Many football fans in New York and New Jersey were surprised to see Chris Christie celebrate with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, as the NFC East champs beat the Detroit Lions on Wild Card Weekend. The governor of New Jersey chooses to root for the Cowboys, instead of the New York Giants or New York Jets, who play in his home state.
Even though it might not be the best political decision, Christie has never been shy about rooting for “America’s Team.” Admitting that it gets his political advisors “nervous,” Christie proudly roots for the Giants’ biggest rival. His appreciation for the Cowboys has also raised some ethics issues.
"I was a big fan when I was your age," Christie told a group of New Jersey elementary school children in June 2013. "I was a big fan of Roger Staubach, who was the quarterback for the Cowboys back then. The Giants and the Jets pretty much stunk when I was a kid and my father was a Giants fan. I used to remember watching him when I was eight, nine years old and every Sunday he’d watch the Giants and yell at the TV set. I used to think to myself, 'Why would I want to root for a team that makes you angry?'"
Dallas was among the NFL’s best teams when Christie was growing up. The team won their first Super Bowl when he was nine years old, and the Cowboys went on to play in the title game three times in the next seven years.
The Giants have a history of winning, but their least amount of success came when Christie was a child. The governor was born in 1962, and the Giants failed to reach the playoffs from 1964-1980. The Jets won the Super Bowl when Christie was six years old, but they missed the postseason for the entire 1970s.
Being a Philadelphia Eagles’ fan would have been a better political move than rooting for the Cowboys. Even though the Eagles and Giants are rivals, a lot of the team’s fans live in southern New Jersey, since it’s so close to Philadelphia. The Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, and they didn’t make the playoffs for the first 16 years of Christie’s life.
Christie’s fandom has even caused friction between other politicians and himself. Last month, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell called Christie “pathetic” on a radio show for being a Cowboys fan. Philadelphia councilman Jim Kenney tweeted “you suck,” in reference to Christie, when the governor watched the Cowboys beat the Eagles with Jones in Week 15.
Despite the criticism he’s received, Christie continues to support the 'Boys. After watching the first round of the playoffs in Jones’s private box, the Cowboys owner told ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” that he got two seats for the governor.
“He’s a friend,” Jones said. “He’s gonna be true blue. I admire that in him. I hope he just keeps coming to games for about the next three, stirring it up out here. … He’s our mojo.”