Dallas Cowboys: The Dallas Cowboys are commonly called “America’s Team.” Well, today I had the honor of visiting the training facilities of the 5-time World Champions. The facilities are located in a unique place. One must travel through a neighborhood-type area to reach the drive to Cowboys Park. While driving through the neighborhood area, I found out first hand the importance of football in Texas as I drove past a highschool team practicing during school hours. I was told by a friend that this is normal and practice is treated as a “class” for the team (I’m talking full pads, running sprints at 9:30 in the morning).
Arriving at the Dallas Cowboys facilities, I was directed inside. I did not have high hopes of having any type of meeting with anyone after I was told on the phone that a meeting was just not physically possible. I was told that the HR staff, or at least the hiring part of the staff, only has three employees and to meet with everyone who came to the facilities would be a full-time job in itself. After a very pleasant discussion with the administrative assistant, Jeanette, I headed to the dry cleaner and Firestone for an oil change. This would mark the first time I have had my dress shirts cleaned in the three weeks on the road. The one hour dry cleaning service was well worth the much inflated price.
Even though I did not have a great showing with the Cowboys, I left Dallas feeling like it was a productive day. I was able to get some errands done and on the road before noon. This was a good thing because I had an 11-hour drive ahead of me to Albuquerque.
Sports Illustrated (si.com): During the drive, I received a message from a friend that my story and blog link had been posted on Sports Illustrated’s “Hot Clicks” page. I was ecstatic to see that I was able to reach a national media outlet! The first thing I did was call my brother to have him look at it and to make sure the link to the blog worked. Word spread fast of the news and friends and family “congratulations” texts and calls followed. This definitely helped to break up the long drive.
I assume some may wonder how si.com received word of my trip. Actually, while in Atlanta last week, I wrote an email to Hot Clicks and its author, Jimmy Traina. However, I had not checked the site in two days, so I was unaware of my email actually making it to the web page until the message from the previously mentioned friend. The actual email is still posted and can be seen by going to this link and scrolling about halfway down the page to the “E-Mail of The Day” Section: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/extramustard/hotclicks/08/25/madison-riley-parachute-jumper-gets-stuck-on-rangers-flagpole/index.html
It is nice to see some return from the long hours that I have put in over the last few weeks. I do not want to sound like I am complaining because it is a great/fun/exciting/once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to do. I’m just saying, some of early mornings can come quick and some of those long drives can become pretty boring!
I realize I have yet to reach my goal, or really have any type of success if the measuring point is employment. But I feel I have made some good progress. However, none of this progress would be possible if I did not have the help of all of you. The support you have shown every single day is indescribable. Each day I receive a “pick-me-up” text or call, or a call from someone with a contact for me, or a place to stay, or a meal – the list could go on for days. This idea that I came up with one night while I sat in my computer room at home has evolved into a joint effort with so many people taking it upon themselves to see that we reach this goal. I struggle with attempting to find a sufficient way to repay each and every one of you. I have not come up with just the right way to say “thank you,” but I promise to give a special thank you to each person that has had any type of impact on me during this time.
As always, thanks for the support! Also, I’d like to say “thank you” to the Dallas Cowboys for such a nice time and to Sports Illustrated for helping out an avid fan!
It is off to Arizona tomorrow to see the Cardinals and then to San Diego Friday.