Thursday, October 22, 2009

A New Day...and new Gear.

It may be whistling past the graveyard a bit, but I think it's safe to say that everyone feels a little better about the Cowboys than they did at the end of regulation of the Kansas City game. Consider that since that moment, the following has occurred:

1. Miles Austin's dramatic catch and run to win the game in overtime (even if it shouldn't have been that close)
2. Keith Brooking's emergence as a REAL leader on this team.
3. Williams, Barber, Jones and Sensabaugh have all had extra time to heal and should be ready to play on Sunday.
4. Every team in teh NFC East suffered an embarassing loss last Sunday.
5. Austin named the starter opposite Williams and Crayton moved back to his more natural 3rd receiver spot.
6. Wade Phillips fired and replaced by...wait a minute, did that happen or was I dreaming?

Anyway, in honor of the above (real) occurrences, I'm making a pretty important change myself. For the last couple of years, I've been sporting the throwback "Replica" Romo jersey on gameday for the last couple of years. This season I traded up for a "Premier" white Romo jersey. I think we can all acknowledge that that has not worked out as we hoped it might.

So, meet the newest member of the Cowboys might say its the crown new AUTHENTIC blue Jason Witten jersey:

Sorry new Romo replica jersey. I hardly new ya. Sometimes, drastic times call for drastic measures. I know this will make all the difference. Playoffs here we come.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Doesn't this issue continue to be one of the biggest problems with the Cowboys? It is for me and I see three main culprits here: the coaches, TO and Romo.

First, TO's gone so he can't really be blamed for this year's woes, but he did mentor many of these players with his "it's never my fault" attitude for the last three years. It rubbed off.

Second, I'll give credit to Romo for getting a little better this season (see his comments following the Giants and Broncos debacles), but ultimately his laissez-faire, hat-backwards, question-the-premise-of-every-question-asked-of-him, sulking on-the-bench-with-his-arms-crossed-when-things-going-wrong attitude gives off a sort of Generation Y, entitled, punk teenager vibe that rubs me the wrong way. And I consider myself a huge Romo fan (e.g., I own two Romo jerseys myself and one for the DC Kids).

What really gets my goat, though, is the way Phillips and his staff avoid accountability and making hard decisions. There are several examples, but one great one was the whole Scandrick/Jenkins swapping off starting each game thing, which seemed to make no sense except for making sure someone's feelings didn't get hurt. Now, I ask you, is that any way to run a football team? Seriously!? The answer is "No", by the way, but why do I know this and these PROFESSIONAL (as in getting paid to do this) NFL FOOTBALL COACHES don't. Now, they have replaced Patrick Crayton with Mile Austin in the starting line-up (a good thing on several levels), but they won't pull Crayton aside and tell him that he's been replaced, much less why they are making the decision. He found out in practice when they told Miles to go in with the 1st team. Why? Sounds like Jerry's saying not announcing it might give some advantage against the Falcons. This is not only stupid but beside the point when it comes to telling the player. I think it's because Phillips and the staff didn't want to hurt Crayton's feelings by publicly saying he's going to be demoted to the 3rd spot. Phillips inferred as much when he said post-KC that he wouldn't confirm that Austin was starting but he would confirm that he would play as much as he did as a starter in the KC game. Geez. Just ridiculous.

Leadership, attitude, and accountability start at the top. Phillips seems to offer very little.

The Politics of Football

Sooooooo....I guess it's time for something new, huh? Well, I read this exerpt from Chuck Klosterman's new book and and it seemed worthy enough to get things kicked off again, particularly this part:

My wife is awesome, but she hates football (as wives are wont to do). Every game seems the same to her. I will be watching a contest between Kent State and Eastern Michigan on a random Thursday night, and she will say, "Go ahead and watch that game. I will just sit here and read this magazine featuring a plus-sized black female TV personality from Chicago." Two days later, Georgia will be playing LSU for the SEC championship. Now she will want to rent Scenes from a Marriage. "You want to watch football again?" she will ask. "Didn't you already watch football on Thursday?" Every game seems the same to her. And I can't explain the difference, even though the differences feel so obvious. And I don't want to explain the difference, because I always want to watch Kent State and Eastern Michigan, too. They are as different to me as they are similar to her.

