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Monday, May 5, 2014

old cheer. no cheer. future cheer.

we closed out our week in dallas with something fun - a vip behind-the-scenes tour of the dallas cowboys stadium.

now, i'm not really a football fan.  like, not even a little, to be honest.  i've never really understood all of the rules and details of how the game is played, and i don't care.  but when i was little, the dallas cowboys cheerleaders were a big effing deal.  all my friends and i wanted to be one (heh).  and it's always cool to see stuff like this, so i was excited to check it out.

befitting the "everything's bigger in texas" mantra, the at&t-sponsored stadium is reported to be the largest domed building in the world.

of course, the tour group met inside the gift shop.

and of course, we did a little browsing.

as we made our way up to the second level to begin the tour, we got our first look at the field.

that is apparently the biggest tv, like, ever.  again, shocking.  and it's fully functional - our guide told us that they often watch sports on it during the off-season.  or play video games.  one of the first concerts in this stadium was the teen's beloved jonas brothers, who also enjoyed the opportunity to get their super mario bros. on using that gigantic monitor.

our tour guide referred to jerry jones, the team's owner, often and quite reverently.  it was obvious that he was a big fan of the guy, and was full of information about how much he'd spent on the stadium, the nitty-gritty details of building it and choosing all of the biggest and best features to make the fans feel comfortable during games.  this is the owner's suite.

afterwards, we entered one of several vip club areas.

above our heads was this football-shaped light fixture, with the lamps shaped to resemble the lacing on the ball.  fancy.

the other thing we noticed was that it smelled fresh and clean in there.  during his spiel, the guide mentioned that they pipe in a "crushed linen" fragrance through the vents - much like how disneyland streams out a vanilla scent up and down main street.  cool.

the bean managed to make a friend as we walked along.  if only it were this easy to make friends as an adult, ha.

there was a huge display of ford vehicles at one end of the stadium.  lots of sponsors in this thing.

apparently, there's a separate tour that focuses on all of the art that's displayed all around the arena.  we got to see just a little bit of it.

finally, we started making our way down to the field level.  it was pretty cool to walk through the sections that aren't normally open to the public.

this is another one of those vip club areas.  it's actually set a little below the field, and is where the team heads from the locker room and out into the stadium for games.  they have a smoke machine going, there are fans hyped up and cheering in the club, and they run through the smoke,  underneath the star and out onto the field surrounded by thousands of screaming, excited (maybe slightly liquored up) football fans.

on the other side of that club, through a glass wall, is the team's interview room.

and then just down the cavernous hall from that is the team's locker room.

when we were done oohing and aahing over those custom-made lockers from wood imported from some exotic locale, we finally got to see where my childhood heroines get ready.

okay, it was slightly less impressive than the players' lockers.  no fancy-schmancy imported materials here.  but apparently, their digs have improved tremendously over the years.  they used to have to share just a couple of outlets (imagine that?  to create all that big 70s hair for a couple of dozen girls? madness) and use all available space including the floor to get themselves ready for each appearance. quelle horreur!

and the real highlight of the tour:  some playtime down on the actual field.  we actually only got access to half of it since it's currently being refurbished with new astroturf and numbers and such, but that's okay.  it's all we needed to frolic and burn off some excess energy.

the dallas cowboys are the only team in the NFL that allows fans to do this.  although it's not like i have much to compare it to, with l.a. not even having a professional football team anyway.  we had a great time just hanging out and running around and trying not to get beaned in the nugget from all the footballs that wannabe players were tossing back and forth over our heads.

my little cheerleader.

even though she endured just one painful day of cheerleading back in the day, i managed to get the teen to help me get her sister up into a teeny-tiny pyramid.  the bean is one of the bigger girls on her game squad and so she always serves as a base and never a flyer (at the top of the pyramid).  here she got her chance at last.

i really wanted to make it right and instruct the teen to stretch her other arm out at her side so we could look slightly legit, but i knew it was pushing it to get her to this point.

hey, it's as close as i'm ever gonna get to being an actual dallas cowboys cheerleader.  i'll take what i can get, knowwhatimean?


  1. there's a new TV show about public spaces - Cool Spaces -- on PBS. The first episode was about entertainment, and included this stadium (interviews with Jerry, the architect, the structural engineer, etc.) - might be fun(ner) to watch now that you've been there?!


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