|Hamilton doesn't think Dallas is a baseball town, and he's right. (US Presswire)|
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton spent the last five seasons of his career with the Texas Rangers, whom he helped to a pair of World Series appearances and arguably the most successful run in franchise history. He's certainly familiar with the Dallas/Fort Worth sports scene, which he told CBSDFW.com's Gina Miller is not dominated by baseball.
“Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town," he said. "They're supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly. You think about three to four years ago [before the Rangers made it to the World Series]. It's like, come on man, are you happier there again?”
Hamilton, 31, is right, of course. The area -- and a gigantic chunk of Texas, really -- bleeds Dallas Cowboys blue even though the team has won one playoff game in the last 16 years. The city has experienced both an NBA championship and an NHL Stanley Cup since the most recent time that the Cowboys won a Super Bowl (their fifth), but those sports don't come close to the popularity of football in Dallas.
Texas itself is a football state, so much so that the Dallas suburb of Allen recently built an 18,000-seat stadium at a cost of $60 million for their high school. Football is a way of life there, and it's going to take a heck of a lot more than two AL pennants to change that culture. I don't think it can be done, really.
There is nothing wrong with Hamilton's comments. They're harmless and truthful. It's not like he slammed Rangers fans or anything. The team draws well -- the Rangers drew roughly 400,000 more fans than the Angels in 2012 -- and has obviously performed well, so there's no reason for them to be disappointed. That said, fans tend to take comments like these as a slap in the face. Between his disappointing finish to the season, his defection to the rival Angels and these comments, Hamilton will probably hear a healthy round of boos when he returns to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this summer.
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