I don’t understand people who watch a lot of TV, but don’t like sports. I don’t get it. I know people who watch crime dramas and sitcoms and “reality” shows, but don’t ever watch sports. Are you kidding me? For sheer entertainment value, for pure and unmitigated intrigue and drama, for unmatched suspense and wow-I-didn’t-see-that-coming surprises, for unscripted highs and lows of real people in real life, you simply can’t beat live sports. And for absolute over-the-top doses of all the above, nothing beats a Dallas Cowboys football game.


In the closing minutes of the final quarter of the regular season last night the Cowboys had all the momentum. They had just scored an improbable touchdown on a 4th and 9. They had just held one of the league’s highest octane offenses to a three-and-out. They had the ball at their own 30 with a timeout to use, needing to gain only 35-40 yards to kick the game-winning, playoff-clinching, NFC East division title-taking field goal. And in half a blink, Kyle Orton threw the ball to Brandon Boykin and the game was over.


It was like watching sudden death in a hockey game seven. It was over so fast, it came crashing down so quickly, it was almost breath-taking.

Where else on TV do you get to watch one of the world’s richest billionaires jumping up and down and hugging his grandkids with joy and in an instant later watch him contort his body in anger, throwing himself all over his out-sized luxury suite, spewing language out of his mouth that those grandkids shouldn’t be hearing? It’s not scripted; it’s not “take two;” it’s live! Where else do you get to watch up close the very careers and livelihoods of grown men hang in the balance second-by-agonizing-second? Where else do you see the fortunes and fates of millionaires change in a heart beat? Jerry Wayne is presiding over the longest Super Bowl drought in franchise history, but he keeps banging his head against the wall week in and week out in front of hundreds of thousands of live television viewers. Kyle Orton, the only quarterback in NFL history to be replaced by Tim Tebow, goes from hero to goat in one super-fast throw. Nobody writes stuff like this.

The Cowboys lost three games by one point this season, another game by three points, and last night by two. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time in league history one team has suffered four losses by two points or less in one year. The Cardiac Cowboys, indeed. Historic blown leads. Heroic fourth quarter comebacks. You can’t make this stuff up. You can’t write a script like these. You never, ever, ever know what’s going to happen. And, even when you have a pretty good idea they’re going to lose, you can’t possibly ever imagine the crazy, unexplainable way it’s going to go down.

The most exciting .500 team in all of sports. Why would you watch anything else?