The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of a Cowboys Road Trip
by Norm Hitzges    Mon, Nov 14, 2005, 10:35 AM

Hey football fan, take a look around…Look at the fan on your right…Look at the fan on your left…Look in front of you and behind you…Look at the fans in other cities…What do you see? If you look hard enough, you will see that it is the same everywhere.

Whether it’s NFL or NCAA, football fans live and die with their teams. The sport of football has the ability to bring people together and divide them at the same time. The only thing as passionate as a football fan cheering for his team is a football fan cheering against yours.

For the last 10 years or so, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to a handful of Cowboys road games every year. And, it’s the same wherever we go. The only thing that changes is the name of the opponent.

Here’s what happens…Upon arrival at the airport, the team (players, coaches, staff and media) board the buses for the drive to the team hotel. Now, this is no ordinary bus ride. First of all the buses are positioned on the runway awaiting the team’s arrival. Secondly, thanks to a police escort these buses do not have to deal with traffic jams or even red lights.

The only obstacle that the bus driver has to deal with is the hoard of Cowboy fans (and autograph seekers) that have assembled at the team hotel. The Cowboys have a nationwide fan base. And it doesn’t matter what city you are in, you are reminded of that fan base every time you walk through the lobby of the team hotel.

For the most part, the fans waiting to greet the Cowboys at the hotel are very orderly and friendly. They just want a chance to see the team they follow up close and possibly get an autograph. It’s pretty amazing seeing the expressions of awe in the faces of these fans when they actually get to talk to one of their heroes. In a setting like this, even a grown man becomes childlike. It’s almost surreal.

The fans come from every walk of life. The team hotel is a setting where everyone is on the same level everyone is on the same team no matter what their status is in real life. At the team hotel, there are no classifications. There is no social status. There is no division of races. There isn’t even a division of the sexes. Everyone is the same. It doesn’t matter how rich you are or how poor you are. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or how “important” you are in real life. At the team hotel, everyone is a Cowboy fan.

Up to this point in the trip, we’ve only had to deal with Cowboys fans. Everyone has been great. The welcome wagon has been out in full force and the team feels at home. This is the good. This all changes tomorrow as game time approaches and we leave the friendly confines of the team hotel. Check back tomorrow for The Bad and The Ugly of a Cowboys Road Trip.

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