Jerry: An Inflatable Bozo?

IRVING, Tex.-- Remember "Inflatable Bozo''? If you grew up in the ‘60's, you do: Weight in the base. Wide-grinning face. About 4 feet tall. Punch him in his bulbous nose – or hell, assault him in any manner imaginable to a 6-year-old American boy – and back up from a prone position popped "Inflatable Bozo,'' not only no worse for wear but.

Still presenting that wide-grinning face.

Now meet Dallas' "Inflatable Bozo for the 2000s'': Jerry Jones.

Some Dallas civic leaders, including Mayor Laura Miller, have their undies in a wad over Jones' wish that his new stadium in Arlington be THE stadium. The biggest events. The best events. And heck, if possible, maybe ALL the events.

The City of Dallas, having botched its attempts to coordinate with the Cowboys so the stadium could be in Dallas, having botched attempts to keep the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park, are now scrambling to keep some remnants of football in the city limits. So Miller and Co. (to their credit) found a way to retain the Texas-Oklahoma game for Fair Park. And (to their credit) they've been working on hosting an annual Texas Tech-Oklahoma State game.

A game that – in the mind of Mr. Jones – might be an attraction worth luring to Arlington. "The purpose of bringing the country's finest new stadium to North Texas is to continue to provide a home for the very best college and high school football games to go along with the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL,'' said Jones in a statement. "The viability of a venue that can host these types of events creates business and economic benefits that will reach across Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth and all of the neighboring communities."

Got a problem with that?

Mayor Miller does.

She says she's begged the Cowboys to back off so the City of Dallas could be free to work on bringing games to the Cotton Bowl without the team's interference.

Miller told the Dallas Morning News, "I said, 'Guys, every time we talk to a school, you call the schools right behind us.' … I'd like them to just let us get our four weeks of college football. … This just doesn't seem to be in the spirit of regional cooperation. We're helping them with their Super Bowl bid."

Some key points that positively explode from Ms. Miller's three sentences:

1) In terms of political harmony, no city in America fails in the "spirit of cooperation'' category more than Dallas does.

2) Terming a Super Bowl coming to North Texas as "their bid'' illustrates the sort of CYA mindset that poisons so much of what could be accomplished in this "Can't Do'' city.

3) Miller makes it sound like a phone call to Oklahoma State is her original idea and her exclusive domain. It's the "Big 12.'' That means there are only 12 schools available to contact. Does Mayor Miller own the rights to all 12?

4) The idea that one vacant facility in Arlington should "let'' another vacant facility in Dallas "get their'' games is a creative one. The idea that the Dallas Morning News would support this concept (see below) is as well.

Using this logic, the City of Dallas should cease its practice of trying to get major corporations to relocate here. Why not "let'' Phoenix and Austin and Houston keep "their'' corporations?

Using this logic, the City of Dallas should cease its practice of trying to lure conventions here. Why not "let'' Shreveport and San Antonio and New York City keep "their'' conventions?

Using this logic, the Dallas Morning News should re-open and re-instate the competitor it swallowed up a decade-and-a-half ago, the Dallas Times Herald. You know, in "the spirit of cooperation.''

A News columnist, Steve Blow, chimed in. Blow says Jones is guilty of "civic treachery'' and is a "weasel.'' And he suggested he now "hate(s)'' Jones,

"While others have delighted in bashing the Cowboys owner over the years, I have mostly been a neutral bystander,'' prefaces Blow, and he's right about two things there: Blow has a reputation for being a "neutral bystander,'' a weird thing for a lead columnist at a major metropolitan newspaper to be. (But that's another story for another day.) And people do indeed "delight in bashing Jones.'' And one of the reasons is because he's an "Inflatable Bozo.'' Punch him in the nose, and he bounces right back up, smiling, always smiling.

(Perfect example: In the wake of Blow's column, Jerry met casually with the media and twice referred to himself as a "weasel.'' He claims his grandchildren now call him "Papa Weasel.'')

It takes no particular skill to "hate'' Jerry Jones, or to call him names, or to punch him in the nose. It does take a particular skill to make a facility, and a city, attractive to big-time events like pro and college football games, and to stage those events in a way that benefits all involved?

If you are a member of the community of North Texas, and you had a vote, based on their track records, whom you think better possesses that particular skill? The City of Dallas? Or the endlessly bash-able and endlessly successful "Inflatable Bozo'' weasel named Jerry Jones?

CowboysHQ Top Stories