Before I get in trouble, let me say that my wife does NOT hate football and does understand the difference between a Kent State/Eastern Michigan game and the LSU/Georgia game (particularly since I am also a lifelong LSU fan). Nevertheless, I think she can empathize with Klosterman's wife in this situation.

BTW, Klosterman is a sort of "pop-culture" writer who is also a huge sports fan and likes to dip his toes in those waters every once in awhile. The rest is here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Marriage Proposal, Disney Style

For all the chicks. BTW, DC Mom would have killed me if I did this:

Poor Customer Service from American Airlines

We recently returned from a great trip to Napa and Sonoma, California. There is much to tell about the trip, but before I get to that, I wanted take a moment to let everyone know about a poor customer service experience we had with American Airlines. The long and short of it is that American Airlines lost one of our checked bags on the way back. Now, I know this isn't that out of the ordinary for any airline, but since we now have to pay a $15 checked bag fee and we checked the bag more than two hours before our flight took off, we thought it would be fair to ask for a refund of the baggage fee. We received an email, which I have posted below, in response to our request. I have two issues with this email: (1) the writer's failure to admit a mistake occurred, much less actually apologize for the mistake and (2) the writer's ridiculous assertion that paying for a service should bear no relationship with a service provider actually doing the service I paid for well. Here's the the email:

June 30, 2009

I know it was a disappointment not to receive your luggage in a timely manner when you returned from your trip. However, since you were "home" and ultimately had access to your necessities, we must respectfully decline to provide compensation or to cover the cost of consequential expenses. This is a standard policy and we believe it to be reasonable.

Under the circumstances, we can certainly appreciate your point about the baggage fee you paid. However, we must respectfully decline to refund the fee. The baggage fee you paid was assessed to transport your belongings as specified under our baggage allowance policy. At the same time, while we do our very best to ensure your baggage arrives when you do, we do not make this absolute guarantee. Accordingly, while we understand your perspective, the issue of the baggage fee and the delayed arrival of your baggage are two completely separate matters.

Most importantly, we will continue to find ways to prevent baggage mishandling altogether. We know how it important it is for our customers to have their belongings arrive at their destination when they do. Please give us another opportunity to serve you better.


Kay Farmer
Customer Relations
American Airlines

And here is my response:

Ms. Kay Farmer:

I am in receipt of your email titled "R2009/06-35414-00300-001-00" in which you declined my request for a refund of the $15 baggage fee for my bag that arrived a day after I did in Dallas.

However disengenous I think it is too assert that the baggage fee I paid and AA's failure to timely deliver my a bag are two separate matters, I am not surprised, unfortunately, by your response. Though I haven't read your baggage allowance policy, my guess is that American Airlines is well within its rights to deny my request for a refund of the baggage fee.

Nevertheless, let me just say that your email and AA's response reflects appalling customer service. The truth of the matter is, AA made a mistake. My bag was checked more than two hours before my flight. I box my wife checked at the exact same time made it to Dallas on time. The fee itself insures that fewer bags are checked these days, a fact that was clear to me as a watched a total of 20-25 bags come off the flight at baggage claim. Instead of an apology and a refund, which I continue to believe is a fairly reasonable request, I only received your email denying the request for a refund and failing to apologize or even admit AA made a mistake.

My only recourse, then, is to tell everyone I know about my customer service experience with AA. I've posted your email and this response at my blog at - cross-posted to my facebook and Twitter accounts.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Battle of the Bands

I'm a recent convert to guitar-like video game playing, mostly spurred on by our firm's upcoming Battle of Bands party for the summer recruits. I must admit, I've been spending significant amount of time at home practicing to get ready for it. I like it a lot because it feeds my long-held desire to learn how to play the guitar, but without, you know, the work. I've sort of taken over, as I tend to do, a lot of the logistics of the party, including finding (HT: DC Mom) a cool new venue where we will perform on a stage with lighting and the whole deal. I'm pumped about it, but I fear my hightened involvement has given the impression that I'm good at this. I'm not.

