In the all-encompassing spirit of Texas Football, where the game itself sometimes plays second fiddle to the surrounding hoopla:

AT&T Stadium

The letters "AT&T" stand for "Arlington, Texas, Texas." That's right, the Cowboys claim "Texas" as their country, not the USA. Most Texans do not claim allegiance to the United States. They seceded once and still wish they were a Republic. In fact, they often consider putting a wall around the entire state to keep Americans out, except, of course, for those who bring in revenue. As their tourist slogan once said "It's like a whole other country." The sprawling stadium mirrors the Texan belief that size makes right. However, if the Cowboys falter this year, we may have to revise the old Texas adage from "All hat, no cattle." to "All stadium, no competitive pro football team."

"The Catch"

Older Texans still seethe when they remember how a quiche-eating outfit from San Francisco defeated what was then called "America's Team." As a direct result, they now call the Cowboys "Texas's Team" in contradistinction to Houston, whose NFL team actually is called the "Texans." Folks in Dallas think Houston might secretly be part of some Caribbean country, if not Mexico. And while they're at it, Texan geographers insist that Alaska, with its socialist oil-revenue sharing, still belongs to Russia, which, of course, makes Texas still the largest by-God state in the lower forty-eight. You could look it up in a Texas textbook. (Hawaiians, please send all comments to Rick Perry.) Frankly, you probably won't see Dwight Clark drop out of the sky like an angel, to snatch Montana's end-zone pass, replayed on the gargantuan screens inside AT&T Stadium anytime soon. But Niners' fans remember the play.

Jerry Jones

The Cowboys' owner has had his face adjusted, his image retouched, and his hair immaculately combed. Why? Probably, like most Texans, he intends to run for president. His honorable intention: to make the rest of the country more like Texas. True, he actually hails from Arkansas, born in, yikes, California. Close enough. Anyway, the national media, assuming the man perpetually stumps for possible political office, loves to interview Jerry, what with his twinkly eyes, sweet tongue, and obvious joie de vivre. However, pay particular attention to his solemn poses when ensconced inside his rhinestone-studded luxury suite, and ask yourself: Does not this man appear presidential?

The Cowboys Cheerleaders

Well, back in the day, these gals (or, rather, their predecessors) got more attention than the game itself. Then, the major networks would set their cameras at low angles and zoom in on every … Enough, this is a family website. Since fourth-wave feminism, however, more fans feel free to ask whether Cowboy cheerleadership represents empowerment or exploitation, whether cheesecake masquerades as wholesomeness or vice versa. For some extra fun, listen to the comments from the announcers whenever a shot of a cheerleader shows up on their monitors, especially, rare in their profession, the dead silence. Andy Sidaris where are you?

The Commercials

No, opening-game ads don't match the Super Bowl when it comes to commercial creativity. But still, most companies do break out their seasonally new offerings, with fresh bits to entice consumers and subsequent data to justify advertising budgets to their corporate boards. Brand loyalty, product image, and the next "it" factor contend for our attention, all with great dollops of droll humor, cool music, and bold colors. So, enjoy the commercials. Make like those jovial Lone-Star legions, and grab your snacks during the game!