The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions. Say it aloud a few times, swirl it around, let the words trip off your tongue until they lose all meaning. It gets easier. In April, the Philadelphia Eagles will be making the 32nd pick in the NFL draft, at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. We can’t hide from reality.
We can, however, behave like a self-respecting city that cherishes its sports rivalries and honors the animus competition causes us to feel toward the NFC East franchises that are not the Dallas Cowboys. We can insist that a downtown hotel with an LED exterior that features prominently in the Dallas skyline not honor one of Dallas’ biggest foes.
This is a somewhat real cause for concern because in November, you’ll recall, the Omni Hotel lit up its glitzy screen with a message congratulating the Houston Astros, noted rival of the North Texas-based Rangers, on their World Series win. And last night, to the chagrin of many New York Football Giants fans, the Empire State Building lit up green for the Eagles, which may have given the Omni some dangerous ideas.
It was enough of a concern that the below image, which as far as I can tell is either a Photoshop job or an old picture paying tribute to some other Eagles, made the rounds on Twitter last night.
I’ve reached out to the Omni to see what their intentions for tonight are, and will update this post if I hear back.
Here’s a statement from the Omni:
As a Dallas-based company, Omni is proud of our Texas heritage and we work hard to support our local communities in the Lone Star State. Last night, as many nights, we displayed a magnificent show of colors: reds, purples and blues. Any images that suggest otherwise have been altered. We think carefully about our displays to ensure it brings excitement to the Dallas skyline and do not plan to make any special acknowledgments this evening.
Is it real, @OmniDallas? pic.twitter.com/Dwte2gzCgj
— Gordon Keith (@gordonkeith) February 5, 2018
Until then, this post exists as a plea to the Omni: Don’t do it. Just don’t. Not even some kind of cheeky “see you next season” message floating the Cowboys. Pretend it never happened. Please.
It’s OK that you lit up the Dallas skyline with “Astros” after Houston won the World Series. Fine. There was a good narrative there, post-Harvey. Texas forever, or something. State solidarity.
But displaying lights that in any way remotely honor the hated Eagles of Philadelphia would be a betrayal of the Cowboys, their supporters, and the city of Dallas itself, as well as an egregious misuse of the power granted by the hotel’s high-wattage facade. It would be an embarrassment for a city that already has enough to be embarrassed about. It would be, and I don’t say this lightly, super weak. Tom Landry would roll over in his grave. Pandemonium would reign.
Sports rivalries are fun because they are irrational and heated and occasionally spiteful. Yes, it’s silly. Many of the things we rely on to give our lives meaning and form are, on their face, silly. Don’t cheapen the intensity of emotion here. While we respect and honor values of sportsmanship and goodwill toward all, and admire LED light shows tied to current events, come on. It’s the freaking Eagles. Have some self-respect. Sit this one out.