Above is a picture of me trying out the ax on stage when we went to preview the place. I know, I know...I missed my calling.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Cavs Win, Cavs Win"

I'll have more substantive thoughts later, but just to tide folks over, check out this clip from a Cleveland station on the night Lebron hit that amazing three pointer. Apparently, they were winding up the show just as the game was ending:

That guy is awesome. H/T DMN Sports Media Blog.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wet 'n Wild

We took an "in-town vacation" yesterday to the Great Wolf Lodge (pictured on the left) in Grapevine, Texas. Basically, we're talking about a kid-friendly resort hotel with a huge indoor water park. I wasn't sure what to expect, exactly, but I have to say I was pretty impressed. They've definitely got the system worked out well, for example, when you check in, they give you a bracelet that identifies you and your children, works as a key to get you in your room, gives you access to the water park, and can be "read" at any of the restaurants or snack bars to get food Speaking of food, I expected pretty average, but was actually impressed with the quality. I had a great portabello, spinach, tomato and mozzarella "burger" for dinner.

We were there a total of about 23 hours--approximately 6 of those were spent in the waterpark (pictured right). DC Mom and I spent most of that time just trying to prevent the DC Kids from drowning (successfully, fortunately), but they were oblivious to the danger. A fantastic time was had by all.

Ellis on the Block

Talking about Greg Ellis these days is a lot like the conversations everyone had about Dave Campo while he was Coach. First, everyone has got to give an obligatory "He really seems like a decent guy," before they rip him. So consider that said here, but I'm not going to be that broken hearted if the Cowboys let him go...especially if they can get anything back in return. I'm not saying he'll be easy to replace, he won't (hello Anthony Spencer), but his act has gotten really stale.

And, truthfully, I don't think Ellis has taken as much heat as a lot of other athletes do when they act like a complete and total crybaby over their contract. Anyone else acts like him over the last few years (see TO) and they get ripped a lot harder. Add to his annual contract complaining the interviews he gave just after the TO release which just fed the fire, and I've really started to think the team might be better without him. I hate it when people hold the money athletes make against them, but in this case, I think its a good counterpoint to Ellis. This guy is a millionaire many, many times over and all I ever hear him do is complain about the money he makes. And he's very good, there's no doubt. He's a guy you can win with and I would love for him to finish his career as a Cowboy (assuming he would cool it on the complaining). But he's never been a special player in the same way, say, Ware is a special player. He's not a guy you expect opposing offenses to gameplan for. He's been to the Pro Bowl once in 12 seasons, and that year (2007) he was a replacement added just before the game. I don't have all of the salary numbers at my fingertips, but I imagine there's a better-than-decent argument that his been paid right in line with his skill level.

Most of all, after the last two frustrating seasons, I'm just sick of the drama and ready for the Cowboys to get rid of the drama and the complainers. Anybody (who can play and) wants to cut the crap, focus on football and help this team win another title, please step forward. Everyone else, including Ellis and his complaints, can take the first flight out of town for all I care.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Va-ca-tion Tiiiiiiiime

The DC Family and I are taking a few days off around the Memorial Day Weekend. Now, don't worry. That doesn't mean I'll stop blogging....just that it might occur a little more intermittantly. In the meantime...does anyone have anything to say about Kris Allen's win. I feel like my prediction got on the record. Kris definitely benefited from the Danny Gokey crossover vote. I'm glad Kris won, but, in the end, both guys seem like decent people and both are clearly going to do fine so I didn't think it mattered much who won. Still I liked being right.

As I said before, this is the first season I've ever watched Idol, so, consequently, this is the first Idol final I've ever seen. I was really impressed. I honestly thought it was two of the best hours I've ever seen on TV in a long time (not including the LOST finale--which I'm still processing and will get to next week). This was entertaining from beginning to end and I thought they did a FANTASTIC job of matching Idol contestants with star duet partners. I thought Danny was as good as he had been all season long and loved listening to him sing with Lionel. Similarly, I thought the Anoop/Jasom Mraz, Allison/Cyndi Lauper and the Adam/KISS pairings were spot on. Basically, as I said, I liked it all.

