It was a nice gesture by the producers of the Academy of Country Music Awards show last Sunday to hand the Arlington mayor one of their awards, before the TV network came on, and thank the city for hosting the big event.
It’s too bad the entertainers, most of whom seemed to have no idea where they were for most of the night, didn’t notice it.
Their frequent reference to being in the city some 15 miles or so to the east may have been because the staging of the extravaganza inside Jerry’s World included a huge backdrop of the Dallas skyline.
There is no doubt that the ACM wanted to appear to be in Dallas. They could have been — plenty of venues there would accommodate the big crowd they bragged about all evening. Instead, they promoted a lie.
Yes, I’ve complained about this before, but my voice is only one among a great many who expressed feelings ranging from chagrin to outrage that Big D keeps getting recognized in such events for something the people of Arlington made possible.
Voices inside the big dome shouting “Arlington” every time Dallas was given credit for the event were heard by a very few. But then the social media went viral.
Here’s a sample of the expression from others demonstrating via Facebook and Twitter their pride in their hometown and being totally dismayed at the offense.
“None of them had a clue where they were … certainly not in Dallas.”
“I doubt if Taylor Swift knows where she is half the time anyway — says whatever is on the teleprompter.”
“That is one of my biggest pet peeves! When the NBA All Star game was there, they had shirts made that said Dallas. I was furious!”
“And it’s always Dallas, Dallas, Dallas, Dallas, Dallas, Dallas …”
“Could somebody tell the rest of the world the show was in Arlington?”
“Agree, this is the second big event held in Arlington where everyone called it Dallas. Please let people know we are NOT Dallas!”
“Arlington, not Dallas. I am an Arlington-ite and I voted for that stadium, now give us all the credit due. Please.”
“Arlington got no love tonight. It’s Arlington, not Dallas.”
“They all need a big Texas education lesson.”
“I don’t think the football club that plays there should bear the name Dallas, either. They should be the Arlington Cowboys.”
“Where’s our public relations?”
Here’s my favorite, because it echoes what I have called for over and over:
“It could be written into a contract to clarify where they are.”
The city should formally and publicly adopt a resolution addressed to Jerry Jones insisting that he include language in his contracts with those to whom he leases his facility that they make a good faith effort for everyone on and behind the television screen to correctly identify Arlington.
In case anyone needs to be reminded, Dallas had its chance to partner with Jerry to build his new stadium in their town.
Then-Mayor Laura Miller, to the regret of many other Dallas City Council members and leaders throughout the big city, would have nothing to do with any public funding to build Jerry’s World in “her” town.
It was Arlington voters who seized the opportunity and, for the second time, agreed to tax themselves to make a world-class sports facility a reality.
Sure, the economic payoff is terrific. But, the greater benefit is the national and worldwide exposure of the city for the events that take place there.
That’s not happening, and it should. It’s simply wrong for Dallas to bask in the reflected glory of what Arlington has done. Period.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. firstname.lastname@example.org