It was a crowd shot that got a lot of attention, so of course it also received its own hashtag. There was a #SeaofRed at AT&T Stadium, and Jerry Jones addressed the situation on a Dallas radio station. The Cowboys owner clearly put a lot of thought into the possible reasons why it looked like 49ers fans outnumbered Cowboys supporters in some sections. Not surprisingly, Jones pointed the finger everywhere but at his own chest.
“You know, we’re so used to seeing that blue color when we travel away. We see it all the time and there’s a lot of it. Some places we go — in Arizona — it feels like a home game, so we know that the kind of interest that let’s say a team maybe like a San Francisco — not maybe, like San Francisco has. Several dynamics go in here. They have affluence. They can travel,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan.
“The other thing is that you have a factor. San Francisco has a lot of fans here, a lot of people from California have moved to Texas and moved to north Texas because of economic opportunity.”
In the same interview, Jones blamed the number of 49ers fans in the stands on all the wealthy people in the Bay Area, as well as all the Bay Area natives who fled to the Lone Star State because they couldn’t afford to live in the Bay Area. Yep, people are just too rich and too poor in San Francisco.
“Our stadium is very attractive. It’s attractive as far as people picking a game that they might want to come to Dallas to be with their team if they can afford the trip. We think that happens. It happened with Pittsburgh last time we played Pittsburgh. We won that game, but still, it happens like that. You do get a good following.”
The stadium he built as a monument to himself, a mammoth structure widely known as “Jerry World” throughout the region, is just too damned gorgeous. A terrible cross to bear.
“The other thing that happened is that our tickets, that’s highest premium that we’ve had since we opened the stadium for a football game, was the premium on this ticket. We had 91,000 people there and a $90 ticket was going for $300, for example. So you do have, because we might have fans who would take the premium, watch the game on TV, it’d be a good way for them to average out on the year for their overall price of watching the Cowboys. I do see how it happened. The secondary market is so sophisticated today. You can just about manage in and out of that secondary market with your tickets as well as you can getting them through the mail.”
If you don’t think Jones is scheming ways to get a cut of that “sophisticated” secondary market, you haven’t been paying attention over the last 20+ years.
“And then you have what we’ve always known in the NFL. You’ll see a father and a son and you’ll see a son be a fan of the team that’s a rival to team of the father. That’s throughout the NFL. Happens all the time. We see it in New York. That’s why we see Cowboys fans up there against the Giants. So you’d have a lot of with San Francisco because of our great rivalries of the ’90s, you’d have a lot of families that normally might have a Cowboys jersey on, but that boy or girl put a San Francisco jersey on.”
This is the best part, where Jones blames youthful rebellion. Hmmm, why would local youngsters root for teams like the Giants (two Super Bowls in the last eight seasons) or the 49ers (five playoff wins in the last three seasons)? Perhaps it’s because those kids missed out on the Cowboys’ glory years and have grown up watching the local team finish 8-8 every year under the stewardship of an owner who also happens to be an inept general manager.
We spent a weekend in Dallas in July (where we allowed/encouraged our dog to relieve herself on the lawn in front of Jerry World). That was not our idea, by the way. My wife’s cousin — who still considers himself a Cowboys fan — can’t stand Jones and suggested we let Elle out of the truck and give her full run of the grass. He’s boycotting the stadium. Everyone we talked to on that trip (at least a dozen people) love the Cowboys, hate Jones, and have no plans to attend a game at his stadium. Jones can bring up every economic factor imaginable, but his inability to read the room is what led to the #SeaofRed.