I went to the Dallas Cowboys annual kick-off luncheon Thursday at the Hotel Intercontinental and treated my ears to a sound smorgasbord. There was rap music by Lil' John, "Lights Out" by UFO and even an invocation. Can we still pray? I mean, as a group? We can? We can pray? OK, cool. 'Cuz we did.
The luncheon is the fancy-schmancy event where a couple thousand rich fans, powerful sponsors and lowly media get to meet the team, watch some videos, hear from team personnel and snag a free, delicious, free meal that was free. A pep rally oozing class and cash, if you will. Channeling Monty Hall, owner Jerry Jones shocked the same ballroom in 1990 by yanking the stage's curtain and revealing a rookie named Emmitt Smith, who promptly ended a holdout and signed a contract right on the spot. There were no David Blaine blockbusters Thursday, but that doesn't mean it wasn't eventful. Coach Bill Parcells gave a speech that didn't exactly threaten George S. Patton. "I think I have a group now that can be pretty special," Parcells said. "They've inspired me to do my job better." Yawn.
Ed "Too Tall" Jones won the Tom Landry Memorial Legend Award. Cool. Charlie Waters was there, and Drew Pearson was there, and 95-year-old Ebby Halliday was there, and even Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck was there whetting his appetite for 2009. Oh, yeah, and Terrell Owens showed up. On time even. The ovation for T.O. was considerably more rapturous than the applause for backup linebacker Junior Glymph but noticeably less than the reception for Roy Williams. Emcee Brad Sham hooked us to the edge of our seats with, "And now, a word from T.O..." As Owens looked around surprised and bright-eyed, Sham chuckled and said, "That's T.O., The Owner." With that Jones grabbed the microphone, presented luncheon beneficiary Happy Hill Farm a giant check for $50,000 and then--accidentally, but clearly--steered the gala smack dab into a porn movie.
How? Rambling on about his desire to have his team and fans enjoy winning another Super Bowl, Jones passionately said, "I want us to get back to the top--a place I call the glory hole." What the...??!! Jones is an old oil wildcatter, and I'm just certain he was making a reference to drilling a winner. But some of you out there might have giggled and thought he was talking about the other glory hole. Didn't you, Beavis? And you, Spicoli? And you? And me? Of course we did. In unrelated news, the Cowboys' new kicker sucks. --Richie Whitt