The Dallas Cowboys have developed a new secret this offseason, but the Wall Street Journal got the scoop. What is it? Geometry, of course. Step one “set off a panic in the room” when it was announced. What was it? Become “intensely familiar with the Pythagorean theorem.” Professor Jason Garrett, a Princeton man and the head coach of the Dallas squad, delivers regular lectures on the Greek geometric theorem that go something like this: “‘You know what the hypotenuse is? You’ll say, ‘Yeah, it’s the long side of the triangle,’ and he’ll say, ‘Well, you’re taking the hypotenuse to get to this point instead of taking the two shorter distances, so don’t run [long] around there.'” Garrett also warns against “concepts that are collinear,” because they are potentially “devastating.” Garrett is qualified to opine on such topics because of his Ivy League education: while at Princeton, he set (and still holds) the league record for football pass completion percentage, and sport is why the Ivy League is prestigious. Garrett’s peers unsurprisingly yield to his intellectual authority: “I’ve worked with Jason. He’s very smart and I wouldn’t pass one of his geometry tests,” Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. Prof. Garrett even gives homework assignments, which some of his players think is total bullshit because they didn’t come to the NFL to play school. Cowboy receiver Dwayne Harris: “I’m terrible at math. The only know math I know is dollar signs.” (Look for Harris to run a lot of serpentine patterns when he reads a double safety blitz this year.) A return to simple geometry may be appropriate for this team, however. Here’s some basic math: since 1997, the Cowboys have won one playoff game. A compass may be just the thing they need to find postseason success.
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One person who won’t have trouble keeping up with Garrett’s lessons is team owner Jerry Jones, who, at seventy years old, reports having the brain of a forty year old: http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/2013/08/dallas-cowboys-owner-jerry-jones-says-cat-scan-showed-he-has-brain-of-a-40-year-old.html/.
Meanwhile, Jones’ son, Stephen, referred to basic geometry as the team’s “secret sauce.”
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People call out Cowboys fans for being terrible, and despite the fact that to some degree we are, it’s difficult to demonstrate how soul-rottingly agonizing it is to cheer for these teams.