Sunday, September 07, 2008

My Town Monday: Cowboy Fever


Today my community is awash in the glow of our favorite sport: football! While the Cowboys may call Dallas home, Texas Stadium is actually in Irving, Texas. Owner Jerry Jones is currently building the new, bajillion seat sanctuary/stadium in Arlington, Texas. And since the only other NFL team near our area is in Houston (the Texans, yawn), Fort Worth claims the Cowboys as our own.

Our family spent the day yesterday wearing Cowboy colors (silver and blue), proudly waving our Cowboy flag in the front yard. Yes, we are that cheesy. It's hard not to get excited about the game when players like Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Marion Barber function as an unstoppable offensive machine. Even more fun when our defense makes the Cleveland Browns look like the seventh-grade B Team.

Felix Jones, a rookie running back from Arkansas, made his NFL debut with a touchdown-making first carry, and several impressive runs. Welcome to Texas, Felix. We like you already.

A few quotes from the Cowboy's star-spangled history, found in Dallas Cowboys: Quips & Quotes by Alan Burton (If you're a football fan, a humor fan, a Cowboy fan, you need a copy of this book.)

Linebacker D.D. Lewis on Texas Stadium: "Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch his favorite team play."

Walt Garrison, when asked if legendary coach Tom Landry ever smiled: "I don't know. I only played there nine years."

CBS-TV sportscaster Jim Nantz on coach Jimmy Johnson: "The only time Jimmy Johnson didn't run up the score was twenty-seven years ago when he took the SAT."

ABC Monday Night Football broadcaster (and former Cowboy) Don Meredith, when a fan made an obscene gesture to the camera: "He's just telling us, 'they're number one.'"
Sports fan? Do tell...

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Monday, September 01, 2008

My Town Monday: Hurricane Gustav

The biggest news in Fort Worth, Texas on today's Labor Day holiday is the onslaught of evacuees arriving from the Louisiana coast. Today's paper (the Fort Worth Star-Telegram) reports that one man and his family were the first to arrive in the area, but were told "evacuation centers in Dallas weren't ready, so they headed to Fort Worth to find refuge."

Ahem.

Our city is ready to go with more than eight community centers ready to serve as shelters, and six churches on standby. Fort Worth Mayor Moncrief further opened the welcome to those fleeing the hurricane by reminding workers, "Remember these folks are not evacuees--they are our guests."

Our family has filled out the necessary volunteer paperwork to assist our city's guests, and are waiting for the call to see how we can help. The difference in a few hundred miles is startling: today we have fair skies and warm weather. I spent yesterday afternoon in a lounge chair reading, while families packed up and spent hours in horrendous traffic fleeing their homes.

Instead of barbecuing, swimming, or relaxing with friends, these folks/evacuees/guests must spend the holiday anxiously watching news coverage to see how their homes, and hometowns, are faring. I can't imagine the emotional toll of facing such devastation twice in three years. Unlike them, today I'm safe in my brick house, hearing the chug of laundry, and eating a tuna fish sandwich. The simple calm, the gorgeous weather, my absolute blessedness, makes me feel inordinately grateful and helpless at the same time. So today in my hometown, I'm praying for God's mercy and for the chance to be a help.

If you want to volunteer, contact the Volunteer Center of North Texas. Cash donations may be sent to the American Red Cross at 817-335-9137 or you can click here.

And, if you're a praying person, lift up those whose lives, whose hometowns, might need it the most.

***UPDATE*** Wow, those volunteer coordinators are fast! We've been invited to help serve dinner at the Worth Heights community center near downtown Fort Worth. Consider us hair-netted and ready to go!

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