Dear Dallas Cowboys fans,
I’d like to take this moment of peril in Cowboys history to invite you to jump aboard the Dallas Mavericks bandwagon. With your team a game below .500 and their playoff chances out of their control, now is the time to switch over to the rising team in the Dallas area, the one with a young superstar in Luka Doncic and one who is a playoff lock with over 50 games to go in the regular season.
Look, I understand your reluctance. For many in the DFW area, basketball is a part time sport at best, one that falls in between football and baseball season. The Mavericks were so bad in the 1990s, while the Cowboys were on top of the football universe. As such, an entire generation of potential basketball fans never cared.
Dirk Nowitzki certainly helped change that. He’s one of the most recognizable Dallas residents, even to people who never cared about basketball at all. 21 years in the same uniform and a championship results in one joining the local zeitgeist by sheer force of time.
The ensuing years after the 2011 championship were bad, there’s no sugarcoating that. I understand why so many part-time basketball fans mostly got off the train.
But we have something special in Dallas now, something I want you to be a part of. It’s not only our 20-year-old MVP candidate in Doncic or young already-an-all-star Kristaps Porzingis. It’s also head coach Rick Carlisle and the team’s hodgepodge collection of under the radar talent — like former Villanova star Jalen Brunson; the other Wurtzburg, Germany native Maxi Kleber; and a player born for Texas in Boban Marjanovic.
These Mavericks are young. These Mavericks are fun. Most importantly, these Mavericks are really good. At 19-10, these team is miles ahead of where we’d hoped they would be . The start of the season coincided with remote dreams of making the playoffs. But now, since (barring a major injury), playoffs are a near lock based on NBA history, aspirations have grown. They’ve beaten some of the best teams in the NBA and with plenty of room to improve they could even be considered a fringe contender.
I’m not asking you to give up on the Cowboys. Being a sports fan is hard and Cowboys fans have faced 20 years of play which ranged from downright terrible to deeply unlucky. You know the problems with the current team and coach. Unlike Jason Garrett, the Dallas Mavericks have a coach who takes responsibility for things which are his fault.
I can’t help you with your Cowboys problems, but I can promise you one thing if you join us on this other Dallas bandwagon: joy. This holiday season you deserve joy. There’s nothing like sports happiness and I can’t put into words just how exciting and joyful it is to watch these Dallas Mavericks play basketball, though I’ve certainly tried.
I know you won’t be able to pull yourself away from the television next weekend, but on Thursday evening or on Saturday night, give the Dallas Mavericks a try. Luka Doncic might be returning from an injury and you’ll get to see a glimpse of what all this hubbub is about.
And who knows? Maybe you might just become a Mavs Fan For Life.
Kirk Henderson, Mavs Moneyball Lunatic-in-Chief