I realize there is a vocal minority of the Dallas Stars fan base who couldn't care less about the Dallas Cowboys. If you count yourself among that group this post likely isn't for you.
I am not a member of your ranks. I am solidly in the camp supporting the Cowboys, and I always will be because they hooked me from a young age. I was developing my sports bonds as the triplets won their three Super Bowls.
When I was ten years old I met Troy Aikman, Jason Garrett, Chris Boniol, and Brock Marion when they visited the hospital where I was receiving treatment. Early the next year I met Emmitt Smith. I dropped my autographed football across a protected area then watched him pick it up, sign it, and hand it back to me with a smile. Needless to say, they've made many deposits in the "buying Josh's loyalty" account over the years.
Then there's Jerry Jones. As I sat watching the Cowboys fight for a playoff spot without Tony Romo I felt nothing until the very last drive when I got a flicker of hope (which was predictably extinguished quickly thanks to Kyle Orton). I could take no joy from watching any of that game because there is very little hope for that franchise with Jerry in charge.
This isn't going to turn into one of those "Jerry the owner should fire Jerry the GM" type of diatribes because, really, what's the point? I generally like to stay in the realm of realistic possibilities. Which is why the Cowboys offer me little hope. They're a hopeless franchise run incompetently with hopelessly little chance of improving to the point that they can be considered a real contender.
The usual flood of complaints about the Cowboys is coming as we speak. It's the same drivel every year, but people will eat it up. The Cowboys can be mediocre with incompetent management, but they will always be the top story. DFW sports fans, and Cowboys fans in particular, are masochists.
The Cowboys predictable failure would have normally left me angry, but this time I was completely apathetic because I think it has finally sunk into my brain that hoping the Cowboys will be successful is just blind hope. There is no reason to realistically be hopeful. They have done precious little since Bill Parcells left to deserve hope.
Then there are the Stars.
The Stars have turned into a model NHL franchise. They appear to have competent ownership, management, and coaching. The Stars realistically could miss the playoffs this season, but how many of you would really be angry?
They have made so much progress in just the last six months that it would be almost impossible to be disappointed with them. The Tyler Seguin trade was a master stroke. The selection of Valeri Nichushkin was a breath of fresh air when it happened, and the Stars are already reaping the rewards. The system and structure brought in with the hiring of Lindy Ruff has made a huge difference in the on ice product.
What is there to complain about? The biggest complaint is probably either the demotion of Colton Sceviour, the Sergei Gonchar signing, or the Shawn Horcoff trade. Given the abundance of cap space the Stars possess and the lack of depth they had neither Horcoff or Gonchar are that big of a deal. I would like to see more of Sceviour, but is that really that big of a deal?
The Stars front office has finally shown me the light. For years Jerry Jones has gone for flashy move after flashy move. The Stars made two very flashy acquisitions this offseason, but both have worked out wonderfully thus far. The Stars had a coherent plan formulated by competent management which addressed numerous glaring issues without destroying the long term stability of the franchise. They have the ability to make several more acquisitions to push them over the hump when the opportunity arises. The same can't really be said for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys should take some notes from the Stars. It's possible to build a quality team in a salary cap world. It starts from a strong management base. The Stars management is as strong as any in the NHL while the Cowboys management is a laughing stock.
The Cowboys loss to the Eagles showed me how apathetic I have become about the Cowboys, and where those feelings come from is obvious. The game started with ten minutes left in the third period of the Stars/Blues game. The Stars, missing half of their opening night defensive corps, took a point away from the stacked Blues.
Normally I would have switched to the Cowboys game. I stuck with a Stars game in December over essentially a Cowboys playoff game because I at least had hope that the Stars could win the game. I had no such hope for the Cowboys, and I won't again until they can show something close to the level of competency displayed recently by the Stars.