Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University and pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeye baseball team from 1971 through 1974.  He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league league umpire for seven years, working in the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA).  He has written for numerous websites and outdoor publications, and for the past ten years has served as a regular columnist and photo editor for Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Widely knowledgeable on that period of American History, Fulks is a frequent speaker on the Civil War at local roundtables throughout the Midwest. He and wife Mindy have two grown children and live in Covington, Ohio.

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It took five weeks and some Texas ‘crawdaddin’, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones finally put his foot down Sunday.  You either stand for the National Anthem, or you don’t play for the Cowboys!

As good as the finish was to the Cowboys-Packers game was on Sunday – and it proved that high school football teams aren’t the only ones still learning how to win football games – it was the headlines made after the game that might have made the most splash in Dallas, and around the league.

It was reported in Monday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegraph (and since, in other outlets), that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones finally broke ranks with the rest of NFL ownership and put his foot down over the issue of whether players stand for the National Anthem, or not.

Said Jones to reporters, ““If there is anything disrespecting of the flag, then he will not play.  Period. We’re going to respect the flag, and I’m going to create the perception of it.”

Now part of the of the beauty of this is the fact that it took the NFL’s biggest loose cannon to finally say what every one of the rest of them has probably thought, and believed, but WOULDN’T say.  And the reason has nothing to do with social injustice, or racial inequality.
No, Jerry Jones is a businessman – a retailer – and good retail dictates that the customer (in this case the disgruntled fan) is always right.  By God, if they want ’em standing for the anthem with their hand over their heart…they’re going to stand for the anthem with their hand over their heart.  Period for emphasis!
Of course, this was the very same Jerry Jones who two weeks ago linked arms and took a knee with his players prior to the anthem before the game…in a show of unity.  And frankly, it looked then like he was doing nothing more than sampling the audience.
But hey, in the interim Jerry’s figured out that if people aren’t watching;  and if people aren’t buying;  and if the Cowboys aren’t winning (and they aren’t);  then something’s got to change.  And changing the perception of things, at this point, is easier than changing the coaching staff or the roster.
So at least for a time, and at least in one market, the fans win.  One local writer wrote…that it’s a classic case of how things look over how they actually are.  And that’s true.
This is the same Jerry Jones who was fine with employing and playing Greg Hardy (who beat his girlfriend), but if anyone disrespects the flag and the Anthem there’s no place for him on the Dallas Cowboys.  Period!
Of course, there’s another sidelight to business that comes with Jones’ grandstanding, and demand for conformity.  And it’s just this.  It may not be sincere, but do it anyway.  We’ve always suspected…now we know.
How business is done…in the NFL!
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