February 5, 2011 – Snowy Pulpit

You know what? Since everyone else imaginable has been weighing in on the subject of how crazy, insane stooopid we are down in here Dallas because of our reaction (or lack of) to the ice-then-snow as well as our apparent ability to curse the climate due to one NFL owner – I am compelled to add my own tiny rant. (If you would like to skip ahead to the actual “rant” and bypass the biographical background tirade, click here.)

Who am I to do so?

I am a native Texan, long-time resident of the North Texas region who has experienced full winters of snow a few times in my life including The Great Blizzard of 1978 (Zionsville, IN) and North American Blizzard of 1996 (Elizabeth, NJ ). I am not trying to equivocate the last week of winter weather to those massive storms, merely providing context from my view of things. We’ve had a few snow storms, ice events over the couple decades that I have lived in North Texas and, honestly, it just depends on my place in life, my own perspective as to how I react and deal with them.

As a kid moving from South Texas to Zionsville, IN literally in the middle of The Great Blizzard, I was fascinated and totally mesmerized by the six to ten foot snow drifts everywhere. I had no idea (nor should I have at that age) the economic or personal impact such a blizzard can have and thought it was funny that our moving van got stuck in it.

In college, we had a few snow storms that canceled classes for a day or two but that was only an added bonus to actually have a valid excuse for skipping class and partying at 10 o’clock in the morning until sundown.

In 1995, while living in Elizabeth, NJ and working in Manhattan, I was determined not to let the snow event that preceded the NA Blizzard of 1996 prevent my fiance and I from getting home to Texas for our wedding. Late December ’95 had all NY airports shut down because of snow, so we hopped on a train, made it to DC and flew out on the last flight that would get us to the altar on time.

Once we moved home for good, I remember a few snow/ice days where the kids missed a day of school here and there, or I wouldn’t be able to back out of the driveway and have to work from home occasionally. It was usually all gone within about 48 hours and the fluctuating Texas weather would have us back up to 60 degrees in no time.

That has not been the case with this particular storm. This storm leans more on the side of one of those anomalies in our standard weather – five, possibly now six days of ice, then snow, then melting, then more snow? Four missed days of school? Businesses having to shut down because workers cannot make it much less customers? All of that with the SuperBowl in town tomorrow?!

Come’on, People – lighten up on the DFW-bashing would ya?!

For those crazy Texas kids (and in some case, parents) who are so excited to have all of this time off to build ginormous snowmen, go tubing on the ice behind a speeding truck (very dumb, do not attempt), or play hockey in the frozen cul-de-sac – Enjoy! And don’t let all the haters bring you down because they have to go to work or clear those streets.

For those of us who did not get time off to play winter wonderland and feel like griping and moaning about all of those who did – Bitch Away! It is difficult showing up when no one else can, or knowing the kids are home having fun without you and having to make a treacherous drive without the necessary driving tactics to handle a two-ton vehicle sliding on a sheet of ice because they don’t teach that in Texas drivers ed because it hardly ever snows here!

For Northern area transplants, outside media and/or general complainants about how the DFW area was not equipped to handle this kind of weather. You know what? You are right – we don’t have a fleet of 300 snow plows or sanders paid for by area taxpayers gathering dust in an open field somewhere just waiting for a chance to be used once every 20 years. We don’t stockpile sand mixed with calcium and magnesium acetates in giant silos on the off-chance we’ll be inundated with ice for a week straight when temperatures only drop below freezing a few weeks out of the entire year. And if we did, can you imagine the amount of crappy press and indignation we’d receive for the wasted resources when we have overflowing homeless shelters, an education system on life support and millions of kids without health-care?

For those folks who think it’s “end of days” – let them. When the days continue, they’ll calm down.

For those who are tired of the ice and snow after only five days and have been whining about it the whole time – so what? Who are they hurting, really? All you have to do is not read their Facebook status and move on.

For those who blame Jerry Jones – Get Over It. He might be the most powerful owner in the NFL who is either revered or despised without middle ground but Mother Nature is not going to punish millions of people because Mr. Jones pissed her off when he fired Tom Landry. (Full disclosure: I am a silver and blue-blooded Cowboys’ fan who indeed did not like the way Mr. Landry was let go, wishes Jimmy Johnson was still here and believes we will only return to greatness once Mr. Jones fires the current GM. However, to blame him for the massive ice and snow event happening during the first time DFW gets to host a SuperBowl is like blaming the rise and fall of 80s pop music on Milli Vanilli – sure they sucked, but there were many, many other contributing factors that drove us to the dark grunge days of the 90s.)

All-in-all, my very verbose point to all of us in this multi-sided and very messy polygon is this – Chillax, World.

It be what it be.

Let it go, stop the hate and enjoy the last football game of the season.

Wait a minute –

Maybe all of this ice during the most important game played all year is the Universe’s funny metaphor for what’s going to happen if the CBA doesn’t get done soon?

