Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Sep 2009

Five Downs With DMN 2009, Week 1

Making its return to the Dallas Morning News's Cowboys blog with Tim MacMahon this year is our "Five Downs" series, where I answer a series of questions from Tim about the Cowboys.

This week, the questions cover the cornerbacks, the effectiveness of Dallas' and Tampa Bay's halfback trios, Byron Leftwich, Bradie James' Pro Bowl bid, and the effects of Tampa losing Monte Kiffin.

Also, the first comment amused me.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 11 Sep 2009

8 comments, Last at 11 Sep 2009, 9:23pm by Sifter


by AnonymousA (not verified) :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 12:15pm

That first comment has rapidly become the entire topic of discussion. Awesome.

by bubqr :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 4:03pm

Comments on DMN are always golden. After last year predictions, especially.

by The Original Omar :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 1:30pm

Maybe FO's resident Giants fan shouldn't be the guy doing this column for Cowboys fans? I'm just sayin...

by Dallas Geek (not verified) :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 4:44pm

As a staunch Dallas fan, I'd like to say that 98% of Dallas's fanbase is thoroughly ignorant. Oh how I wish they'd follow the game a little better.

by Temo :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 6:22pm

I thought that too, and still do. Of course, now I realize that 98% of every team's franchise is thoroughly ignorant.

by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 8:48pm

Ha--I had opened the page a long time ago and never refreshed it, so I didn't see your succinct comment until after I posted my long, annoying one saying the same thing.

by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 8:46pm

I don't think this phenomenon is at all specific to Cowboys fans. You have no idea how many times I argued with fellow Broncos fans who said Javon Walker was the best WR in the NFL (seriously) or that John Lynch was no longer one of the best safeties in the game.

I think just most fans of any team are what I think of as "passive." They don't research anything or even so much as look at a stat sheet. They don't consider various theories about why X or Y is happening. It's just like most people watching movies--I was a film student (who ended up with a psychology degree and am now in law school, so obviously I'm a freak) and I get no enjoyment out of just seeing a fake explosion in a movie. Now, when it's something like seeing the subtle detail of the doll in Susan's bedroom in "Citizen Kane," I get interested. (And when it becomes studying the framing of shots in "Rashomon," I get damn excited.) Most people don't care about the doll--they want to see explosions, blood, boobs, or whatever. They're passive--they aren't engaged or thinking about what they're seeing.

Then there's an intermediate step of people who think they're the smart ones--the football fans who listen to and read commentary regularly, but swallow it whole or the movie fans who say all that matters is the basic story and the acting. (And I'm resisting the temptation to rant about the latter . . . so far.) These people actually tend to be the most annoying, because we tend to think, "Look--he's not passive, so he should know better!" They're not totally passive, but they aren't really critically engaged either.

Then there are the real thoughtful people like us. We're not necessarily better or any smarter, but we put more thought into this (football viewership--and movies in my case) than they do. And we get enjoyment in a different way. There just aren't many of us, and so every team has loads and loads of the earlier categories.

by Sifter :: Fri, 09/11/2009 - 9:23pm

What's with all the Tampa comparisons? Is there something I'm missing, it's a Dallas blog right? I learned more about the Bucs than the Cowboys haha.

Edit: Forgot to mention - yes I know Dallas plays Tampa, but still I thought the questions were overly Tampa based. Anyway, it's not my blog...