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Roar of the Crowd

Readers respond to the September 2016 issue.

By October 2016Comments

That’s a sentence from Michael J. Mooney’s cover story on the Dallas Cowboys quarterback from the September issue, “The Last Best Hope of Tony Romo.” But little did we know how prescient it was. Barely one day after the issue was available on newsstands, Romo was injured during his first series, in a preseason game against Seattle. Though initial reports suggested he was okay, an MRI later revealed a fractured bone in his back, knocking him out for up to ten weeks. In short order, social media erupted: “#Texas MonthlyJinx?” wrote @MarcIstookNFL. @LukePotter1983 chimed in, “The kiss of death!” Undaunted, we then asked Mooney to write a profile of Dallas police chief David Brown, who then suddenly announced his retirement. We are now proceeding carefully with any future assignments.

And now, a sampling of feedback from our readers.

The Boy of Bummer

Interesting article, but naturally a bit ruined by too much cheerleading and hype [“The Last Best Hope of Tony Romo”]. That whole “America’s Team” shtick has been old since it was self-proclaimed, and it’s hubris like that that makes Dallas many, many people’s least-favorite team and provides extra incentive for rival teams who play them. And I bet places like Chicago, New York, and Green Bay, to name only a few, might challenge that “most storied franchise” malarkey, if only on the basis of seniority and tradition and importance in the creation of the NFL’s success. I’d also question that “[Cowboys] fans want it more”—you’ll find some pretty hungry and demanding fans in every NFL city. If anything, Dallas’s fans are spoiled and almost impossible to please. Plenty of teams would be happy to contend for the playoffs every year, but somehow the Cowboys and their fan base feel cheated if they don’t win it all, every time.
Kozmo, via texasmonthly.com

You will go down in history as a profane bully who thinks so much of himself that he can try to destroy the good name and superb career of Tony Romo. You are blind and petty to think one must win a Super Bowl to be honored at retirement despite having “left all of himself on the field” throughout a long, pride-filled career.
Susan Bartlett, Austin

Michael J. Mooney’s exemplary article on Tony Romo convinced me that if he had either spotted the ball or run for a touchdown after the field goal miff in Seattle, we would have been looking at Troy Aikman–like Super Bowl wins.

The Cowboys are cursed to have the worst GM while having the best business owner in all of sports. Evidence would be the fact that the Cowboys are now the most valuable franchise in the world, despite their abysmal playoff record.

It’s a shame that at the moment the incompetent GM has put together the best O-line in recent history, talented WRs, and a possible running back of future fame, we look to Dak Prescott as a possible playoff QB. I hope he is—he seems to have “it”—but hearts will break for Tony if he cannot compete. At least mine will.
Seoff Utley, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

For the Birds

It used to be that hunters and outdoorsmen were imbued with a sense of conservation [“Ruffled Feathers”]. Take only what you’ll use and leave little behind to go to waste. Leave as little of a footprint on nature as possible, so that it may stay viable for your life, your kids’ lives, and your grandkids’ lives. Hunters and outdoorsmen were also stewards. The kid in this story seems to have been taught only one thing: it’s your right to shoot and kill whatever you want. He’s a disgrace to hunters and anyone who has any measure of affinity and respect for the earth.
Robb, via texasmonthly.com

Thank you, Sonia Smith. My dad, an avid birder, loves whooping cranes, and you did an amazing job with this heartbreaking story. I remain hopeful for the future of the species. Glad TM brought awareness to the issue.
Kristen Jones, via Facebook

I think the reactions to the shooting, on Facebook and in the community, are an accurate reflection of how real hunters and outdoors people feel about the cranes, and about nature in general. The kid was roundly condemned by everyone. That’s heartening. In my family, we have hunted game birds since our ancestors came to America, in the 1800s, but it was drilled into all of us as children: You never hunt when or where you’re not supposed to. You never hunt in a way that’s going to leave no animals behind to maintain the population or damage their habitat so badly they won’t come back. And you never hunt anything that’s endangered. My grandfather and uncles used to hunt quail in northwest Texas; when it started emerging that there was concern for the quail populations and that they might be threatened, they stopped. Good hunters are stewards of the land, and of the animals that live on it.
Apocalypsofacto, via texasmonthly.com

Fine Art

Fantastic story [“Fame in the Abstract”]! The writer immersed me so completely, I felt I could have been in a virtual travelogue.
Om, via texasmonthly.com

Steer Clear

How I see it is, in the current 24/7 media environment, any tidbit of news is used to draw eyeballs to web pages—and the headline writers know what it takes to get the clicks [“When the Dust Settles”]. In this case, that was done by sensationalizing what may have been very preliminary research. The problem for the cattle industry is that this can have enormous economic consequences, even if the research is not at the point of being conclusive. I’m not a blame-it-on-the-media type, but the media should take responsibility for possibly misleading the public. Way too many people glance only at headlines and maybe the first paragraph and don’t read the full article.
Planojoe, via texasmonthly.com

You Don’t Know Jack

I doubt anyone ever became a CMA Top New Male Vocalist without giving up a piece (or two) of himself, but Jack Ingram is ornery and tough enough to take it back and set fire to your damn Mustang on the way out of the parking lot [“Jack Out of the Box”]. Saw him on Fox 4 Dallas saying he started out playing Adair’s on Monday night in 1990 and “it took me eighteen years to be an overnight success.” His way of telling Nashville to go procreate amongst themselves. Love him. Hate him. Just don’t try to stop him.
Fmawg, via texasmonthly.com

Midnight Motel is a strong comeback from pop-country hell.
Durangosteve, via texasmonthly.com

Authenticity is a crutch.
Jim, via texasmonthly.com

Force for Good

I admire David Brown [“A Different Beat”]. Way better to work with the youth than to have to arrest them. I know so many kids who do not get any help or encouragement at home. God bless these policemen and policewomen!
Shirley Parkey, via texasmonthly.com

I agree 1,000 percent. With constant community policing by walk-about cops, I’ll bet most of these killings would not have happened, because the community would have stepped in to help the cops.
Wurty, via texasmonthly.com

Camp David

David Courtney (the Texanist) is a wonderful writer [“Endless Summers”]. He is a talented humorist. He might be my favorite columnist of all time. However . . .

When the magazine chooses a theme I have little interest in, I always knew that I could turn to the back page and get a dose of the stuff that makes Texas great. The sage third-person wisdom of the Texanist was what I looked forward to the most.

Regardless of David’s skill, does the world really need another feel-good story about growing up as a privileged kid in Texas? (Summer camp is probably a rare event only a relative few children get to experience.)
Mica Calfee, Flower Mound

Thank you so much for writing this! It took me right back to those amazing summers.
Claire Skierski, via texasmonthly.com

Hal, Yeah

I know in Texas we are all eager to point to another Texan as the origin of something [Chat]. And while Coach Hal Mumme is pretty much undoubtedly the man behind the Air Raid offense, it doesn’t mean he is responsible for the spread passing game in college football. While there is no doubt that Mumme deserves a spot in the upper echelon of innovative coaches, it is somewhat cheapening history to just say, “He did it first and everyone followed.”
Ryan Sprayberry, via texasmonthly.com

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