Monday, April 12, 2010

Thanks For the Memories

I've been to Texas Stadium many times. My first visit was in 1973, there was a special event there with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and I was part of the group that got to go. My clearest memory of that day? I got to see Franco Harris!

Since that time I've been there many times, for meetings, Dallas Cowboy games (when you preach chapel the honorarium was four tickets to the game), Larry James and I even got a chance to play touch football with Bank of America execs a few years ago!

I didn't like the stadium at first. It looked unfinished. The hole in the roof (...so God could watch his favorite team play), was, of course the signature architectural feature, but I had a hard time with the Cowboys leaving the Cotton Bowl. It was not too far from the church my grandfather pastored and I remember my cousin Tom and his friend Donnie would sometimes sneak out of church to walk to the Cotton Bowl and watch the game on Sunday. They had end-zone seats - at that time, I think they cost about $5. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to sneak out with them. By the time I thought I was big enough, the Cowboys had high tailed it to Irving!

I am among millions of fans who have great memories of Texas Stadium. And they are just that now...memories. In the dawns early light, a series of blasts reduced the once state-of-the-art shrine to a twisted mass of steel and mounds of concrete rubble.

I've toured the new Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It is one of the most amazing venues for any sport I've ever seen. But Texas Stadium became something special over the years (five Super Bowl championships helped), and it will be sorely missed. Whether for a game, or as the comforting landmark on the way home from DFW Airport, its was a part of Dallas iconography. And while football will be different, and we hold out hope that the Cowboys can be the first home team to ever play a Super Bowl in their own stadium next year, we'll always remember this grand football palace.

Thanks for the memories!

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