Brainwashing Your Kid Carefully

Bob Sturm, the co-host of the noon to 3 pm show on The Ticket, grew up in Wisconsion and is a huge Green Bay Packer fan much in the same way I am a Dallas Cowboy fan. But Bob has taken fandom a little further than I have on a couple of fronts and, since one of these ways relates to a theme of this blog, I thought it worthy of discussion.

First, Bob got a tattoo of the green and gold Green Bay "G" on his shoulder a couple of years ago. Bob, like me, doesn't really seem like the tattoo type and, although I heard the story at the time, I can't recall what led to the decision to do it in his early to mid-30s. This will probably come as a bit of a surprise to DC Mom, but on occasion I've thought it might be kind of cool to do something similar with the Cowboy star. Again, though, I'm not really the tattoo type.

I find the second thing he did fascinating, particularly in light of (1) recent news and (2) my stated purpose of this blog...chronicling my own obsession with the Cowboys and my efforts to brainwash my children. Have no illusions, I consider the brainwashing of children in this manner a worthy and admirable endeavor, but I did not go quite as far as Bob, who named his son Brett, in honor of his favorite player of all time, one Brett Favre.

Brett (Favre, not Bob's son) has been on the athlete retirement yo-yo for the past couple of years and last year he "retired" from the Packers and ended up (after months of drama) playing for the Jets. Now, I imagine Brett playing for the Jets did not cause much heartburn for Bob. The Jets don't play the Packers much (and didn't last year in the regular season) and there's not a rivalry of any kind between the two teams. To me, this was kind of like Emmitt going to play for the Cardinals...a cute little sideshow, but no real betrayal.

But now, Brett has "retired" (again), this time from the Jets and is trying to fanagle himself onto the Minnesota Vikings...the longtime hated rival of the Packers. Bob has openly mocked and ridiculed the Vikings on the air for years. And it appears that part of the motivation for Brett joining the Vikings is to stick to the Packers (who they play twice a year), because Brett thinks the Packers tried to push him into retirement before he was ready. Now, Bob has to explain to his son that his namesake, the very symbol of Dad's favorite team, the team he is teaching his son to love, has betrayed that team, is joining the hated rival and is openly gunning for them.

Bob's essential error here was connecting his son too much to the player, not the team. I mean, if you are young Brett, don't you consider for a moment pulling for your namesake, even though he is playing for the Vikings. And what if, as a result of rooting for big Brett, little Brett starts to kind of like the Vikings...then becomes a fan of the Vikings. What a disaster that would be. I'm sorry, Bob. These decisions have to be better thought out. Tattoo...OK. But the kid-naming thing carries too much risk.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No Boundaries...Idol Style

Well...I can't imagine that at this point those performances changed any minds. I appreciate that Adam sang my favorite of his performances...Mad World...first. And it was another really good performance of that song (which a lot of people didn't see last time because the show ran long). As for the others...meh. It was Adam. It was good. He screamed a lot. The judges were overly-effusive. OK.

I liked each of Kris' performances better, but as I've already stated, I'm naturally inclined to do so. Thought Ain't No Sunshine was better the second time around actually. As opposed to the judges' comments (mostly Simon) I thought What's Goin' On was a terrific performance...really fun to watch. Again, I enjoyed Kris' distinctive take on the song and I really liked the addition of the congo drums.

Last, I can't go on without a word about "No Boundaries"--the Kara co-written song--was (drag it out for emphasis) teeeerrrrriiibbbllleeee. Terrible. Really Terrible. So...I didn't like it. What a stupid way to end the show. Maybe...maybe...start the show with that terrible song, but don't end it that way. I thought it was far and away Adam's worst performance of the season (and, again, still good in comparison to most) and I thought Kris did an OK job trying to make it sound like a real song. Ridiculous.

What I Read Today...5/19

Will Garrett be a genius again this year?

Todd Archer runs down some of the storylines to follow as OTAs begin today. And yes, if you ever needed a gauge on my level of obsession, I think there are storylines to be followed at OTAs in May.

Speaking of...highlights (?) from todays OTAs.

