GREEN BAY, WI – Football and MTM fans will be glued to their television sets across this great country today in anticipation of the 1:00 p.m. Divisional Round game of the NFL Playoffs. Why so? Well, because the most polarizing squad in all of team sports, the Dallas Cowboys (a.k.a. America’s Team), will trot out onto to the Frozen Tundra in America’s Dairyland against the universally liked, Green Bay Packers.
The winner gets a chance to play in the NFC Championship game – and many hope it’s The Pack. Add to that contingent bitter New York Giants fans will be salivating for a Packers blowout victory, since their own team has been swept by their NFC East division rivals in each of the last two seasons and Big Blew must see the most improbable of Dallas teams in the playoffs which – the Giants themselves have missed for four years and counting. In even the most disappointing of Cowboys seasons, it’s always nice to beat the Giants and even funnier when the New Jersey Governor is schmoozing with Jerry Jones in the owner’s suite for games. Word has it Chris Christie and son will be traveling on the politician’s own dime for the game and wearing an orange sweater – now synonymous with Cowboys victories. SIDE NOTE: I haven’t seen that much orange since the Cross Bronx Expressway was under repair.
For myself, Grinding Ax Walter Hynes and the legions of Cowboys fans, we are playing with house money since most football pundits (and objective Dallas supporters) saw this team among the worst in the league primarily based upon a statistically awful 2013 defense and the departure and injury to the top defenders. But here we are in Green Bay for a playoff game for the first time since the classic Ice Bowl in ’67. It was a game my brother and other family would tell me about since I was sh!tting my diapers (insert Tony Romo joke here) and spitting up (insert Danny White joke here) formula as a five-month old. A member of that Doomsday Defense was Jethro Pugh, who passed away this week and with a little luck from the heavens – maybe that game gets buried with #75. In those days the Cowboys were 1a next to The Packers 1 and couldn’t make the one play the opposition always seemed to make.
Dallas fortunes turned in the playoff series starting in 1983, when during the strike-shortened season, Lynn Dickey put a scare into America’s Team by carving up the Cowboys defense but still fell short. Then the “Triplets Era” gave birth to three consecutive playoff games (94-96), with the Cowboys prevailing in all three against the Brett Favre Packers. A good thing those games were played in Irving, TX, since the mystique of going to Lambeau Field and winning a playoff game was unheard until Mike Vick (of all QB’s!) and his Falcons rearranged history, starting in 2003.
Since that time, other names and teams to beat the Packers in their own backyard include Daunte Culpepper (Vikings), Eli Manning 2x Giants), and Colin Kaepernick (49ers). Tony Romo is as good – if not better – than the lot of ’em and if DeMarco Murray and all that beef up front can do their jobs maybe, just maybe, the ‘Boys pull off the upset. History shows it can be done.
Come back tomorrow for a man that never soils his undies, West Coast Craig.