Cities across the United States have felt what it’s like to have a terrible home team to root for. For example, I have a lot of sympathy for the people of Detroit. Even though the Lions have won the NFL Championship game four times, the latest in 1957, they have never won a Super Bowl. The Charlotte Bobcats have never made it to the finals, and the Phoenix Coyotes don’t have a Stanley Cup.
My hometown has a team that for nearly forty years has not produced more than one playoff win.
As a native of Arlington, I have seen my fair share of fun and exciting things. Six Flags Over Texas has been the focal point of the city for decades, not to mention Hurricane Harbor across the highway. However, I have also seen a lot of hometown losses and failures as a fan of the Texas Rangers. All of the other Dallas teams, like the Mavericks and the Cowboys, are in different area codes, so the “Arlingtonites” are left with the Rangers.
When the team moved from Washington, D.C., to Arlington in 1972, it was nothing but high hopes and expectations for the city’s new team. Thirty-eight years later, Arlington residents have figured out that with one playoff win in the history of the franchise, our hometown team wasn’t all that great. The city of Arlington was just a baseball town with a bad team.
But in 1991, in the midst of a 77-loss season for the Rangers, the city broke ground on the new standard for sporting venues.
The Ballpark in Arlington was one of the most pristine baseball stadiums ever built. And it gave Arlington something to be proud of. The city suddenly became a destination for people around the state and the region. And for the next few years, residents of Arlington ate up the attention.
The unsuccessful seasons continued, but Arlington still had an awesome stadium; it just had an awesome stadium with a bad team. And once again, Arlington was off the map.
I’m proud to say those days are far behind the city now. For years, the residents of Arlington have roughed it with the Rangers and gotten nothing out of it. But all the waiting and loyalty has finally paid off. The city is now a beacon of light in the sports world with the addition of Cowboys Stadium right down the street from the Ballpark. Cowboys Stadium has brought with it not only America’s Team but a new sense of pride for the city – pride that comes only with a championship team like the Dallas Cowboys. Arlington has gone from a bad baseball town to a sports Mecca in a matter of years.
Regardless of the unproductive seasons the Rangers have had, Arlington will always stick with its hometown team. And the people of Arlington will always keep a seat saved for Josh Hamilton and Michael Young at Cowboys Stadium when the MLB playoffs begin.
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