The state of Texas represents just about everything in stereotypical modern American culture, writ large. From oil dollars to pickup trucks to immigration issues to oversized meal portions, Texas is everything that people worldwide think of when they think America. Its sports teams represent that oversized, brash stereotype too. The Dallas Cowboys have long been famous for hubris and controversy on top of their success on the field.
(It only looks like a football stadium…)
Their new stadium continues that tradition. Cowboys Stadium is a billion-dollar monument to everything good and bad about American culture and excess, and is a stadium perfect for the over-the-top Cowboys and their caricatured oilman owner Jerry Jones. Which is why it was somewhat surprising to hear that it was designed for soccer. Yes, soccer.
OK, well maybe it’s not that surprising; it’s good business to design such a stadium to maximize revenue, something that hosting major soccer matches would achieve. Still, though, as the DALLAS MORNING NEWS writes, it’s not exactly what you’d expect to hear from Cowboys VP Stephen Jones:
“Soccer wasn’t at the back of our minds in building the stadium. It was front and center alongside football. It is one of the pieces of the puzzle we knew we had to have in making our stadium more than just the home of the Dallas Cowboys.”
Jones’ tone was very matter-of-fact. He talked soccer as if it were football. Bottom line: The Cowboys hope to turn their new football home into a soccer mecca.
For all the talk about whether sports fans in this country will ever warm up to soccer, the real measure of whether soccer will catch on is in this story. If there’s money to be made on it, it will catch on with corporations and sponsors. That, in turn, will eventually result in it being mass-marketed to the country. It’s a cynical way of looking at it, but it’s reality.
When billion-dollar football stadiums are being designed to accomodate soccer, not the other way around, it’s safe to say that the beautiful game isn’t going away, despite what meatheaded American football fans like to say. Everything’s bigger in Texas, and now that includes soccer, too.