IRVING, TEXAS—The Texas Stadium implosion was football's version of seeing a friend taken off life support. Cowboy fans arrived well before dawn, and soon after the crowd in the red parking lot grew to an estimated 20,000 people.
It was part tailgate party and part going away party. Dan Chaney arrived 1:30 am and spent the night watching old Cowboy games on a portable DVD player.
"We're watching the 1995 Cowboys-Packers NFC title game at Texas Stadium" Dan said. "I have great memories of dominating Brett Favre."
Fans wiled away the hours by playing football, Guitar Hero, and shooting video of Texas Stadium's final hours. Brad Howell had the best seat in the house - - his seats from Texas Stadium. Brad said they fit perfectly in the bed of his truck.
"Those were my actual seats with the season tickets at Texas Stadium."
Soon after daylight, the fans got to see Texas Stadium go down with its boots on as smart phones and cameras captured the implosion from every angle.
Julie Reagan came all the way from Conroe, TX and said the blast and dust cloud were simply too much to take.
"Well, I've been here about 12 times; I just miss it." Julie said. "I got Rowdy's signature here, I met Troy Aikman here."
Brad Huff felt the same way.
"It was heart-wrenching; so many good memories here." Brad said. "My first NFL game, the majority of the games I've seen. I was here for the last game."
For 39 years, Texas Stadium was the toast of the town; now it's just toast. As for Brad Howell? It's out with the old and in with the new.
"I've had a lot of good memories here," Brad said. "But I'm kind of ready to move on."