In 2011, the Rangers were coming off of their first World Series birth, but that enthusiasm was dampened by the organization losing out on the Cliff Lee Sweepstakes to the Philadelphia Phillies after it appeared they had outwitted the Yankees for the lefty’s services. The Cowboys played somewhat inspiring football in December under replacement head coach Jason Garrett after quitting on Wade Phillips midway through the season, but Tony Romo was on the mend along with Dez Bryant and the Boys rally wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. The Mavs and Stars were rolling along, but both teams were coming off of uninspired endings to the 2009-10 seasons followed by uninspired offseasons.
In 2012, the New Year rang in on an even more somber note than 2011 with a historic Rangers World Series collapse followed by the Angels hogging all of the headlines and free agents from the Winter Meetings. The Yu Darvish bid injected some enthusiasm back into the fan base, but it was far from a forgone conclusion that the Rangers would be able to reach an agreement with the young lad from Osaka. The Mavericks surprisingly delivered their first NBA title to the Metroplex in the summer of 2011, then promptly dismantled the team and got run out of the gym on Christmas Day by the Heat to a national TV audience. Oh, and those Cowboys? Yet another season squandered by putrid play in December.The Stars were in 8th place in the Western Conference, leaving much to be desired from both of the AAC co-tenants.
So here we are on January 2nd, 2013, and can you believe that things have gotten even worse for every major professional sports team in the DFW market? Well they have.
The Rangers faltered down the stretch in September to seal the deal on the squandering of a 13 game lead over the Oakland A’s. They then played an equally unimpressive game against an Orioles team that on paper had no business beating Texas in the playoffs. The front office went from the precipice of wowing Rangers fans and the baseball world during the Winter Meetings to losing out on Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, James Shields, Justin Upton, and just about any other name of consequence other than the polarizing AJ Pierzynski.
The Mavericks equalled the Rangers in free agency ineptitude, however they briefly fooled themselves and their fan base into thinking that they had put together a scrappy contender with a 4-1 start to their season. All of those hopes and prayers were dashed by their 8-18 run to close out the calendar year. Cash Sirois did put together a really slick documentary on Dirk Nowitzki. It’s exciting and emotional theater, especially considering he left out the thing about Dirk missing the first 27 games of this season while recovering from knee surgery.
The Dallas Stars have yet to take the ice because of a prolonged lockout that may or may not bring about the second full cancellation of an NHL season in the last decade.
The Cowboys? Another 8-8 finish. Another Week 17 loss when a win would have given DFW fans at least a home playoff game to be excited about. Another round of heated Tony Romo debate following his worst performance of the year in the season’s most critical game. Another season ending press conference of Jason Garrett talking about sticking to the process in all three phases…yada…yada…yada…
I could try and wax poetic about the New Year being the birth of new hope. The bleak winter giving way to a beautiful spring where dreams take flight and roses fill the air with the scent of optimism and promise. Let me apologize if that’s what you were expecting, because I just don’t have the energy.
Maybe it’s the heartbreaking nature in which things have gone down for these teams the last few New Years past that has me down. Maybe it’s the enthusiasm being sapped from my soul thanks to an exhausting holiday season filled with Cowboys losses and fiscal cliff talk. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t get the damn heater to work in my newly purchased home.
Whatever it is, I’m not feeling in the mood to daydream about greener pastures. I fear that the Rangers will be taking a large step backwards this year, which isn’t to say they won’t compete but also isn’t very inspiring after the thud to end 2012. I fear that the Mavs have drastically outsmarted themselves for two straight offseasons, and Dirk is destined to finish his career wondering what could have been had Cuban yelled “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” at his worries about luxury tax hell. I fear that even if there is a shortened NHL season the Stars will miss the playoffs once again in the midst of a rebuilding plan without fan favorites Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro. I fear of another frustrating Cowboys offseason with a draft short on depth and increasing pressure on Tony Romo to win the damn thing all on his own when he’s proven that he just isn’t capable of being that guy.
I may fear, but I will watch.
I will comment, cheer, and sulk regardless. Such is the life of a fan.
Most years we don’t get what we wish for most, but we do get the chance to keep on wishing.
Hopefully that thought will keep me warm tonight, because god knows the faulty heater hasn’t.