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Souless steel

As a life-long hater of the Dallas Cowboys and all they stand for, I was overjoyed on the day of the breathless debut of their new stadium that the dumbasses that spent a billion dollars on it put in a glaring flaw: the goddamned jumbotron fucks up punts.

There's this massive LED screen dangling over the middle of the field, and an opposing punter hit the stupid screen when he kicked high into the air. Jerry Jones, the Cowboys loathesome owner who has apparently never heard of the hangtime optimization concept, said that the Tennessee punter was aiming for the jumbotron. Jeff Fischer, the Titan's coach, pointed out that the punter in question was a rookie in search of a job in preseason and he had more important things than embarrassing the Dallas Cowboys stadium on his mind when he kicked the ball into the air that day.*

Other punters hit the screen too, and I suspect that many more will in the future. The NFL came up with some sort of "do-over" rule to accommodate the billion dollar building.

At any rate, the knowledge that they didn't account for a pretty standard part of a football game in the design of their super stadium filled me with a deep, deep satisfaction.

So did this little tidbit in the Houston Press blog Hairballs this afternoon:
You spend over a billion dollars on something, you want to at least get a good review out of it in The New York Times.

Alas, Jerry Jones, you're out of luck. As a great philosopher once said....

The Times's architectural critic (named, as any Times archiectural critic should be, Nicolai Ouroussoff), reviewed the new $1.15 billion No Sponsor Name Yet Stadium, and he wasn't feeling the love.
Of course, I went to the New York Times website posthaste to revel in the review.
Still, Cowboys Stadium suffers from its own form of nostalgia: its enormous retractable roof, acres of parking and cavernous interiors are straight out of Eisenhower’s America, with its embrace of car culture and a grandiose, bigger-is-better mentality. The result is a somewhat crude reworking of old ideas, one that looks especially unoriginal when compared with the sophisticated and often dazzling stadiums that have been built in Europe and the Far East over the last few years. Worse for fans, its lounges and concourses are so sprawling that I suspect more than a few spectators will get lost and miss the second-half kickoff.
. . .

The idea is to evoke, through the architecture, the relentless flow of movement up and down the field. On a bright day, light pours onto it through the translucent roof and big glass walls. When weather permits, the walls can slide open to connect the concourses to a big paved plaza at each end of the stadium, creating the illusion that the field extends toward infinity.

But as far as architecture goes, that’s about it. Walk around to either side of the structure and you’re confronted with what looks like a conventional suburban office park. The facade is organized in a standard three-part arrangement, with a canted wall of white fritted glass set on a limestone base and topped by a recessed band of windows. A service road encircles the structure, surrounded by endless expanses of parking. A few lonely trees only draw attention to the absolute joylessness of the scene.

At first, things seem more promising inside. Monumental concrete staircases and circulation ramps are situated near the four corners of the field. The ramps, which are some of the building’s most enjoyable architectural spaces, look broad enough to fit a pair of Cadillacs. Jones has also commissioned more than a dozen works by well-known contemporary artists for the stadium interiors, including a spectacularly colorful abstract composition by Franz Ackermann that decorates one of the staircases. But the vastness of the concourses, some of them 65 feet wide, can make you feel as if you are lost in an international airport terminal. And, as in almost every American stadium today, the seats are broken up by bands of glass-encased corporate suites. The glass can slide open so that wealthy patrons can feel connected to the action on the field — if not to the average fan. Some of the suites even take up prime real estate along the sidelines, a first for the N.F.L.

As it turns out, the biggest controversy so far about the stadium has to do with its supersize scale. The four-sided video board over the field is so big, and hangs so low, that a Tennessee punter hit it during a preseason game. It’s a nice irony that for all the space, there may not be enough room at Cowboys Stadium to play a game.
I know that the Cowboys and Jerry Jones could give a fuck about the New York Times, but as Hairballs so eloquently put it, Ha ha!

*I don't really question the young punter's priorities, but I do ask, are there that many things more important in football than embarrassing the Dallas Cowboys?

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