Hope vs Reality

Hope is a good thing. Being a Cowboys fanatic like we all are here requires that we have some level of hope every year. We all hope “this is our year”, or hope things will different for us this year.

Nothing symbolizes that hope more than the draft. Every year the draft is analyzed, dissected and graded before a single player has played a down of NFL football. Draft experts and fans look at the players we acquire and project their impact in a positive light. Nothing wrong with that because as the saying goes, “Hope springs eternal.” Hope is good. For example, I think we have a good draft this year. I hope so anyway.

But the balance of sports hope is sports reality. Reality is based on the actual results we get and nothing else. The goal of every team – its leaders, players and fan base – is to win a championship or at the very least get close. Reality is only one team wins it every year. This balance of hope versus reality is part of what makes sports fun.

After the last three decades as a Cowboys fan, reality has been harsh. We’ve had some good seasons, like the last three where we won 36 games – three straight 12 win seasons. We’ve made the playoffs all three of those seasons, for the first time since the 90s. The reality staring at us is we have one wild card win to show for the last three seasons. An even stronger dose of reality, we have 5 wild card wins in the last three decades. And the same GM and son pulling all the levers of power. That’s also a harsh reality.

This time of year it’s a good thing to have hope. Optimism is the cornerstone of sports fandom. But the results we get is the ultimate reality – the bottom line at least for me as a fan.

Someday, we all hope that the results we get will line up with the hope we have. When hope and reality happen together, it’s the greatest feeling as a sports fan. As a long time Cowboys fan, I still remember when hope and reality happened. I hope someday it will happen again.

So I hope we can all be tolerant of any fan here who has hope going into the next season. And I also hope that hyper-hopeful fans will also be tolerant of those whose hopes have been crushed so many times by reality that it’s hard to have much hope again. I understand both. I hope we can all allow the balance of hope and reality to exist together.

Go Cowboys!

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