Observations from an NFL stadium

The Cheese Fry was in attendance at the Christmas Eve game at Cowboys Stadium in which the Cowboys again prove that they're just good enough to disappoint their fans time and again.

* If you think getting to the game two hours before kickoff is "early," about 10,000 other fans think so, too.

* People sometimes joke that their Sunday religion is the NFL. If so, then the steel and glass monstrosity that is Cowboys Stadium is surely their church. It is enormous.

* 16 ounces of beer is $8.50. We will admit, however, that it was ice cold.

* It's hard to not watch the infamous 60-yards-long HD screen as if you're still in your living room. You have force yourself to watch the action down on the actual field.

* You don't have to have a screw loose to go to a game in face paint, but it probably helps, don't you think? Especially for those who go shirtless and apply face paint to their pasty white pudgy torsos.

* The video packages displayed on the in-stadium screens are incredibly sophisticated and polished. And remarkably effective in stirring emotion. They play you like a cheap violin. You will laugh... here. You will get fired up... here.

* We're glad we brought binoculars. All the better to see Tony Romo huddle up with Steven McGee on the sideline to try and figure just what in the hell is wrong with the Dallas offense.

* We have new respect for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. The most we usually ever see of them involves mugging for the Fox Sports cameras as the games go to commercial, but at the stadium, they're working hard between quarters and during TV timeouts. The halftime routine was easily ten minutes of choreography.

* Nachos are $9. And it's the exact same kind of nachos you'd pay $4 for at your local cineplex.

* Not many things more miserable than watching your team flail and stumble while the opposing team racks up yards and touchdowns. Well, there is one thing more miserable: having the opposing team's fans cheer and holler. Who knew there were any actual Eagles fans outside of Pennsylvania?

* In person, NFL game day is like a one-day, PG-13-rated house party. Wall to wall people, loud music, crazy clothes, lots of food and alcohol. Plus Santa Claus.

* If there's a way to honor the military, the NFL will do so. Not passing judgment on the questionable pandering that hasn't ebbed since 2001, just making an observation.

* Some of the players in pre-game stretching exercises look like they could perform with Cirque de Soleil the way they contort and bend.

* Plastic bucket of slightly stale popcorn is $10. But you get to keep the souvenir bucket.

* There's always one or two jackasses who won't take off their hat for the national anthem. What is their malfunction?

* It's such a big operation that the stadium has something of an in-house TV show going on, with a host setting up videoclips, interviewing guests, and announcing promotions. All of it coming to you live from the concourse.

* Looking at all of the corporate signage, the mind reels in thinking how much Jerry Jones is paid for the privilege. Dr Pepper, AT&T, Miller Lite, Ford. The list goes on and on.

* Are we old or is the stadium audio turned up about two notches too loud?

* We hate not sitting on the aisle. There's no graceful way to shuffle down the row without getting intimate with the people you're passing.

* Bottle of water is $5. Bargain of the day.

* You surely can't find a more enjoyable way to drop $200 or so, spend an entire day standing in line in the cold, then sitting in a hard plastic seat, all to watch your team get dropped like a JV squad.

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