Monday, December 04, 2006

Tales From the Dark Side: Six Weeks to Change the World

I like steadiness. Routine. Things you can count on.

Sunrises. The tides. Seasons. 527 groups tearing political opponents to shreds. You know, the constants of life on Planet Earth.

Things like the Pear-Shaped Football Genius being over-rated by the fawning media. The Cowboy O line blocking like a bunch of 10th-grade band geeks up against the Violent Offenders Support Group from Riker’s Island. TO Owens running his mouth while balls clang off his numb hands. The unfortunate soul playing QB for the Cowboys running for his life and encountering failure, in the form of sacks, bad passes, or interceptions, at every turn.

In the past six weeks, I’ve gone from security and predictability to a world of inconsistency, shaken beliefs, and doubt of all things billed as “unchangeable”.

The Cowboys are the best team in the NFC.

Six weeks ago, I was writing things like “El Disastro” about the Cowboys. The season was, I thought (hell, I was SURE), over. Finito. Beyond salvage. And I wasn’t alone.

Now, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the bunnies are eating carrots out of Bondo-Face’s hands, traffic is flowing more smoothly on the highways and byways of the DFW Metroplex of Love, Laura Miller’s voice is melodious rather than abrasive, JC Penney, TI, and EDS stocks are all up, Pizza Hut pizza is both delicious AND nutritious, and Arlington residents forced from their homes by the new Jerry-Dome are getting $1.05 on the dollar for their property.

Well, $1.01, at least. Let’s get a grip. It’s a shiny, happy time, but the Messiah hasn’t yet descended from Heaven.

How did this astounding turn of events come about?

Tony Romo became the Cowboy QB. That’s it. That’s the change. All good things have flowed from that move.

Goofy, big-eared, unheralded, hopelessly white, undrafted-out-of-1AA Tony Romo has changed the world. Whether he is truly the next Cowboy legendary QB, or if it comes down to (and I’m stealing this shamelessly from Sports Bob) Darth Vader looking him over and saying, “The Force is strong with this one”, no one can tell you for sure. But the change in Cowboy fortune can be attributed to nothing, and no one, else.

At a stroke, Parcells is again the Pear-Shaped Football Genius (with no irony) for keeping Romo around while jettisoning more-hyped hopefuls Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, and Drew Henson and forcing fans to endure retreads Vinny Testaverde, Ryan Leaf, and Drew Bledsoe (I really still love you, Drewzilla).

In the blink of an eye, Bondo-Face is again the football Rain-Man for ceding control to Parcells, and writing a big check to keep Romo in the fold.

All of a sudden, the Cowboy O line, which previously subscribed to the “block them using the air currents generated by us falling down” method of pass protection, is battle-hardened and looks to be playoff- (and, perhaps, championship-) ready.

In a flash, TO Owens’ cement hands and non-stop jabbering are merely an afterthought. Roy Williams’ cover skills are a big, fat NBD (that’s “No Big Deal”, btw). The 3-4 defense is a smashing success. JJones and MBIII are amicably splitting time in the backfield, both racking up career high numbers, and probably dating each others’ sisters. And the kicker? Who gives a crap about the kicker?

It all goes back to the guy who majored in typewriter maintenance at the Rocco Globbo School for Women. Isn’t it amazing how a little success can breed so much more success? There’s a lesson in here for all of us, but that’s a whole different post.

In the meanwhile, I will try to find my equilibrium. Perhaps the world will shift back to where it was not so long ago. But it doesn’t look like it. I think, instead, I will have to adjust my perception to fit the new reality.

Wish me luck.

BTW – it’s become very lonely here on the Dark Side. Even your emotions have an echo in so much space.

Sorry, now I’m channeling Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse. I better quit while I’m still making some sense.

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