Z-Mail: Cowboys fans sound off and what life's like without ol' Redhead
Readers share opinions regarding Cowboys' 20th ranking
With the Redhead on vacation in Venice, Z paints his milieu
Would Vince Young or Derek Anderson be a good fit in Seattle?
What is it about the Cowboys that seems to capture so many people's fancy? Capture so many fancy people? Fancy capturing so many people! I mean, is it the arrival of rodeo season or what? Personally I find it kind of a rich boys' team with an apathetic fan base.
I mean, I've gone through the stands there, as a sociological project, to find out how many working people attend their games. Doing the research wasn't easy. I'd stop and ask a person, "Do you work?" wouldn't get a reply and would move on to someone else. Actually, I got one response. I asked this gentleman, "Do you work?" and without looking at me he said, "I'll call Security." This puzzled me because I am not familiar with the gentleman he named. At any rate, sociology is not a meaningful study in Texas Stadium.
But here it is! You bet. Just listen to these folks all stirred up about the Cowboys. Bob from Las Vegas: "Let's get the Cowboys rated for what they are, 20th or lower, not 9th. Be fair." We call him, " Bob One Week Behind."
Benton from Fort Worth: "Hate to break it to you but the Cowboys need to be at No. 10. You know they are a much better team that lost far too many players to actually look at this as the same team." Wow, what a sentence! Came equipped with two traveling bags and a steamer trunk. My view: Cowboys deserve not ten be until maybe in season other part straightens out things and then see we will.
Here's one from James Stewart, "No city given." Hollywood maybe? Or maybe Pottersville. Wasn't that the bad name they gave his town in It's a Wonderful Life? No City James tells a poignant tale about how, as a 16-year old in Killeen, Texas, he watched the Cards slaughter his Cowboys, 38-0. And then and there declared his allegiance to this woebegone team. And now thinks I've ranked them too high. He feels that 24th would be the correct spot.
Tell ya what, James. I'm gonna make you my E-mailer of the Week, just for the kibbitz of it, or maybe I have to since I used your last name already. Or maybe it's because that game brought back so many happy memories...of Dandy Don Meredith, one of ABC's Cosell Gang doing the game, and how, as a former Cowboy, he was practically in tears. Oh, I was loving it, as America's Team got it right where Nellie wears the beads. And every time Dandy came up with one of his mournful, "Folks, I just don't know what to say," I let go with this tremendous Bronx cheer, PHHHTTT! Until my ex-wife finally came in to see what all the noise was about. "Are you crazy?" she said, a question I still have trouble dealing with.
Gosh, I'm having such a good time doing this Mailbag that I simply must turn to a mournful dirge of a letter submitted by Bret of London, who has "always had the sense that you do not enjoy doing the Power Rankings." And then he set up this gloomy scene involving a whip-cracking editor looking over my shoulder and "threatening to have you replaced with a young hot-shot J-School grad fresh out of Columbia."
Bret, I'm going to tell you something about yourself that will amaze my readers. You, yourself, are a graduate of that fine institution, are you not? Nobody outside those hollowed walls of ivory calls the Journalism School the J-School unless he went there. I did. So did everybody else. Admit it, I have flushed you out, right?
Now to answer your (tee-hee) question. I enjoy doing the Mailbag, as long as they don't cut off my quota of risqué woids I can use. Editors don't come around here because the house is booby trapped. It's been at least three weeks since anyone threatened to fire me. Now that the Redhead is in Venezia, the only audience available, to take in the sight of my labors, is Little Jake, the feral tabby. Speaking of Jake, about an hour ago she brought in the remains of a mouse, or being in the country, perhaps it was a mole or a vole -- or a roll. You couldn't tell. That's how much she had savaged it. She is, after all, feral, and you don't want to mess with their hunting instincts.
La Flamboyante Rousse is not present, but you should see what SHE brings into the house. Just kidding, honey, wherever you are. I didn't mean it. Just working the crowd for laughs. When present, she is perched nearby while I write, that's the Redhead, not Jake, occasionally dropping over to check the nonsense and offer salient points. So anyway, Bret old sport, does that answer your, ahem, question?
"You are one crafty old dog, Z," is the lead sentence from Jonathan of Maysville, Ky., who has me terrified because I feel an IRS audit coming on. No? Whew, that was close. I mean what the hell else do they do in Maysville except audit people? Well, to summarize the long yarn he has spun, he's a Browns fan and detects considerable animosity toward this team from your faithful narrator. But then, low and behind, what happens last week when they lose to the Ravens? For some odd, quirky reason I raise them a notch. Why? Pourquoi? Por que?
"Because, that's why." I used to fly into an uncontrollable rage when, as a child, I would receive that answer from an adult. I take it back, Jon. Fins! Fingers crossed. I had them at 24th and had gotten blistered for ranking them so low. I felt bad about it. Then the Ravens beat them. So I raised the Ravens two spots. But what to do about poor Cleveland? Ready to take the descent into the maelstrom was Jacksonville, whom I had way too high to begin with, who had just lost to winless Cincy, and earlier in the year had lost to Cleveland. Jacksonville was going to pay dearly, and I already had assigned a slot below the Browns, wherever that might fall.
The Rams were another team that went into the weekend ahead of the Browns, and they got trashed by Arizona. So they were destined for something below Cleveland. Add to that the usual denizens of darkness and you've got the Browns, slowly rising like a bubble in the bathtub. No, there was no crafty, ulterior motive involved. It was just the way it worked out.