Texas Stadium, the 39-year old former home of the Dallas Cowboys, was imploded this morning, April 11, 2010, at 7 am. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, its impending demise has been on the news a lot, and hearing all the reports has made me think about the time I spent in the stadium.
I have a lot of good, even wonderful, memories of Texas Stadium, and I’m feeling surprisingly affected by the fact that it’s no longer part of the view from Irving roadways. Here are some of my favorite Texas Stadium memories.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers, November 14, 1999. I was living in Florida in 1999, and took a vacation to Texas to go to a Dallas Cowboys football game. My first view of the stadium was on the way to my hotel in the taxi; the driver casually said “there’s the stadium” as we drove by.
Although I had seen the stadium on television countless times, I have to admit that my thought on seeing it in person the first time was to wonder if it was under construction! Maybe in 1971, when it was new, Texas Stadium was a good-looking place, but in 1999, even to a big Cowboys fan, it was ugly.
But going into the stadium, watching my first game there, and having the Cowboys beat the Packers 27-13 (without Airman, Smith, and Irvin, much to my disappointment), it didn’t matter what the stadium really looked like. It felt like heaven.
Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin inducted into the Ring of Honor, September 19, 2005. What an amazing day this was, seeing the ‘triplets,’ plus a slew of other really big names in Cowboys history, the ceremony at half time, and the reveal of their names in the ring. More heaven for Dallas Cowboys fans young and old.
Seeing favorite former players like Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Randy White, Aikman, Smith, Irvin, Jay Novacek, and Darryl Johnston. At various games through the years, these former players, and favorites of mine, were at the stadium. It always gave me chills to see them.
Thanksgiving Day games. My first Thanksgiving Day game I was in a seat that got to take part in the halftime show. We had colored cards that we held up and moved according to instructions. Having seen these elaborate shows on television from Florida for years, to actually be a part of it was yet another little piece of heaven for me.
Souvenir cups. I must have 50 souvenir cups. Each year I’d collect as many as I could, both from my drinks, and from those left behind by others. I never use them, but they do bring back a lot of memories.
Yelling in unison with 60,000+ other people. There’s just nothing like live football; about cheering at the same time as thousands of other people, and, unfortunately, gasping, moaning, and even crying with them, too, when it was called for.
Watching Cowboys fans heckle fans from the other team on the walk to the stadium. Fans in opposing teams’ jerseys are fair game as they walk through the parking lot full of tailgating home-team fans. Because it was, for the most part, good-natured, it always made me laugh watching the back-and-forth. After a win, it was even more fun as they walked back to the parking lot.
In my years as a Dallas Cowboys season ticket holder in Texas Stadium, I have a lot of games’ worth of memories. As I think of one, another comes to mind. The stadium may be gone, but as a friend of mine recently told me, I’ll “always have the Cowboys.”
Texas Stadium, thanks for the memories.