RELIGION IS important to me. So is heritage. Being anti-abortion sharing a zodiac sign, a preference for cold weather and disgust for mayonnaise also figure rather prominently in whether I'll want to share a beer with you (except that I hate beer, and if you insist on that we really don't have much common ground).
But I have many friends who are not Catholic, who love to sweat, who eat mayo by the tablespoon out of the jar and who refuse to watch "The Godfather" trilogy on a loop.
What I do not have are friends who root for Dallas. I'll admit that I've negligently accepted the Facebook friend requests from people who believe Tony Romo will one day make it to Canton.
Actually, I'd call that criminally negligent.
I've also been trapped inside an elevator with people who think Jerry Jones can raise his eyebrows and feel the upper quadrant of his forehead. It's amazing how obsessive devotion can blind you to the truth.
It's hard to avoid Dallas fans even outside of Dallas because in this global society, village idiots travel far from home. I've learned to deal with their existence in a general sense.
But when I see an actual, flesh (and flesh, and flesh . . . ) and blood human being embrace the Cowboys, particularly someone I used to admire, it's hard not to shake my head and wonder about the state of their eternal souls.
That is exactly what happened when I saw New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrogantly, actively and aggressively root for the Dallas Cowboys from what I am assuming was a bullet-proof sky box at the Linc Sunday.
Now, I make no excuses for the abysmal performance of the Eagles. They stink, stank, stunk as the Grinch (who wants his green back) would say. Sanchez looked, sadly, like Sanchez and the special teams were indeed "special."
But I'm allowed to say that because I would never root for another team. If you are born and raised in a city, you have no choice about which team to support. It's in the Bible, I'll find the lines in scripture later. I think they come somewhere after "I am the Lord your God and no, I did not give permission for the Colts to leave Baltimore."
So, if Christie, he of the bold phrase and bullying swagger, was a Giants fan, I'd grudgingly respect the Jersey boy's choice. Fair is fair.
I'd even understand if he liked the Jets (someone has to).
But to see the governor of a state that is evenly split between the two major rivals of Dallas openly express his sick and twisted love for the Cowboys and the mummy who owns them is too much to take.
It is disrespectful, needlessly incendiary and unwise.
The people who already hated Christie couldn't care less about his football tastes. They think he blocked a bridge, hates teachers, eats little children for breakfast and is an arrogant putz. But those of us who were on Team Chris all throughout the Bridge Gate scandal and who looked the other way when he hugged Obama (while silently saying "Get a room!") cannot forgive this slap in the collective face.
I've asked myself over and over again, struggling to figure out how such a smart man could make such a stupid move. If it was because he wanted the campaign donations of Jerry Jones, it seems unnecessary since Texas will always be red and he doesn't need to curry favor with the Lone Star. If it was because he really loved the Cowboys, just as he really loves Bruce Springsteen and all the other "cool guys" of his youth, he could have taken his shrinking but still substantial derriere down to Texas to see a game.
But to shove in our Northeastern faces the fact that he loves our sworn enemy is so tone deaf and so out there that I have to reconsider my support.
You might be saying that I'm exaggerating, here, and that we can't measure our leaders by their taste in sports (or women, or men, or pets) You could think that it is juvenile to be so upset about a football game that I'm willing to subject the country to liberals who happen to like the Eagles. You might not think that football loyalties are legitimate at all, and that I am suffering from a concussion, brought on by hitting my head too many times against the wall during the Seahawks game last week.
And given the bad press the NFL has gotten during the past months with abused women and abused children and abused fans, you might wonder why I even care about who roots for what.
But if you do those things, you don't get it.
Politics is one thing. Football is another. I cannot trust the heart, or judgment of a man who betrays his roots.