The NFL season has started, and last night in a nationally televised game, my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, lost 13-7 in spectacularly indignant fashion to the lowly Washington Redskins, insofar as (a) the only touchdown the Redskins scored was a defensive touchdown from a fluke fumble recovery on a first-half-ending play Dallas never should have called; and (b) the final play of the game, a come-from-behind go-ahead touchdown after Tony Romo led an 80-yard drive with under two minute to play, was negated by the referees by a bone-headed holding penalty by the (I hope) soon-to-be-unemployed right tackle Alex Barron. This is important because it has robbed me of a chance to gloat.
I grew up with Tom Landry and the Cowboys. And I hated the Washington Redskins more than any other team– well, maybe Green Bay was in there somewhere because of the Ice Bowl but we did not play them too often. Even with all the changes since then (and both teams have coaches I like), I still have a visceral need to watch Dallas beat Washington.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we seldom get Cowboy games except when they are nationally televised. I was really looking forward to the game last night.
So, it was tough to watch that game last night, not least because it was so boring for most of it. Great games are like great stories – with ebb and flow and wonderful narratives.
Last night’s game looks like it was written by some penny a word hack, not a master storyteller. And most of the hackery dealt with Dallas. Let’s have Dallas fumble with 4 seconds left in the first half, leading to Washington’s only touchdown. But then have Washington do pretty much nothing the second half?
I actually got so bored with the game that I put it on the DVR and watched reruns of America’s Funniest Videos with my wife – who does not think that it is really American to have pro football games on Sunday evenings, just as I feel that Thursday games are some sort of plot. I did not watch the rest of the game until later.
Thank goodness because I could then skip the boring parts, which was most of the game. Only the end was riveting until that final ‘twist’.
Let’s have Dallas move down the field for a game winning touchdown and have it negated by a stupid holding call. (read this nice CBS sports article about how Orakpo had been running wild against the Dallas line the while game, beating up on Barron at every chance.)
It was like watching a Resident Evil movie. No, check that. The Resident Evil movies are much more entertaining than that game last night. Maybe closer to Aliens vs. Predators.
What kind of narrative is this to start a season? Luckily for me my adopted team, the Seahawks, had a wonderful game to start what I hope will be an exciting season.
And the team from my old hometown, the Houston Texans, beat the Colts. Another nice game with a wonderful narrative.