With the risk of angering dog-loving readers...I think we should all just give Mike Vick a break and let him get back to his life. It's unbelievable what we forgive athletes for, but somehow Vick is irredeemamably evil. Shoot up, shoot others, beat up your wife, cheat at the game, get caught naked tied up in a motel room with a hooker and cocaine. That's no problem, just don't hurt any dogs. No doubt, he's an idiot, but I say he's paid (or is paying) his debt. Let's just move on.

CNN lists its best and worst American Idol performances. Would any of tonight's be on that list?

And, last, my alma mater got a new President today that is 8 years older than me. Yea...but does he have a blog?

Oh yeah...I'm gonna like this guy...

New special teams coach Joe DeCamillis was running special teams drills out at OTAs today. No big deal except the guy was wearing a huge neck brace since he just happened to have a building fall on him two weeks ago which broke a vertabrae in his back. He just had surgery and got out of the hospital last week. As the title to this posts says...I'm going to like this guy. American Idol (Finale Night)

I've never wached a single episode of American Idol...until this season. It's always tough to find evening programming we can watch with DC Girl, though I'm not sure whether that has to do entirely with the selection out there or with our own tastes. The shows at the top of my list include LOST, The Office, 30 Rock, Castle (new, but good) and, this year, American Idol. We like it for sure, but it's also nice to sit with her and watch something that's generally family friendly and that she can talk to us about. Did you like that song? (The answer is always yes) Who is your favorite? (All of the girls) What do you think of Adam? (He's a weird boy - he has black nail polish on).

I've had many discussions with folks about whether Kris or Adam is better and I think it comes down to this. Both are good. Adam is more vocally talented. Kris obviously does not have the same range, but he's got a lot of musical talent (guitar, piano) and he's sings the kind of music I like to listen to. For me (now I sound like Randy) he's in the same range as Jason Mraz, John Mayer, even Dave Matthews and I have a lot of those guys' music on my IPod. I recognize that Adam's great and I can see why some folks like him, but it's just not my bag, man. I wanted to shave off the hair at the start of the season, but I've come to terms with it. I think he's using the Adam scream as a crutch a bit and, while he has the most range, that scream as made him seem really one-note over the last few weeks. He's going to have a big career, I'm sure, I'm just not likely to buy any of his music. So, for me, I'm pulling for Kris.

What do you think?

Monday, May 18, 2009

4th and Long

So I watched the debut of Michael Irvin's "4th and Long" tonight on Spike TV. It's not a great reality show, but the winner gets the 80th spot on the roster for training camp so you know I had to watch it. And I got to say...I'm in. Irvin's radio show is not that great and I was very underwhelmed by his ESPN GameDay work, but listening to him yell at these guys about becoming a Cowboy is makes me want to put on a helmet and run throught my living room wall. It was awesome. It reminds how much I loved his passion for being a Cowboy.
Anyone else see it. What did you think?

What I Read Today...

I thought I would try a nightly post with a recap of a few of the items I read today. Some will relate to the Cowboys...some won't. Here you go:

Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback. A little bit about an Indy assistant coaching change (don't care). A little bit about the NFL Network/Comcast deal (I care).

Gruden replaces Kornheiser on Monday Night Football. Hey, he's annoying but he's a UD alum.

This Cuban/Kenyon Martin thing is getting ugly.

I know I'm going to get burned, but I'm biting on David Buehler hook, line and sinker. Can he get 80% touchbacks and keep McBriar's leg safe.

James Harrison on why he turned down the chance to meet the President with his teammates...come on man:
"If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the
Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he would have invited Arizona if they had

Uh...yeah James. That's how it works.

Ezra's got a new home. If you care about politics at all, you should read him. He's wicked smart and a good writer to boot.

New name...Dallas Cowboys Dad

So...I originally picked Post Modern Me last fall because I couldn't think of anything better and it sounded kind of catchy. It didn't really have anything to do with anything--just thought it was a funny derivative of Postmodern Methodist's blog.

So I've been stewing over what to change it to so that it better reflects my personality and, thereby, will encourage me to write more. The answer was, of course, staring me in the face all along. I settled upon a way to write about my two biggest family...and the Dallas Cowboys. They know what order those come in, but I'll leave it to you to hypothesize. We'll talk about other stuff (other sports, politics, etc.), but those two seem like a good starting point.

