Competitive, yes, but all in good fun

My friend — we’ll call him Thomas — is a man in a world that is not his own.

Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson

He sees blue, they see red. He sees a star, they see an oval. They see contention, he has contempt.

It’s a fun world for Thomas, because he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan living in San Francisco 49ers country.

We’ve known each other for around 15 years, going back to college when we would match the 49ers and Cowboys on NFL Gameday (original PlayStation, everybody brings their own controller).

Now, the game is more literal, or literary. He’s in California, where being a Cowboys fan isn’t exactly easy. When the 49ers lose a game, he’s the first one to post on Facebook, with derisive names like “Forty-Whiners,” “38ers” and the like.

I know the salvos aren’t aimed for me; they’re aimed for all of the California people he sees every day where he teaches, at the school where he watches his kids play and anywhere else you can imagine.

But I respond nonetheless, and fire back some of my own.

Tuesday, he said that in honor of the 49ers, he was going to be wearing red and gold. In his honor, I linked to a video of a Mariah Carey song that was the No. 1 song the last time the Dallas Cowboys played in an NFC title game. He fires back with an older song from the last time the 49ers won the Super Bowl.

It goes on, and it never stops.

A few weeks ago, my post:

“Since 1997, counting the playoffs and the regular season in the National Football League:

“• Team A is 138-143 since 1997 with two division crowns and no conference title game appearances.

“• Team B is 131-136 since 1997 with two division crowns and no conference title game appearances.

“• Team C is 137-142 since 1997 with three division crowns and no conference title game appearances.

“Scan those resumes without seeing the name attached, you’d agree these teams are equal, only a deluded fan base would expect annual participation in the Super Bowl, right? Yes, you know this was a setup. But it says something that the Dallas Cowboys (C) have that fan base, while the Miami Dolphins (A) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (B) do not.”

Thomas’ response was a request I can’t reprint here of what I might want to do with myself, which let me know I’d won that battle.

But they’re battles, not wars. I send him a private message about him at the Warriors game, and his response is, “Man, Steph Curry is phenomenal. Get down to the Bay, and I will show you.”

Whenever I see him rubbing in a loss, I think, “He needs to be a better sport.” But when I get in a truly good reply on Facebook, he’s the first one to like the comment.

Maybe he’s being a good sport after all. Just like the competition on the field, our banter is just a game. It’s nothing to shoot somebody over at a bar, and it’s no reason to call a Stanford-education man a “thug” because he’s boisterous.

When I get to the bay to see Thomas, I’m sure the word wars will take a backseat, and we’ll get rid of the stress of jobs and what this whole life is about over a game of air hockey or whatever football game he’s got (PlayStation 4, and I’ll buy my own controller).

But just in case, I’ve got my next Cowboys insult ready. It’s a good one.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email:

kwilson@cnjonline.com

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