How A Kid From Oregon Became A Dallas Cowboy Fan
Confession: I am a Dallas Cowboy fan. I've suppressed it, hid it, I've lied about it, and now am ready and able to stand in my truth.
When working in media, the first thing you're told, is to release yourself from ALL of your fandom. The higher ups were typically slightly more lax about rooting for your alma mater, but when you're covering Pro sports, the rules were simple. DO NOT wear any jerseys, celebrate or lament about your team on Twitter, take pictures with any athletes, and most importantly, under no circumstance were you allowed to EVER cheer, shit...even emote in the press box. This was world class colored newspaper big J journalism folks and the last thing they wanted was for me, or any employee, to sully their stellar reputation for being unbiased. God forbid.
The photo above definitely got me in trouble. Whoops.
But let's back track and paint a picture of how this happened. As the youngest of three girls, I idolized (in hindsight definitely shouldn't have) my older sister Angie. So much so, that I tried cigarettes way too early, tried alcohol way too early, and ultimately, chose my Pro Football team, way too early.
Below: Angie teaching me how to dye Easter eggs
In the 90's, Angie started dating Rick, a gas station attendant from Texarkana, smack dab in the middle of nowheresville (right on the border of Arkansas and Texas). Fast forward, 20+ years later, Angie is back with this dude, supporting him, and hoping some day he'll muster up the fortitude to hold down a job for more than 10 seconds. Spoiler alert... he never will.
Every Sunday, Angie and Rick would watch the Cowboys together, and I would tag along. Unless of course Rick was out drinking, generally scumming around and not returning my sister's pages, and then, her and I would get those Cowboys games to ourselves. We'd hang out in her room, eat the snacks my mom made for us and watch the Cowboys dominate. I became enthralled. This was our bonding time. It was magical.
Aikman, Irvin, Emmitt! It was like falling in love with the Bulls if your hometown didn't have an NBA franchise (no Portland doesn't root for Seattle sports teams). After three championships in four years, it was over. I was a Cowboy fan for life, even if I had to hide it while working in the mainstream media.
But now, everything has changed. I'm no longer a journalist. And this is not USA TODAY. This is... a bro sanctuary, an office filled with "hypermasculine, sports-loving men, and hypersexualized, submissive women" that "propagates online hate". I intend to fit in at all costs. Otherwise, I won't be considered "submissive" enough.
Step 1: Create an internet beef... Check
Step 2: Buy a wardrobe filled with crop tops and push up bras ... Check
Step 3: Reassert my sports fandom. Check