The Austin Chronicle

Dickens Does Dallas: A Christmastime Visit From the Ghosts of Henny Youngman, Rodney Dangerfield, and Andrew Dice Clay Teaches Me the True Meaning of Cowboys Football

By Jeremy Martin, December 8, 2006, 11:33am, The Score

I'll admit I'd gotten burned out on my Dallas Cowboys blog. It seemed like I've been making the same lame jokes and obvious observations all season.

But last night, just like Ebenezer Scrooge, I was visited by three ghosts, but these spirits weren't concerned with the Christmas spirit. They were here to give me enough one-liners to fulfill the word count for my blog entry this week.

The following interview taught me two meaningful lessons: 1) Making obvious observations and lame jokes is what sports writing is all about and 2) They put the expiration date on cough syrup for a very good reason.

Austin Chronicle: The Cowboys have really turned the season around in the last few weeks. They're at the top of the NFC East, but do you think the fact that they have the lowest division record in the NFL, or that every other team in the East has lost key starters diminishes that achievement?

Rodney Dangerfield: I tell ya, it's not easy being a Dallas Cowboy these days. You tell a girl you're in first place in the NFC East, and she always says the same thing: "Does that mean I have to get injured before you'll start screwing me?"

Andrew Dice Clay: No. 1 in the East, big deal. That's like winning a beauty contest for South Bronx hooers.

Henny Youngman: When the Cowboys moved to the top of the division, they marked their name with an asterisk. So I looked it up. It doesn't stand for anything – it's just a little drawing of an asshole.

AC: Dallas won Sunday with a field goal after dropping Mike Vanderjagt and hiring Martin Gramatica. Did you agree with that decision?

HY: Before Sunday, Gramatica had only kicked two field goals in the past two seasons. That's like hiring yourself to satisfy your wife. If you're gonna spend the money, find somebody who can get the job done.

RD: It wasn't easy being Mike Vanderjagt I tell ya, but he left some tough shoes to fill. They were size 15 cleats, both made for left feet.

ADC: What about Gramatica's celebration after he won the game? I haven't seen an Argentinian get that excited since the country got electricity in 2002. Oh!

AC: Tony Romo has the highest quarterback rating in the NFL. Do you think he's the answer to the Cowboys QB problems?

RD: Romo reminds me a lot of myself when I was in high school. I didn't play quarterback or anything, I just had a freakishly strong right arm.

HY: You have to keep in mind Romo's only started four games so far, and NFL quarterbacks often get overhyped. For every John Elway, Peyton Manning, or Roger Staubach, there's probably 20 Todd Marinoviches, Jake Plummers, and Ryan Leafs. Give Romo the time he needs to prove himself in the big leagues.

ADC: I don't know about all that, but you gotta give the man credit for some tasty ribs.

HY: For the record, I'd like to say I thought of the Tony Roma's joke, but chose not to make it.

AC: Well one player who continues to be a disappointment is Terrell Owens. Despite his name recognition and high salary, he currently holds the NFL record this season for dropped passes.

RD: TO don't get no respect, I tell ya. Throw the man a bone, here. If it's not in a game-affecting situation, he'll probably even catch it.

ADC: This season, Owens has had more poorly timed dropped balls than an eighth grade boys choir. Oh!

HY: Quit stealing my material, kid.

AC: Well I'm running out of space here, but I have one last question. Returning from death has probably given you wisdom and insight impossible to gain in this life. Do any of you want to make a prediction on the Saints game?

RD: Wait a minute, that's all you want to know from us, the score for Sunday's game? You're not curious about what happens when you die or what religion is right or ...

AC: Well, like I said, we don't have a lot of space here, so I have to cut to what's important and ...

ADC: Wait a freakin' minute here. I'm not dead!

HY: Tell that to your agent, kid. I haven't seen you in anything since Ford Fairlane. If your career falls any further, you'll be writing a damn sports blog.

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