September 27, 2000
Cryboys Can Only Dish It
by Dave Sabo
Let me preface this column by saying that I, in no way, condone the bush league actions of Terrell Owens (or those of Emmitt Smith and George Teague, for that matter). Unless, of course, such display is directed at the Dallas Cryboys and their (dwindling) legion of whining, front running, revisionist fans.
Yeah, I got a double standard. What’s it to you?
In case you missed it, San Francisco wide receiver, Terrell Owens, showed the Cryboys up by sprinting to midfield after catching a 3-yard touchdown pass in the 2nd quarter. He stopped in the middle of the Cryboys star logo and made a Deion-like gesture to the heavens. Shortly before the half, after a 1-yard touchdown run, Cryboys running back, Emmitt Smith, returned the favor by removing his helmet, sprinting to the logo, kneeling down and slamming the ball to the turf while glaring and pointing at the 49ers’ bench. Then late in the fourth quarter, Owens headed back to midfield after catching a 1-yard touchdown pass. As he went to parrot Smith’s kneeling move, Cryboys safety George Teague blind-sided him. Teague was ejected.
Running out to midfield to make any sort of gesture is a bush league move. Doing it on the road, in somebody else’s house, is about as weak and classless as it gets unless it’s at the Stadium at Irving, against the Cryboys. No team (or its fans) has ever deserved to have their faces rubbed in it more than the Cryboys. If you see Terrell Owens, give him a slap on the back for me.
Predictably, the Internet has been clogged with Cryboys fans whining and crying their way through every chat room and across every message board in sight. The main theme of their posts has been “Why did they eject Teague, but not do anything to Owens”? After a decade of reveling in Deion’s high-stepping touchdown runs and his little tippy-toe dance, Emmitt’s helmet removals and staredowns and Michael Irvin’s signaling every first down and his Zorro act after scoring; Cryboys fans are suddenly proponents of the “no excessive celebration” rule? What a buncha freakin’ hypocrites!
When you get right down to it, technically, there was no call to be made. In order to be flagged for excessive celebration, there would have to have been a celebration. Owens did nothing but spread his arms. Cryboys fans would cheer themselves into comas when Deion used to do it. Besides, maybe Terrell was just trying to thank God for helping him score and he wanted to make sure God saw him. Isn’t that what that ridiculous hole in the roof of the Stadium at Irving is for?
So, Cryboy fans scream that Owens should have been flagged for what they perceive as a “classless” act. In the same breath, they go on to praise Emmitt Smith for retaliating BY DOING THE EXACT SAME THING! Plus, he took off his helmet, spiked the ball and glared and pointed at the 49ers’ bench; all of which was far more provocative than anything Owens did. To make Emmitt’s bush league antics even more pathetic, they came with the Cryboys down by seven. That, friends and neighbors, is beyond weak. If you’re gonna taunt someone, make sure you’ve got scoreboard. For that matter, if you’re gonna taunt someone, make sure you’re not suffering through one of the worst days of your professional career. Emmitt’s little midfield jaunt was easily his longest of the day and nearly doubled his output for the entire game. Furthermore, don’t make yourself look even more foolish by making such statements as “You don’t disrespect someone in front of their home crowd, but I guess that’s his (Owens’) style” or “Teague did not make a good decision by going after Owens, but he did what he had to do, and I liked it.” Hey Emmitt isn’t that then Deion’s and Irvin’s and YOUR style, too? Would you have liked it if opponents had up and busted y’all in the grill every time y’all trotted out those tired acts? Or are you as big a hypocrite as your fans?
When Owens caught his second touchdown pass, everybody in the place knew he was headed back to midfield. Teague wanted to stop him, but he was beaten (as he had been for most of the day) there by Owens. So, he took a cheap shot instead. I don’t see what Cryboys fans are complaining about — the refs handled it properly. Owens was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, as was Teague. Further, Teague was ejected for the cheap shot. Of course, Dallas fans think this has been the greatest miscarriage of justice since the O.J. trial.
Three words, losers: Deal with it.
Maybe Emmitt should have handled it the way Wayne Chrebet handled the weeklong tirade from punk, and future over-paid Cryboy showboat, Keyshawn Johnson. He beat him on the field and after scoring the winning touchdown, he simply held up an index finger. That’s class. Did you catch that, Emmitt?
As an Oilers fan, nobody enjoys a good endzone dance or celebration more than me. Come on, the endzone dance was pretty much INVENTED by our own beloved Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. I used to love his that “crazy-legged” wobble. It was the original and it’s still the best. You can currently catch Billy dancing in commercials during NFL games. I enjoyed the Redskins’ “Fun Bunch” celebration and the “Ickey Shuffle” as well as Ernest Givins’ “Electric Slide,” “The Lambeau Leap” and “The Dirty Bird.” Shoot, I even appreciated Tony Hill’s “Earthquake” dance. Those celebrations and others didn’t and don’t have that sense of taunting that is so prevalent in today’s NFL. Starting with Mark Gastineau’s stupid sack dance and continuing through to Emmitt’s taking off his helmet (which I could abide if he had been required to take his helmet off every time he fumbled or was tackled for a loss, too), it’s now more about showing up your opponent than celebrating a touchdown. And over the last decade or so, nobody taunted or showed others up more than the Cryboys. Well, now it’s time for some payback.
For years, Cryboys fans laughed and cheered as Deion strutted, Irvin pointed and Emmitt took off his helmet. Oh, how they and the Cryboys loved to dish it out! Now the team is in a shambles, their “superstars” are broken down and gimpy (or retired), their clueless head coach is in WAY over his head and their inept owner hasn’t got the slightest idea how to fix it. Face it, Cryboys fans, you and your team are through. In today’s NFL, y’all don’t count. Nobody fears you. You’re a joke and a laughingstock. You are less than nothing.
So, wipe your noses, dry your cryin’ eyes, stop your puling and sit there and take it.
Dave Sabo is an Archives Specialist in Laurel, MD. He is currently doing research for a new book entitled, “Cry Me a River,” a collection of real-life sob stories of Dallas Cryboys fans. If you’re a Cryboys fan with a story to tell, whine to Dave at: [email protected].