I am not quite sure what the birth rate is for the virtual, pseudo-geographic region known as “Cowboy Nation” — and birth rate, in this case, refers to the newcomers who discover within themselves a burgeoning urge to root for blue and silver. Just the sheer numbers of upcoming generations (now speaking to birth rate in the traditional sense) add to the number of new Dallas fans who plunk down money for game tickets, parking fees, merchandise and premium television programming.
But, in speaking with friends and colleagues, as well as occasionally catching some of our local sports programming between home and the office, there also exists an apparent Cowboy fan-dome fatality rate. I am not (yet) one of those casualties, though I must admit to an ever-increasing urge to plan Sunday afternoon activities during football season, a major departure from what used to be a sure bet for a 3-hour couch reservation.
And the diversions have gotten much easier over the past few seasons. Catching a movie and dinner, cleaning/rearranging the garage or entertaining friends has given way to more mundane tasks like sorting socks and alphabetizing DVDs. I have yet to seek escape via a Sunday afternoon nap, but unless my mind gets right — and soon — it may well come to that.
The indications of the Cowboy-fan casualties pop up in places I hadn’t thought of, as well. In researching season records for the ‘Boys, I came across no less than three “independent” web sites created by individuals (as opposed to sports info conglomerates), who made a good start at chronicling the history of the Cowboys, but who had quit updating the site soon after the turn of the century.
As one who involuntarily crunches numbers (like trying to stop my leg when I hear blues playing), I lingered long enough at a fully-updated site to compute a couple of stats... just long enough to augment my depression. Since the Cowboys last Super Bowl appearance (current high school seniors had not yet impacted the birth rate), Dallas’ compiled record is 138-145 (.487 win percentage, 2-7 in postseason). In the same time span (the prior 18 years), the Cowboys were 169-111 (.603 win percentage, 18-9 in postseason). The further back you go, the better the numbers get — even if you include the six struggling, start-up years of the franchise.