Dear Vivian,It’s your stinky daddy here and, on behalf of so many parents in North Texas, I need to apologize to you and the rest of the children. It’s our fault.When watching the Super Bowl you asked in a way only a 4-year-old girl can, “What is our team: the orange team or the white team?”So much precious innocence in that question. So much sadness.Like most parents, we want to protect our children from harsh realities of the world. In this case, we may feel the need to protect them from the harsh reality of being a Dallas Cowboys fan. So much sadness.The NFL Combine is in two weeks, and already we must begin the process of hardening our hearts, and protecting our greatest resource — the children — from the disappointment history keeps telling us is inevitable.You did not ask to be born, or raised, in the greatness of Fort Worth/dallas; as such, it is not necessarily your choice to have the Dallas Cowboys as “your team.” But they are. You are a Dallas Cowboys fan.Like special agent Johnny Utah told Bodhi in Point Break, “It’s gotta be that way!”This is one of the many non-negotiables coming your way, including flushing the toilet every time, and not dating until 10 years after my tragic passing.As long as you live here, you are a Cowboys fan. You don’t like it? There’s the door. I don’t care if you are 4. Rules are rules (please note, said rule is awaiting Mom’s signature).You will not be picking “another team” to which you have no logical tie. It is a one of Dad’s great sports pet peeves — people who live in North Texas that somehow love the Seattle Seahawks. Unless you were born or raised in the Pacific Northwest, or are related to an actual seahawk bird or a player, you aren’t a Seahawks fan.There is no bandwagon jumping in this house. You did not suddenly become a Seahawks fan while they were emasculating Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. While we’re at it, no Lakers, Heat, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Wings, Barney, Justin Bieber and boys, too.Such a scenario reminds me of the astute observation former Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton made the day after the Patriots beat down his team in 2007 at Texas Stadium: “How the hell did there get to be so many Patriots fans?”Exactly.Little Vivian, while only 4, you were born into sports purgatory with so many other innocents, old and young, right along with Jerry, Stephen, Jerry Jr., Charlotte and the rest.But if the team isn’t winning, what’s in it for you, or any kid, around here? A fair question, and one where no dad has any reasonable answer other than, “Uh ... don’t ask questions, and finish those vegetables that I don’t want to eat, either.”Maybe for your birthday we can watch DVDs of those Super Bowls from the ’70s and ’90s. Perhaps Netflix is streaming the Cowboys’ big playoff win against the Eagles from the ’09 season.As a lifelong fan, you get first dibs on ripping Jerry the next time he crosses the street, and you can wildly celebrate whenever they do win their next Super Bowl. You can say you were with them from the beginning. In the sports world, it’s very important to be able to claim that you are no bandwagoner, and that you earned that moment.Like most problems in this world, this issue starts in the home. No mom or dad should have to feel the shame of deliberately putting a kid in a shirt or hat that is associated with a loser. Moms and dads should always enjoy putting their kids in outfits with the express purpose of humiliating their child, all in the name of a cute photo.When the Cowboys begin to evaluate this year’s crop of talent — deciding that passing on another defensive lineman is a good idea, or that drafting another tight end is — they need to think of Vivian and the rest of the children born into this suffering.These children didn’t ask to be born here, but they were and, through no fault of their own, they are stuck supporting this team.Some people are born into royalty, such as Princes William and Harry, while the less fortunate are Cowboys, Lions or Cardinals fans.Like millions of others, Vivian was born here, and she is a Dallas Cowboys fan.I am sorry about this, but it’s gotta be that way.With all of my love,Stinky Daddy Follow Mac Engel on The Big Mac Blog on www.star-telegram.com/sports.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @macengelprof