The first time that I saw the Dallas Cowboys in person was in 2006. It was a very merry day as it was actually Christmas Day 2006. America's Team was playing host to a Jeff Garcia-led Eagles team as Tony Romo was in the middle of his break-out season.
My dad and I anxiously made way to our seats and snapped some photos. We took in the sights from the stadium and just let all of the magic wash over us. We were in heaven.
Pretty soon the team had run out of the tunnel and it was about time to get things started. As is tradition for any major sporting event in America, the National Anthem had to be sung. I was expecting Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, or someone like that to trot out… but low and behold it was three Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!
I was completely in awe of the whole experience. The pomp and circumstance was really getting to me. When they hit the line, “and the rockets' red glare,” I knew I had to do something. I couldn't contain this energy any longer. I formulated a plan and prepared to execute it.
You know how in a usual National Anthem the singer(s) hold the last note after they sing, “O'er the land of the freeeeeeee“? That was my moment. Right when the cheerleaders held the note I just erupted this roar from deep within my soul: “YEAAAAA!!!!!!!”
My dad jumped as he, despite everything he told me growing up, can't read my mind and had no idea that I was going to do that. What was amazing though was the entire stadium erupted as well! I lit a match and threw it into an ocean of kerosene!
It was a really cool experience (despite the Cowboys loss that day) and it was something really bold I tried that worked. I started to make it a tradition at different sporting events that I went to after that. My booming “YEA!” became familiar at more Cowboys games and I even launched the initiative in Michigan when I did it during a Detroit Pistons game at the Palace of Auburn Hills. It was my “thing.”
I'd had some success, if you'll call it that, with roaring during the National Anthem. Being bold was paying off. A few summers after the initial roar my dad, cousins, uncle, and I were headed to a Houston Astros game. Keep in mind that at this point I'd successfully roared and ignited different crowds so I was pretty excited for it. The Anthem got going and I was just counting down the measures of the song until my big moment. With the confidence from my previous experiences I had somehow gained volume and was about to break the sound barrier.
“O'er the land of the freeeeeeee”
Crickets. Complete and total silence. Not a single audible response from anyone in the crowd. Everyone turned around and stared at me like I said puppies were ugly. It was mortifying.
Lesson learned: baseball is not the environment to roar. Now I know better. I was bold and it didn't work out.
This is no baseball game so I hope you're ready to roar with me as I give you my 5 Bold Predictions for Part Two of the 2015 Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles Rivalry. Let's roll.
1. Lucky Whitehead Rushes For A Touchdown
The Cowboys got really creative with Lucky Whitehead two weeks ago in New York. They didn't channel those play calls as much in last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but it's hard to ignore that Lucky is a very fast and shifty player.
#13 seems to have absorbed some of the looks that Lance Dunbar was seeing thanks to his ability to cut like him. Look for Lucky to show off his gridiron dance moves on a reverse as he gets in the endzone for the first time in his career.
2. Dez Bryant Goes Over 100 Yards And Catches 2 Touchdowns
This isn't exactly bold when you consider that Dez Bryant is arguably the best receiver on this entire planet (I'm in the middle of reading Andy Weir's The Martian so soon I'll be able to confirm that he's the best on Mars, too). Cowboys fans haven't really seen Dez Bryant this season as he was injured all the way back in Week 1 and didn't totally shine in his return last week against the Seahawks.
Dez is a very passionate player who has a certain, no pun intended here, X-Factor that others simply don't. He's capable of willing himself past the point of mere mortals and he's going to do that against the Eagles. He knows how important this game is and how much of it is riding on the hands that cradle Dallas Bryant. He's going to show up and take over this game in typical Throw Up The X fashion.
3. DeMarco Murray Doesn't Top 25 Yards
If you do it twice it's a tradition, right? I referenced my 5 Bold Predictions from when the Cowboys played the Eagles back in Week 2 earlier. One of the bad boys that came to fruition was this exact prediction… except I said he wouldn't break 50 yards. I figured I'd do the environment a favor and recycle whenever I can, you know? I just had to make some extra spice so I cut the yardage in half.
DeMarco will be making his return to Dallas for the first time since signing his long-term smoothie contract with Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. He had one of the worst games of his career against the Cowboys in Week 2 and that was against a defense that didn't feature the likes of Greg Hardy or Rolando McClain.
76 + 55 = 131 and 2+9 = 31 so the math says that Hardy and McClain are going to be 100 times better than DeMarco. You can't argue with math!
4. The Dallas Cowboys Will Not Trail At All
Amidst scrutiny from the outside world the Dallas Cowboys Defense is ballin', yo. They've allowed opposing offenses to 13 points in each of the last two weeks against the Giants and Seahawks and now they get to face the Eagles. That's like saying we hit a half court shot, then a three-pointer, and now we get a lay-up. Nothing but net, baby.
Matt Cassel hasn't lit the world on fire, I know, but he's playing with a lot of passion. At a certain point that's got to start working in our favor or at the very least luck does. Cassel has had a chance to practice more with Dez and the offense as a whole has had one less distraction after the release of Joseph Randle. They're going to do their job as the defense continues to do theirs and the Cowboys will not trail for a single second throughout this game.
5. Mark Sanchez Will Replace Sam Bradford
It doesn't take the most keen football eye to know that Sam Bradford might need to do something else for a living. He's good at football the same way that Krispy Kreme donuts are good at not being delicious.
Bradford's been a rollercoaster ride all season long for the Chip Kelly loyalists, I mean Philadelphia Eagle fans, and the ride is coming to an end on Sunday Night. At some point the Eagles will see what the rest of the world sees and turn, sadly, to Mark Sanchez.