Everything's bigger (and lower) in Texas.
Back in May - after reading that the colossal video boards at Cowboys Stadium were to be only 90 feet above the playing field - I penned an item questioning exactly how high was high enough. It was more common sense than aeronautical engineering, but I was lampooned as if theorizing that was the world wasn't, in fact, flat.
"half wit Nimrod," one critic blasted me. Another called me a "college grad with middle school math skills."
While both those characterizations are on the money, I'm also a little vindicated this morning. Because after watching Tennessee Titans' rookie punter A.J. Trapasso clang a kick off the high-def monstrosity in the Cowboys' 30-10 preseason win Friday night in Arlington, it's clear that JumboJerry is impressively big - but not well-hung.
Even though I was there in The Alamodome during 2007 training camp when after one practice owner Jerry Jones had punter Mat McBriar kick straight up and had his henchman measure the height of the kicks with one of those fancy laser yardsticks, you just knew that 30 yards up wasn't a big deal for guys who can punt the football 60 yards long.
When Trapasso sent his third-quarter kick into the undercarriage of the huge Mitsubishi Electric being, it was embarrassing. Jerry's $1.15 billion structure was on display in a nationally televised open house and - oops - the oversized couch wouldn't fit through the doorway.
Despite Jerry's intial chagrin, the 600-ton boards must be raised. This isn't baseball, where irregular short porches and Green Monsters are celebrated as character. It's football, where punts off scoreboards are ridiculed as competitive gaffes.
A defiant Jones says the stadium was built to league specifications. He also bristled at the fact that Trapasso - who did the same thing in warm-ups, by the way - purposely tried to hit his JumboJerry as some badge of honor.
Says Jones, "How high is high if somebody just wants to sit there and kick straight up?"
Since it is possible to be raise JumboJerry - it was already scheduled to be adjusted for U2's Oct. 12 concert - it needs to happen and happen now. Even McBriar admits the possibility of hitting the structure could be a mental distraction.
"I don't think I'll really get near it," McBriar said after Friday's game. "But is it possible? Yes."
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