BTW, for anonymity purposes, references to the family will be to DC Mom, DC Girl and DC Boy. For those of you out there who find yourselves involved in future stories chronicled here, your pseudonyms are pending.

I hope you'll provide some comments and if you read anything good about (a) being a dad/parent or (b) the Dallas Cowboys, send me a link and I'll post it. Hope you like the new look and title. Till next time.

Smash, Dash and Tash [UPDATED]

While we're on the Cowboys tip (as it we ever get off), check out this interview with Tashard. [UPDATE] Looks like it's "Smash" not "mad." That works better. Cool art created by DCFanatic:

Ranger's Fever on a Sunday Afternoon

So I was in Arlington yesterday afternoon when the Ranger's swept the Angels to take a 4 1/2 game lead in the division. Exhilerating, huh?

Well, it was exhilerating and I was in Arlington, but truthfully, I was standing outside the new Cowboys Stadium at the time staring up at it with a completely awestruck look on my face. You know the one with the mounth wide upon and saliva dripping on your shirt. That was me.
We stopped by on the way back from taking the kids to the Fort Worth Zoo. DC Girl said "The stadium is a lot bigger than I thought it would be, Daddy." I gave her a knowing nod and retorted "Yes, it is baby. Yes, it is." My pride grew when she asked if she could wake up the sleeping DC Boy to show him. Good girl.
This place is massive. I am so geeked to watch (both on TV and in person) a game played in there I can't stand it. Only TWO MONTHS to training camp! It's in San Antonio again and we are there this year.

It was also a beautiful day for the zoo (and for admiring Cowboys Stadium). The kid's loved it, the weather was perfect and we got there early so we avoided most of the crowds. We decided that DC Boy is destined to become a zoologist. He's obsessed with animals, particularly those that appear in the Madagascar movies.

And two additional bonuses. First, we also got to have lunch with some of our favorite Fort Worth residents, postmodermethodist (Yes, I stole the name from him) and his family. Second, it was the first road trip in the new car. Check out a picture above--it's not the real thing but it looks like that one.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Romo Playing Golf Thing...

Look. Romo drives me crazy too. I hated his comments after the Eagles loss. I wasn't too thrilled with his interview with Babe a few months later. It's ridiculous that he can't hold on to the football better. I don't accept the argument that the way he fumbles the ball is a necessary evil that comes with gunslinger style. A few bad interceptions, yeah, but not the fumbles. It pisses me off when he sits on the bench by himself after a bad series. I don't care if he wants to be my himself, he's the leader of the damn team and he need to act like it. He needs to embrace the leadership part of being the Dallas Cowboys Quarterback as much as he does the celebrity part.

So, I'm not immune to his flaws. Notwithstanding the foregoing (I am a lawyer after all), I will still have my #9 jersey on when I get to training camp this year and every game (preseason and regular season) this year. I think the guy does some amazing things with a football. I have seen the guy (and so have you) make some unbelievable escapes, jaw-dropping throws, and gutsy plays. The very first time we saw Romo was in a preseason game his very first year when he ignored Parcells call to spike the ball on the goalline as time was running out and call a QB sneak to himself that won the game. The 40-yard strike he completed to Witten while rolling left to win the Giants game in Giant Stadium three years ago was one of the best plays I've ever seen a quarterback make.

And while she annoys me, I do think the guy gets unfairly criticized for dating Jessica. But what really drives me up the wall is this "Romo needs to stop playing golf and concentrate on football thing."

This post from DC Fanatic covers the recent criticism pretty well and he offers a good response.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just shoot them.

And we're back. Let's try this thing again, shall we. In the interim, I've facebooked and I've twittered (and they have their place) but they don't exactly allow the long-form expression that serves me best (at least in my own mind).

Anyway, we watched Taken tonight and i have to say that it's refreshing to see the hero in an action flick finally do what I've been yelling at the screen for year. If they won't tell you what you want...SHOOT THEM in each of the their extremities until they talk. When they tell you to put your gun down...SHOOT THEM. When you beat a bad guy up...SHOOT THEM so they don't get up again. What a satisfying movie.

Admittedly, it was hard to watch that film without feeling sadness for Liam Neeson and his loss. What a terrible thing.