Why does San Francisco love to hate on Dallas?

It’s not just the Cowboys…

What is it about Dallas that San Franciscans love to hate?

You have to start with the Cowboys, of course. The Niners have met their Lone Star rivals in the NFL playoffs seven times to date, with No. 8 scheduled for Sunday brunch.

The Cowpokes have always been a smarmy, self-important bunch, declaring themselves “America’s Team” back in 1978, much to the chagrin of America. From their arch-conservative coaches (Tom Landry, Barry Switzer) to their golden boy quarterbacks (Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman) to their flashy receivers (Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin), Dallas has consistently irked San Francisco sports fans, on the field and off.

Until “The Catch” freed the Niners from Cowboy tyranny exactly 40 years ago this week, Dallas had made San Francisco miserable with a series of postseason humiliations dating back to the 1970s. Since then, the Niners have given as good as they’ve gotten, riding the Walsh/Seifert dynasty to five rings, many of them with a Cowboys notch on the band.

Now, we could talk football all you want, and we eventually will. But these are the NFL playoffs. A time for civic pride and tribal hatred. What better way to celebrate than trashing our opponent’s culture, values and choice of headwear?

In a highly unscientific poll of The Examiner’s newsroom, an eclectic group of hacks made up of homegrown Niners fans and imported pontificators, it became abundantly clear that the waters of anger and jealousy flowing toward Dallas run as deep as the Hetch Hetchy itself. We are San Francisco, dammit! We suffer no fools, especially if they’re serious about funny-looking hats.

So, let’s get on with counting our grievances.

First and foremost, Dallas is in Texas. The Bay Area hates Texas almost as much as they hate us. It’s a model of reciprocal loathing. …

Next up? Cowboy hats. It’s a pretty simple disagreement. They wear them to work. We wear them to the Folsom Street Fair. With chaps. And nothing else. …

I’ll start the following gripe with two words: Mark Cuban. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks made a fortune on bogus video streaming technology, back during Web1. Yahoo’s purchase of Broadcast.com for over $5 billion might be the worst deal since the sale of Manhattan. He spent part of his windfall on a basketball team, which apparently came with a free side of obnoxious. Cuban’s so annoying, the annoying billionaires who own the rest of the NBA teams hate him. The league has fined him over $1 million for boorish behavior. And his Mavericks put the “M” in mediocre. …

Let’s try three words. Jimmy Johnson’s hair. The former Cowboys coach went to high school with Janis Joplin in Texas. She moved to San Francisco and became a legend. He stayed put and grew a muskrat on his head. Choices have consequences. …

Now for the ultimate sin. Arlington, where Jerry Jones built the Cowboys’ stadium as a shrine to catastrophic head injuries, is the largest municipality in the nation with … no… public … transit. I wonder if they have slow streets? Oh, and the Dallas transit system is called DART. C’mon now. …

Clayton Kershaw is from Dallas. …

Even Houston hates Dallas. The cross-state metropolis looks upon Dallas as fancy, uptight and pretentious. Whereas the Houston lot consider themselves down-to-earth and hard-working. That might be a bit self-serving, but we’re not playing the Texans. Just buy this as corroborating evidence. As they say in Dallas, the bigger the hair, the closer you are to God. …

Our airports are better than their airports. And the best part? When you land at our airports, you’re in San Francisco. …

George W. Bush once owned the Rangers. Was there any greater feeling for San Franciscans than the time long-haired, pot-smoking Timmy Lincecum mowed down the Texas lineup to clinch the 2010 World Series? It was like the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers had conquered Walt Disney. You’ll never buy a drink in this town again, Mr. Lincecum. For that alone. …

Freeways, strip malls and traffic. It’s the Santa Clara of Texas. …

Finally, lastly, ridiculously, Dallas calls itself “Big D.” I’ll just let that speak for itself.

Now, now. There, there. We’ve had our fun. I’ll say this about Dallas. On election nights, the city has been a beacon of blue in a sea of Texas red. (Nearly 65% of Dallas County voted for President Joe Biden.) The BBQ is legendary. And I’m pretty sure the artists formerly known as the Dixie Chicks grew up there. So you can’t say I’m not being fair.

But let’s never forget. They took Deion Sanders from us.

Editor’s note: Welcome to The Arena, a new column from The Examiner’s Al Saracevic. He’ll be exploring San Francisco’s playing field, from politics and technology to sports and culture. Send your tips, quips and quotes to asaracevic@sfexaminer.com

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