Aikman was appearing on “The Musers” on 1310 The Ticket in Dallas last Thursday when he questioned the fans. His comments seemed to be a response to the Cowboys’ 34-18 home loss to the Bears a few days earlier.
After the game, Chicago receiver Brandon Marshall said the environment at Cowboys Stadium “felt like a home game” for the Bears. Aikman agrees that the Cowboys don’t have a great home field advantage.
“I don’t think Dallas has ever really had a great home field advantage,” Aikman said, via The Dallas Morning News. “What I’ve heard is that, ‘Wow, they really lost home field advantage when they left Texas Stadium.’ Texas Stadium really wasn’t that different. Having played playoff games in Texas Stadium, that stadium was rocking, it was great. … But when we would play in Philadelphia, New York and walk out of the tunnel, I would have to be yelling at the top of my lungs for guys to hear me. And you get on the plane for the flight home and your head would be pounding, you wouldn’t have a voice, and that’s just the way that it was. There was no way you could go down there near the goal line and use hard count in an opposing stadium. And yet in Texas Stadium, teams did it all the time.”
Aikman played 93 games at Texas Stadium during his Hall of Fame career, so he has plenty of experience playing in front of Dallas sports fans. He gave the following assessment of them.
“I think for a large part – and the fans don’t want to hear this – a lot of the people that attend sports in this town, they’re there because it’s kind of just a place to be seen,” Aikman said. “I didn’t know anybody who went to Rangers games, and then when they started winning and going to World Series, everybody’s wearing Rangers hats and saying, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a big Rangers fan.’
“I’ve always said Dallas isn’t so much a sports town as it is a winner’s town. And that’s not that unique. Most towns are like that. There are very few towns like Chicago where you can go out there and go 4-12 and they’re stilling selling out stadiums. That’s pretty unique. But Dallas, they pull for their winners, and as we saw in the Tampa game, when an opposing offense can get down there on the 10-yard line and they’re drawing the home team offsides, that’s different. You’re not seeing that in some of these other places.”
To be fair, I don’t think fans attend games for losing teams in most sports towns. But that’s Aikman’s opinion, and it is an informed one. Maybe Cowboys fans are only passionate when they’re burning Tony Romo jerseys.
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