Growing up in the Dallas, Texas, area there has always been one stadium with the mystic power to always conjure up images of greatness. To many, the Cotton Bowl Stadium will always be named among the greatest stadiums in the country. To a man who has studied the history and seen its gradual fall from grace; it is still “Hallowed Ground”.
The Cotton Bowl was once the sports crown jewel in Dallas. As I grew up, I always dreamed of being able to see the stadium from more than just the stands. I wanted to sit where some of the greatest names in sports writing have sat. At the beginning of the year my dream became a reality. I was given a press credential and would be able to live my dream I have nurtured in my heart since childhood.
That alone was an amazing thought and I would have been ecstatic just to be there and participate. But the day before the game, I had an opportunity to tour this living place of history. I was in the stadium for the pre-game press conference and afterwards we were allowed to walk out of the South tunnel on to the field. Walking down the tunnel, you could almost feel what players over the years felt. I could almost hear the roar of the crowd. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I could feel the tingle in my spine. I was here, actually on the turf of the Cotton Bowl.
Walking out on to the field and seeing the stands for the first time was such a rush. I could only imagine what the sight was like running out of that tunnel with your team into a full stadium of screaming fans. Some of the greatest players in college and professional football have played on this field, and here I was standing at the 50 yard line of one of the most historic stadiums in the country.
As I stood there and just soaked it all in, I could almost hear the voices of the past in my ears. I could hear the crowd and feel the history coursing through my body with a rush of adrenalin just standing there. I could write a list 50 pages long of all the great names who have stepped on that field and even sat in the press box of this glorious old stadium. And here I was getting to stand at midfield and look around. Sure it was empty and I was the only one who really cared, but it was a thrill of a lifetime for me and the realization of a dream.
Obviously there have been a lot of changes over the years for the old girl, but she is still a beauty. But sitting there and looking around, you could just mentally see and feel the glorious history. You could hear the great voices of yester year calling some of the greatest games ever played and could feel the excitement on those fantastic fun filled days.
Before I left the stadium, I wandered up into the press box, just to get a feel for where I would be on game day. Walking into the press box was another experience itself. You could tell that the press box hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years. But I could feel what some of the greatest minds in sports writing felt on those days so long ago.
I am grateful to have been able to sit in such a historic place and watch a Bowl game. Granted, the game wasn’t anything major, but for a one man blog from Dallas who understands the history of the Cotton Bowl – It was a lifelong dream come true. I was able to watch a football game on “Hallowed Ground”, from an historic press box. I will cherish the memory forever.Please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook