Dallas Cowboys Have Become a Bunch of Clowns
People keep asking me what’s wrong with the Dallas Cowboys this year. The answer
is simple. They’re not a football team; they’re a bunch of clowns. They call silly plays, jump off sides, get penalized time and again, blatantly hold foes right in front of officials, celebrate every first down or touchdown
as if they’d just won a Super Bowl.
They lost to Washington when, instead of taking a knee on the final play of the first half, they tried a fancy play and fumbled the ball. A Washington player picked it up and ran for a touchdown and the margin of victory.
They lost to Tennessee when, after driving all the way for a game-tying touchdown, they got penalized for excessive celebrating. Did they learn a lesson? Heck no. They were penalized for the same thing in the
very next game against Minnesota. They lost that one, too. Hilarious, huh?
THE CLOWNING is widespread. Even a solid, dependable player like tight end Jason Witten has gotten into the act. Instead of just handing the ball to the official after scoring the tying touchdown against Tennessee, he gave it to a teammate to spike it. That caused more jumping up and down and ended with Marc Colombo on
the ground. Clowning must be contagious. Ah, but Dallas players say they love coach Wade Phillips because he doesn’t criticize them. Can you imagine what a real coach would do? I ran into Willie Cager, a member of
the 1966 NCAA basketball champion UTEP Miners, and asked him what coach Don Haskins would have said about such nonsense. Cager: “You celebrate after you win a game, not during a game.” The Cowboys host the New York Giants Monday night. Will the circus continue?
TRIVIA QUESTION: Can you name two pairs of brothers who pitched in the Majors
with each brother winning more than 200 games? Answer at end.
I WAS SURPRISED at the heavy, and positive, response to a column I wrote about
Ysleta High’s 50th reunion. Perhaps it’s because, as my son Victor wrote, the
photo of me being thrown in the showers by Ysleta players in 1958 “captures the
essence of what high school sports are all about.”
Anyway, one of many emails was from Pete Ciccarelli, a sports writer at the El
Paso Herald-Post when I worked there. He was a big, happy-go-lucky guy with a
great sense of humor who everyone liked to be around. And oh, what talent. After
he left The El Paso Herald-Post he started a public relations firm in Los
Angeles and for years has handled some of the biggest names in sports.
HE STILL LIKES to kid me. In the 1960s, Bob Haynsworth was a horse owner and
general manager of Sunland Park Racetrack (there was no casino then). He named
one of his horses “Ray Sanchez” after me. It turned out be a winner in the
claiming ranks throughout New Mexico and Juarez.
To this day, Ciccarelli addresses his email and letters to me as “Ray Sanchez,
Not the Horse.”
Here’s what he emailed:
“MY WEDNESDAYS begin by going to El Paso Inc. and reading your column. I loved
this week's piece on the Ysleta High reunion.
“I've been blessed to attend sporting events throughout the U.S. To this day my
favorite venue remains Hutchins Stadium for Friday nightTribe games (especially
when cheerleaders served those fabulous cupcakes)
“Are you going to see the Secretariat movie? I hope they have a segment about
the time (Juarez Racetrack publicity director) Walt Infante brought Secretariat
to Juarez for a match racewith Ray Sanchez, the horse.
“Please be well. Hi to your family.”
I’m still laughing my head off. Of course, he knows no such thing ever happened.
ANSWER to trivia question: Gaylord and Jim Perry and Phil and Joe Niekro.
Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.raysanchezbooks.com