There's a picture of me that pops into my head everytime I think of 5th or 6th grade that makes me cringe a little but has come to represent the early years of my middle school existence. It was an actual photograph taken of me and a classmate after we had just won some type of science award. The classmate would later become over 6 ft tall and a lineman on the high school football team. However, in the picture I am a full head and shoulders taller than him, with frizzy permed hair and some missing eye teeth. I'm also sporting a Dallas Cowboy's jersey. I was just coming out of my tom-boy phase but was reluctant to give up the Cowboy's jersey because this was right around the time that I actually got to go to a pro football game. My dad was a big Cowboy's fan, and thus I was as well, and I think I watched more football games those few years than I ever had before or since. I remember feeling a little star-struck when my dad took us to the game- it was a playoff game against the Cardinals-and although they looked tiny from where we were sitting, I couldn't believe I was watching the real Troy Aikman, the real Emmitt Smith playing before my very eyes.
And now, I'm feeling a similar sense of awe, compacted with painful dismay and a vague tinge of betrayal. Emmitt is going to be performing for a different team, trading running and tackling for hopping and twirling. He's going to be a cast member on Dancing with the Stars. Go ahead, slap your hand to your forehead and release an exasperated 'doh!' in the manner of Homer Simpson. Why, Emmitt? Are you addicted to fame and stooping to any level to get it? Have you not made enough money?
Perhaps, just as he contributed to the awkward tom-boy phase of a jr. high girl, he feels he must also contribute to the awkward (and painful) reality tv phase of this country. All I can say is "Aw, no, Emmitt!"