The Plate: Former Dallas Cowboys fan tells it all

I used to be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

I really did: I was born in New England and came into the NFL consciousness in the mid-1970s. The six-year-old version of me clung to Team USA. Maybe it was the shining star. Maybe it was the pretty cheerleaders. I was a Roger Staubach fan. I freaked out when Jackie Smith dropped the TD pass in the Super Bowl. I cried over the futility of Danny White. I hate The Catch. I revealed it in the Jimmy Johnson revival, and actually lived in Texas for all three Super Bowls in four years. I suffered in the late 90’s.

But I’m not very supportive of Dallas anymore. Part of it is being a columnist; It’s getting harder and harder to choose sides. But part of it is the 2006 edition of the team. It’s officially insufferable.

I like Bill Parcells. Obviously, I didn’t like him when he was coaching the Giants, but he respected him. When I was coaching the Patriots, my favorite AFC team, I loved it. And when Dallas announced that they had hired him, I thought: finally. But Parcells falters. At every press conference, and on the sidelines during every game, he can watch his career flash before his eyes. He’s had enough of this batch of misfits, and who can blame him?

I’ve dedicated enough pixel dust in this space to Terrell Owens. He is the poster child for what is wrong with American professional sports. But there’s also the idiot kicker, Mike “Earring” Vanderjagt. There’s Drew Bledsoe, who seems like a classy guy, but it’s excruciatingly painful to watch him play quarterback. There’s an owner whose liposuctioned face resembles a crypt keeper, and who insists on playing the role of general manager, despite an unquestionable record of utter failure in the role. Heck, on this team, terminal grouser Terry Glenn seems like a nice guy. They strut around defense like they’re good (they’re not), and bicker on the sidelines like a repeat of COPS.

This is an unbearable group of people to root for. They dominate the headlines with no-nonsense nonsense (most of which, I agree, revolves around Owens, aka World’s Worst Guy). They act like idiots when they win and they act like idiots when they lose. The milk has curdled. The pudding has gone bad.

And here’s something I never thought I’d say: I don’t really like the Cowboys anymore.

How have bets been on the World Series? Were you mostly pro-Tigers before the Series started? Has that changed as we’ve progressed, and have the Cardinals made it clear they’re not to be taken lightly?

BoDog Bookmakers, The Tigers haven’t been as favored as people think so far in the postseason. With a first-round matchup against the Yankees, Detroit wasn’t getting much respect, and the more they won, the more the public thought the Yankees were a safe bet. Then they faced a very solid looking Oakland side where the action was mixed on both sides depending on who was taking the mound. After a sweep there, punters began to take notice of Detroit’s talented lineup. In Game 1 of the World Series, we saw most of the money come in Detroit, which at the time had posted seven straight postseason wins. But the Cardinals made a statement with a 7-2 victory. In the past two meetings, two aces have taken the mound: Rogers in Game 2 and Carpenter in Game 3. The action in these instances was a bit more intense depending on the star pitchers. The Cardinals look very comfortable in the postseason and have had a lot of practice in recent years. It’s pretty clear with a 2-1 lead that they’re making a run for it to end this on their home turf.

What a crazy, loser-strewn Week 7 in the NFL: By my count, eight ‘dogs posted outright wins. This is obviously unprecedented, but I guess this was a pretty good week for the books. Would you mind telling us which games were the worst hits for the betting public?

BDB, It was a good week for the books with a handful of big surprises. Tampa Bay’s miraculous victory over Philadelphia, Oakland routing an Arizona team that challenged the Bears, and Kansas City not folding at home to San Diego were three of the biggest successes for the betting public.

The NBA opens on October 31 (how macabre!). Right here, right now: Give us your NBA finalists and tell us why.

BDB, Cleveland and Phoenix. Cleveland because the NBA needs it; LeBron proved last year that the team has playoff potential. If he can now get the team to the Finals, the NBA can use history to try to get the league back to Jordan’s glory days. Phoenix because San Antonio is too boring, and if Detroit makes it in the East, at least we won’t have to nap in the NBA Finals again.

What do you think of the NFL’s decision to hold two regular season games a year on international soil? Do you think it will negatively affect the participating teams? Do you think it will do anything in particular to betting?

BDB, It seems strange that the NFL is international in two regular season games. The pre-season is understandable, but this could definitely put a little more fatigue on the participating teams. Flying to, say, Japan in the middle of the week and returning to the US on Monday morning to prepare for the week ahead will definitely not be as easy as a two to three hour flight between states. This shouldn’t have too much of an impact on betting, as long as the games get the same TV coverage. Hey, who are we to question one of the most successful leagues in the world?

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