The Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys offer a study in contrasts as they each lose in different ways.
One of our sports teams is super. The other one sucks.
One team has validated hope, lifted spirits, bonded communities, dispensed goose bumps and reminded us how great sports can be. The other team has us eschewing common courteous greetings for "FML."
One team won nine games in October, pushing its season into November for the first time. The other team went 0-for-the-month, crashing its lofty expectations before Halloween.
One team just gorged on the experience of playing in the 106th World Series. The other team won't sniff Super Bowl XLV.
One team's owner—in his first season—is labeling the season a smashing success. "I couldn't be more proud of this team," he says. The other team's owner—who's been at this since 1989—is offering his fans an apology for the embarrassing pratfall of a season. "I've never been more surprised or more disappointed," he says.
One team's fans flooded its quaint ballpark in Arlington and serenaded its winners with "Let's Go...." The other team's fans morosely meandered into their colossal stadium just up the street and chastised its losers with paper bags on their heads and—can't believe I heard this with my own ears—the "Let's Go..." chant of their neighbors.
One team got killed by the Giants from San Francisco. The other team got killed by the Giants from New York.
One team, in 2010, traded a primo prospect for a superstar player and it resulted in an appearance in the World Series. The other team, back in 1989, traded a superstar for a bunch of primo prospects and it resulted in three Super Bowls.
One team's best player endured fractured ribs and led his squad to unprecedented heights. The other team's best player is likely out for the remainder of the soiled season with a broken collarbone.
One team's season will be remembered for raising a pennant. The other team's season will be memorialized with yellow flags.
One team is being fit for a celebratory party, if not a parade. The other team should fear torches, pitchforks and a public lynching.
One team's head coach overcame a preseason cocaine admission and will be rewarded in the off-season with a new contract. The other team's head coach failed to live up to preseason predictions and in the off-season—if not sooner—will be fired.
One team's crucial downfall was being dominated at home by a guy named Madison Bumgarner. The other team's definitive demise was sealed when it was dominated at home by a guy named David Garrard.
One team's catastrophe came in the 7th inning. The other team's catastrophe occurred in the seventh game.
One team boasts a hard-hitting rookie who for years will anchor first base. The other team boasts a pass-catching rookie who is talented enough to someday return the franchise to first place.
One team finished its season in second place. The other team's current record is second-to-last.
One team's coach spawned a 7-year-old look-alike—Keller's Liam Roybal—who became an overnight Internet sensation. The other team's coach prompted a guy to wear gray spray-painted hair, a headset, a Cowboys coaching shirt with a pillow underneath to represent a prodigious paunch on Halloween, only to be doused with beer at a Cedar Springs tavern.
One team patiently stuck with its 2007 rebuilding plan, and is now enjoying the fruits produced by baseball's best farm system. The other team swung and missed in the 2009 NFL Draft, with six of the 12 players selected no longer on the roster and only one of the dirty dozen—a kicker—making a significant contribution on game days.
One team was the best-hitting squad in its league. The other team is considered the worst-tackling unit in its conference.
One team drew a 31.5 local TV rating for its 4-0 loss last Sunday night, highest ever. The other team garnered only a 23.8 for its 35-17 loss last Sunday afternoon, lowest since 2005.
One team's iconic 63-year-old Hall-of-Fame hurler last week famously took the mound to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. The other team's iconic 68-year-old Hall-of-Fame hurler last week jokingly offered to come out of retirement to help his franchise's hobbled offense.
One team went to San Francisco and suffered a gut-wrenching playoff loss via epic bullpen meltdown. The other team once lost a championship game in San Francisco on "The Catch."
One team's cute and clever "Claw" and "Antlers" became commonplace and cool across the metroplex. The other team is quietly re-introducing annoying mascot Rowdy onto the field on Sundays.
One team learned the hard way that good pitching always beats good hitting. The other team will apparently never learn that great talent doesn't necessarily produce a great team.
One team's owner rarely got face time on TV during the playoffs. The other team's owner is shown more than anyone this side of the head coach and quarterback.
One team was beaten by a group of bearded misfits who pitched out of their minds, caught everything hit at them and benefited from a flashback Most-Valuable-Player performance from an afterthought veteran shortstop. The other team is beaten by...well, everyone.
One team's offense was shut out in two of its last four games. The other team's defense surrendered 76 points in back-to-back home losses.
One team clinched its first playoff series on the road and won two postseason games in fabled Yankee Stadium. The other team is 0-4 at home and hasn't won a game outside the state of Texas.
One team's best defensive player was uncharacteristically mediocre in the World Series, suffering two of the four losses. The other team's best defensive player—for the first time in his career—played a game without recording a sack or a tackle.
One team's assistant coaches no doubt elevated the overall play through longer starts by pitchers and more patient at-bats by hitters. The other team's assistant coaches are under siege for improperly utilizing three talented running backs on offense and, on defense, making a star out of a pedestrian receiver named Mike Sims-Walker.
One team's No. 3 pitcher helped out by recording three home playoff wins. The other team's No. 2 quarterback fit right in by throwing four interceptions.
One team celebrated on its field with a memorable and frenzied ginger ale shower. The other team will not experience the joy of the Gatorade bath.
One team vanquished the almighty New York Yankees. The other team was blown out by the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
One team has finally overachieved. The other team seemingly never reaches its potential.
One team just celebrated in the Fall Classic. The other team is in the midst of orchestrating a classic fall.
One team should be toasted with booze. The other team deserves to be showered with boos.
One team—the Texas Rangers—just climaxed the longest, greatest season of its 39-year franchise history. The other team—your Dallas Cowboys—is just beginning to author the most disappointing season of its 50-year existence.
One team says enjoy basking in the warm glow of an unforgettable fall. The other team warns of an imminent, cold and ugly winter.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.
- That's It Then: The Cowboys 2015 Season Gets Put Out of Its Misery
Sun., Nov. 29, 2:00pm
Tue., Dec. 1, 7:00pm
Fri., Dec. 4, 7:00am
Fri., Dec. 4, 7:05pm
- The Cowboys' 5 Biggest Thanksgiving Turkeys
- Live From London: Your Holiday Weekend Weather Apocaforecast