Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 4:03 p.m.
Nate Newton remembered his time at Texas Stadium: "I lived in an unreal world for 13 years."
A couple weeks ago, you may recall, we brought you a look inside what's left of Texas Stadium, which, to our eyes, looked just about ready to come down.
Not about to let the stadium go quietly, though, the city of Irving organized yet another tour of the old stadium today, this time to put a more personal spin on the awesome spectacle coming up on April 11.
So with the demolition crew looking forward to the big bang, former Cowboys lineman Nate Newton, wide receiver Tony Hill and tight end Billy Joe Dupree stopped by this morning to pay their last respects, along with ex-Cowboys cheerleader Cheryl Gates, who spent the late '90s dancing the sidelines, and a handful of City of Irving officials.
Voice of the Cowboys Brad Sham said thinking about the impending demo was "a little weird," setting an ambivalent tone echoed by the former players. Sham compared the sight of Texas Stadium to a visit with a dying loved one. "There comes a time when the frame is just a frame and the spirit has left," he said.
"It's already different, and I don't want to remember it like this," said Hill, who, like the other players, wasn't too enthusiastic about showing up to watch the implosion in person.
The day's biggest news on the implosion: If you're waking up early to catch the big event live and in person, Chris Berman will be out there with you, emceeing a ceremony that, along with the detonation of 2,715 pounds of explosives in the stadium, will also have fireworks.
"I lived in an unreal world for 13 years," Newton said, recalling his playing time at Texas Stadium. "I hate to see it go, but they got a bigger and better thing over there in Arlington."
Former Irving mayor Dan Matkin recalled just how it felt when Texas Stadium went up in 1971, right next to current mayor Herbert Gears, who drummed up excitement for the mixed-use Valhalla he hopes will take the stadium's place.
Inside the stadium Stephen Revile, A&R Demolition's operations manager for the job, described how the landmark would come down, in "a minute-a-half, tops." Revile said he'd worked other major demolitions, including Reunion Arena, but was clearly looking forward to this one. "This will be my biggest accomplishment when we're done," he said.
A&R Demolition operations manager Stephen Revile explains the path the explosions will take around the stadium on April 11.
Brad Sham offered one final welcome to Texas Stadium.
floated the idea of a half-demolition, like the Coliseum in Rome, to leave Irving with a world-class tourist destination.