Chalk up one more loss for Jerry Jones and his Death Star.
AT&T Stadium may lure everything from the Final Four to the Cotton Bowl game to George Strait’s supposed final concert. But there remains one event that the participants continually refuse to bite at.
That was proven once again this past week as the universities of Texas and Oklahoma agreed to keep their annual “Red River Rivalry” football game at the actual Cotton Bowl stadium through at least 2025.
The game will continue to be a staple of the State Fair of Texas and not force Zero-U and the Whiny Orange to travel another 20 miles out of Dallas to the Mothership of the suburbs. Corn dogs, funnel cakes and rigged carny games (seriously, how is that the only place where I don’t rule the skee-ball ramps?) continue to win out over the glitz, glamour and hype of the Boss Hogg Bowl.
Thus, so many writers, radio hosts and others in the area continue to scratch their heads at why these two schools continue to stay at a supposedly outdated facility and not join the club of all that have accepted the move to the great god Jerry’s glorious stadium in Arlington.
They’re like Star Trek’s Borg in that regard – “resistance is futile; you will be assimilated” – but UT and OU continue shoot down those advances.
Well, let’s not get too pure and idealistic in this regard. This may be hard to fathom given the belief that Jerry’s Place has its own mint, but this is ultimately about money.
Yes, technically the game to make more potential money playing at JerryWorld. But there’s the little matter of Jerry wanting a pretty big chunk of that. Even if the school’s share after Jerry skimmed off the top is more than what they would get in their current situation, there’s a pride and ego thing that they shouldn’t concede such a percentage of the pot to a guy who has no connection to either of their schools at all. Bottom line, the City of Dallas and the State Fair always give them a better deal, whether people here want to believe that or not.
While that may be the ultimate driving force behind the two schools staying put, there is more to it that the people here just don’t understand.
While the schools definitely care about money, they also do care about tradition. And that open-air stadium in Fair Park in October gives them something that Jerry’s sterile country club cavern never can.
It’s never been about just this supposed aura of being at a neutral site in DFW. It’s always been about specifically being at the State Fair of Texas.
Unless Jerry can somehow uproot Big Tex and the Texas Star and transplant the whole fair into Arlington’s entertainment district, UT and OU ain’t coming there.
Maybe one day the series at the Cotton Bowl will come to an end. But if it does, you’ll see these teams facing off at Royal Memorial Stadium and Owen Field before you ever see them at JerryWorld.
Because Jerry and his cronies just don’t realize: He needs UT and OU more than they need him. They know their game doesn’t have to be inside a 100,000-seat suburban country club in order to be great.
To some, there are things more valuable than the supposed aura of being in the home of “America’s Team.” And in the case of UT and OU, that value is wrapped in deep-fried corn meal batter.
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