I have always assumed that there were no more than three NFL execs who had lifetime passes: Jerry Jones, the Dallas owner who is a great admirer of the Dallas GM; Al Davis, who even after death will probably occupy his office at Raiders headquarters the way Poltergeists ran Heather O’Rourke’s bedroom and Mike Shanahan, ranking just behind John Elway as a face on Denver’s football Mount Rushmore.
Adding meat to the bones of that assumption was that while Shanahan and Davis despise each other, Mike having been fired by Al early in his career, Jerry is an admiring friend of both. (Newsflash: Despite public perception, Jerry is pretty much a friend to most everybody in the NFL.)
The pretzel’y relationships add intrigue as rumors surface that Jones is increasingly angry about his team’s 2008 collapse (as ESPN’s Chris Mortensen suggests) and is contemplating a Wade do-over and a courting of Shanahan, fired a week ago by the Broncos.
Were Josh Howard’s much-discussed 2008 troubles the fault of Josh Howard? Or were they the fault of the “discussers’’ and a result of the “much-discussion’’? Should we consider a New Year’s resolution to go a little easier on our erstwhile All-Star, whose half-kidding resolution is to “avoid the media’’?
Recognizing that Cowboys ties make for strange bedfellows, guess which old-school Hall-of-Famer is coming to the defense of Terrell Owens -- and doing so while willing to joust with Cowboys critic Cris Carter?
“Cris Carter made an idiotic statement,’’ Cowboys legend Randy White tells me in an exclusive interview. “Anybody who says a team ‘doesn’t deserve to make the playoffs,’ or something like that, he’s an idiot.''
Had Jerry Jones asked me, I would’ve closed Texas Stadium in three simple steps: 1. Beaten the Ravens on Saturday to power nearer a playoff berth. (Didn’t happen.) 2. Thrown a beautifully choreographed post-game party featuring all the camera angles and all the interviews and just the right music and just the right mood. (Didn’t happen.) 3. Arranged for Terrell Owens to join the legends in The Walk To The Star. … and then arrange for ol’ George Teague to come out of nowhere to bury his ass. (Didn’t happen.)
In fact, nothing about the Cowboys’ performance in this “Farewell To Texas Stadium’’ 32-24 loss to Baltimore was about power, choreography, or burying anybody’s ass. It was all very awkward and unfortunate and lame and rather sad. …
The perfect gift for your fellow Cowboys headquarters cubicle occupant? Obsession!
This week’s FISHTOON features my old college mate Ed Werder of ESPN and Cowboys star Terrell Owens, who can’t keep himself from continuously using Werder’s name in vain. …
My connection with Ed Werder goes way back. He was a Longmont, Colorado boy, and I grew up just up the highway in Greeley. We studied journalism together at the University of Northern Colorado. (Unfortunately, neither of us will ever be the greatest writerly former UNC Bear, thanks to the matriculation of ... but we are all ). Due in part to Eddie telling me about the vacancy he was leaving at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, I followed him as the Cowboys beat writer there in 1990. And later, we were competitors at Valley Ranch, me at the Star-Telegram, Eddie at the DMNews.
Today? We both live in Flower Mound, Texas, literally a kids’ baseball field away from each other.
I love Eddie, who I don’t believe overdramatized from last week. (I said he didn’t overdramatize it, which doesn’t mean he didn’t dramatize it.) But I don’t love him as much as ESPN, the Cowboys, T.O. and Werder – give their unhealthy cross-preoccupation -- must all love each other.
So why not a gift exchange?
Why not. … Obsession!
FISHTOON by Mike Fisher and Stereolith of DallasBasketball.com.