Because I can’t help myself, I have to speculate and beg about Miles Austin’s career with the Dallas Cowboys. I’m sure you’ve all figured out by now that I am a ridiculous Miles Austin fan. I have loved his game since he made a kick off return against the Seattle Seahawks in a PLAYOFF game, the first playoff game to have a kickoff return in the history of the club, by the way. At the same time, he also set the record for longest kick off return: 93 yards. He joined the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent in 2006. After setting a few records and such in the return office, he decided to breakout as a wide receiver. Something I had been waiting for.
You see, I’m not like most of his other fans that only decided to be his fan after his Week 5 performance in 2009. Nope. (And I’m proud of it.) In 2008 I wrote him a ten page letter (most of it about football). He never replied, unfortunately. But in my mind, it just meant he was busy working hard to be the player I knew he could be all along. I remember telling my friends all that year at school about his stats just as a kick returner and his high school achievements and his speed and his work hardiness (I couldn’t go one blog post without making up a word.) and telling them all that he was going to be big soon. It didn’t take long before my friends knew the name Miles Austin just like they knew the name Brett Favre, Eli Manning, and Orlando Bloom. Then, lo and behold, next season Miles Austin went big. And I literally cried tears of joy. Then I promptly texted all of my friends (I had a football contacts list saved on my phone) and said, “Told you so.” I also repeated it the next day at school in the snarkiest tone I could. Multiple times. To anyone who would stand still long enough for me to get the words out of my mouth. And I’m a fast talker when I want to be.
Now, know this: I have always been a football fan. I had to teach the game to myself because my dad never really told me how it works. He just expected us to all shut up and not walk in front of the TV. I loved to watch the game, even when I didn’t really know for sure what all they were doing. Eventually I figured out what the different penalties and terms were. Then I found myself recognizing the players’ numbers and faces. I noticed their shoes. One year I told my dad that Jason Witten was wearing a different style of shoe and he told me I take the meaning of fan to an obsessive level. It’s not like I meant to really. But when you watch these people for a minimum of three and a half hours a week (not including the highlights and interviews I watched online) you start to pick up this stuff. My mom was just telling me a few days ago that when I was a baby, she couldn’t keep me still or quiet for longer than thiry minutes. But when the Dallas Cowboys were on, my dad could cradle me and I’d watch the game and be quiet for the whole three hours. I was a baby, people. I’ve always been a football fan. I’ve always been a Dallas Cowboys fan. When I understood the game, I enjoyed it more. When I saw my first Dallas Cowboys game at Cowboys Stadium, I enjoyed it even more. When Miles Austin ran back a kick off return in a playoff game with this HUGE smile on his face, I LOVED football. And it grew increasingly throughout the years as I started to understand more and more and see more and more.
Miles Austin was really the first player I ever really enjoyed watching. He was like a gateway drug, too. Next thing I knew, whenever I had spare time I was looking up stats and facts about all of the Dallas Cowboys’ players. I remember protesting when Flozell Adams was let go (he went to the Super Bowl the next year). I remember seeing Felix Jones majored in kinesiology and looking up that major and deciding I was really interested in the medical field (I lead the Medical Reading team to 2 Area wins and state qualifications and 1 regional win as well as getting 11th in the state in Human Growth and Development). I remember getting bonus points on an English quiz because I filled the whole back page with stats about Miles Austin and she wanted me to be able to say all those numbers stuck in my head were useful for something (they have a usiness about them). Junior year, I wrote evaluations of games and players and events the players did. I printed out pictures and articles. I made graphs of stats and analyzed percentages. I filled a 2 1/2″ binder full of football. Football is something I can delve in to and not have to worry about messing up. It’s always right for me. And if Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett decide that just because Miles Austin’s career with the Dallas Cowboys is over just because they don’t want to give him another contract, football will have done me wrong.
Miles Austin has set multiple records; he works hard; he’s not a drama queen and asking for the ball all the time; he always sees room for improvement; he was voted by the players as one of the top 100; he enjoys playing and you can see it; without the threat of him on the other side of the line, Dez may not have gotten as good as a season as he did. Miles Austin deserves to retire a Cowboy. Yeah, like all players, he’s got his problem areas. I’m not saying he doesn’t. I’m not even saying he’s the best wide receiver out there, because I know he’s not. But I am saying that he is the player I grew up keeping track of. He’s the player I looked up to in the best way a non-athletic teenage girl can. And now he’s the player that if the Cowboys get rid of, I probably won’t care too much for the Cowboys’ games anymore. It’s been evolving to become so with all the rules and guidelines they keep enforcing. You almost can’t tackle at all it seems like. Miles Austin leaving the Cowboys will be the last straw on the camel’s back for me.
And now that I have written one of my longest posts ever about a football player and thoroughly bored everyone, I would just like to say that I am not obsessive. I’m not some creepy fan that really needs to be avoided at all costs. I’ve just had to let go of everything else from my life of the past few years. I’d like to stil be able to turn on the TV on football Sundays and watch my favorite player. That’s all I’m getting at here really. I wish the best to the Cowboys, unless they get rid of Miles Austin, in which case….
I didn’t even mean to post this tonight. I was just going to put the title and save this as a draft for a blog post in a couple of days when I couldn’t think of anything. But then I started reading the articles and I couldn’t help myself. Once again, I apologize. I’m sure this seems like overkill for normal people.