on a Wednesday as to not disrupt the presidential debate occurring the 6th) They have had a pretty good strategy as of late up until this point – They usually pit either the two previous Super Bowl winners up against each other, or some combination of two teams that were in the conference championship the year before. The team that is the most recent Super Bowl champion gets to host the matchup, and receives their rings and trophy. It makes for sort of a “picks up where it left off” mentality to it, and usually makes for high ratings and a great football game.
But just two weeks ago, the league announced that the opener would be the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants hosting…The Dallas Cowboys? Are you serious? That’s all that they could come up with? I thought for sure that it would be the Green Bay Packers. Why wouldn’t it be? They met in the playoffs last year IN GREEN BAY, and a lot of Packers feel that they didn’t get a good enough shot in that one, so what better way would they be able to prove themselves than to go into NYC opening night and give it their all?
I digress…let’s get to the real issue at hand here: Why are the Dallas Cowboys playing in this football game to begin with? Dallas didn’t even make the playoffs last year…they get to play opening night? This is just another example of how for some reason Jerry Jones gets everything that he wants despite his lack of recent success with his good ol’ boy football team. He HAS to be involved in every big NFL scenario, whether or not it’s best for the game or not.
And I think that’s precisely why I have such a problem with it. Sure, a large portion of it has to do with the fact that Jerry Jones represents everything that any working class sap like myself hates about America – A wealthy Texas businessman that owns a professional sports franchise who just spent upwards of a billion dollars to build a new stadium almost identical to its predecessor right across the fucking street. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t at least partially from where I draw my initial ire. But the idea that he ALWAYS thinks that the Cowboys involved in everything is great for the league pisses me off to no end. So let’s break down why they shouldn’t:
1) He’s Wrong, it’s not good for the league
It’s true that the Cowboys do have a lot of fans all over the world. That stated, I know a ton of people who aren’t Giants, Eagles, or Redskins fans that can’t stand them. They don’t want to see the Cowboys be successful for any of the reasons I’ve listed already or will continue to list here.
2) The Cowboys suck rhino taint at the moment
Let’s face it, Tony Romo is not nearly as good as everyone has made him out to be. He has a bad offensive line right now, and I’ll give you the fact that he can take a hit but he still makes some incredibly stupid throws and yet for some reason gets lumped in all of these top ten and top five lists like he’s an elite quarterback. He plays with no fire whatsoever and although most people chalk it up to him remaining calm under pressure, you’d see a lot more energy out of Quincy Carter if you stole his crackpipe.
3) I can name at least twelve teams that are better and more interesting than the Cowboys right now
So, they’re playing the Giants who are the defending Super Bowl Champs, so I’m willing to take them out of the race and give the other side of the argument the benefit of the doubt. That STILL leaves…
1) New England Patriots
2) Green Bay Packers
3) San Francisco 49ers
4) Atlanta Falcons
5) New Orleans Saints
6) Pittsburgh Steelers
7) Baltimore Ravens (albeit sliding off of this list at lightning speed, something that their aging defense is slowly running out of)
8) Houston Texans
9) Detroit Lions
10) Philadelphia Eagles
11) Cincinnati Bengals
12) Denver Broncos
Now even though I gave you the Giants, that’s twelve teams that are clearly more deserving of playing in this game than the Cowboys are. And as you well know, that’s also coincidentally the exact number of teams that qualify for the NFL playoffs each year WHICH THE COWBOYS OF COURSE DID NOT. Just to further prove my point, I’ll go ahead and name two more teams that although would not be more deserving of the spot but might be more fun to watch fall apart:
13) The Chicago Bears (because who doesn’t love to watch them fall apart?)
14) The New York Jets (for the same reason)
4) A bigger market doesn’t traditionally guarantee bigger games
I’ve been a Giants fan my whole life and being the more popular of two teams in the largest market in the country certainly hasn’t exactly helped our chances when it comes to being showcased in season openers. This is only the second time that we’ve ever hosted an NFL season opener, the only other time was in 2008 when we beat the Redskins 16-7. I’d also like to take a little bit of space here to bring up the fact that Washington had absolutely no business playing in that game either. The size of the city and/or the fan base should have no bearing on which game will be the best for the fans to watch.
I could continue to go on for several hours on why the Cowboys should not be there opening night, but I think I’ve made my point. I’m a bit of a slurper when it comes to the league and protecting the shield, because I want a good product to watch. When the Cowboys are doing well, it’s good to see them on television because it’s broadcasting good football. But the reality is, as of late they’re not helping the product become better, yet still sucking up all of the airtime. It’s damaging to the NFL because it shows that if you have enough money you can just buy a spot in primetime even though your team blows.
So I would like to know what you (the reader) thinks. I’d love to see some sort of an educated discussion about this. Please post as many comments as possible and I look forward to reading them.
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