Now that is something to think about…

Who’s life and death is it anyway?

Not sure how to eloquently start this post, so I’ll just tell the truth.

This is not a topic I generally think about but I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations the other day, and they were discussing the recent death and funeral of Kay Yow, historic women’s basketball coach.

She apparently recorded a video that was played at her funeral and the debate was “on” as to whether or not that was appropriate.

My initial and continued reaction to the discussion was how freakin’ selfish have we become in our society to think it an intrusion for the dead person to be making remarks at her own funeral? Screw whoever said the funeral was for the living and not the dead – why does it have to be that way? After all, the star of the funeral is the one who’s life it was that ended (or transcended somewhere else) – not ours.

No matter what you believe happens to our souls when our physical body dies, the death of the physical body is nonetheless a traumatic and life-altering event to the person suffering the actual death – much more so than the one watching.

So, I would hope that we all get our big girl panties on and deal with it.

And, you know what, maybe I’ll just make that music video I’ve always wanted to and sing for all to hear after I’m gone. (To those of you that think you know my vocal capabilities – stop shuttering!) How about Feelings? Something less torturous with a twinge of irony maybe? Every Breath You Take? Maybe I’ll stadium rock it with We Will Rock You/We are the Champions? How about one that I always wished someone would sing about me anyway – What’ll I Do?

Whatever I decide – it’ll be for me, since my name will be on the program for those sitting in the audience!

(It will especially not be for Kevin Kiley who will not be invited anyway since it would be too much for him.  Michael Irvin, however, is always welcome – to my funeral or any living party. And, they know what I’m talking about.)

(PS – I tried to call in but couldn’t get through…sorry for the delay…life goes on…)

Dallas – 27 Pittsburgh – 17 … Ah, nice …

This is not a prediction of today’s game.  This is the score from Superbowl XXX where we won our third Superbowl in four years AND finally beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Big Game.  Those were the days …

I can say “our” because I consider myself part of the team – the perpetual team of fans.  I have watched, rooted, cheered and cried with the ‘Boys for as long as I can remember.  Having been raised in Texas, it was not only part of my family’s tradition, I’m pretty sure we had classes about it in school.

I cannot speak of the other Superbowls with the Steelers for obvious reasons.  (True fans will understand…)

I’ve often wondered what it is about the Cowboys and football that I love so much.  I do not watch any other sport with such enjoyment, vigor and personal connection.  Is it just the history of always having watched them play on Sundays in the Fall with my family?  One of my early dates with my husband was watching the disappointing Cowboys vs. Lions  in  Today’s playoff game in January 1992.  I knew I could spend the rest of my life with this man once I discovered his blood ran as blue and silver as mine did.

But why does my blood run blue and silver?  To begin with, I am a girl.  This is not meant to be sexist but in general, football fans – especially those who know the difference between offsides and false start  – don’t have breasts.  Well, at least not ones that were meant to serve milk.  Women have only been granted full access to the game within my generation as far as being able to play at the younger level and media coverage.  Other than my mother, I have no close female role model for loving the game of football as much as I do.

Speaking of, there is an interesting study in and of itself.  My mother was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.  She and her best friend moved to Waco, Texas where she met and married my father in 1963.  It must be like a religion, because from all accounts, she converted to Cowboyism for my father and is about as die-hard of a fan as you’ll find.  (See attached photo of our family – it was her idea to wear the Cowboy shirts.)

But let me not digress too far from the point I was trying to discover.

I read somewhere, sometime that people love football because it instinctively reminds of our warrior days without the actual blood loss and death toll.  Again, being a peaceful, haiku-writing, anti-war featherweight who cannot understand why the referees let them fight so long in hockey, you would think that following golf or tennis would be more my style.

And yet, tennis makes my neck hurt and I believe golf would be much better served if the golfer is under constant threat of a tackle by a 6’5″, 375 pound d-lineman before whacking that tiny ball with his stick.  Don’t you?  At least that way it would help better me fight off the urge to nap than I am able to with the soft spoken tones of the golf announcer.

All of this is to say that I really, really, REALLY hope the Cowboys beat the snot out of the Steelers today.  I think they have the power and the might, even if Marion-the-Barbarian is out and D-Ware is playing with a hyper-extended left knee.  Romo has the eyes and the pinkie to connect with any one of our many receiving weapons – TO, Williams, Witten, Crayton, Austin, and I’m pretty sure T-Choice will surprise us all and have a great game. Ole Ben might need to get back on his motorcycle to avoid the pressure that is coming at him today and Polamalu will need to keep his hair out of the way if he wants any chance at covering our guys.

So, here’s to today’s game – raise your glass, melt that queso and get your popcorn ready — Cowboys 27, Pittsburgh 17…

Todaro family extension

Todaro family extension