HAPPY TRAILS TO TEMPE.Byline: Mike Cochran Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
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Marilu Brooks sleeps on a Cowboys blanket, cooks with a Cowboys cookbook, eats off a Cowboys plate, drinks from a Cowboys glass and keeps time with a Cowboys clock.
She listens to a Cowboys radio and flicks ashes into a Cowboys ashtray.
She lounges around her Phoenix home in Cowboys sweatsuits, pads to the fridge in Cowboys house shoes House Shoes is a Detroit hip hop producer and DJ. His production is on I Miss The Hip Hop Shop and Witness My Growth by Elzhi. , watches her heroes from a Cowboys chair and tosses her empties in a Cowboys wastebasket.
She is surrounded by photographs, plaques, paintings and assorted Cowboys memorabilia dating back to the Dallas teams of the 1960s.
Her coffee cup commands: "Quiet! Cowboys on TV."
And she means it.
"My friends know better than to call me during a Cowboys' game," she laughs shyly. "I get so excited. I wouldn't dare get out in public."
As friends insist, Marilu may be the ultimate Dallas Cowboys
The wife of a popular, retired Phoenix bartender, Marilu is among the thousands of fans in the Valley of the Sun who prefer America's Team America’s Team is a term often used to describe the Dallas Cowboys franchise that plays in the NFC East of the National Football League. The term is recognized and often used by media outlets, including ESPN  and Yahoo!  . to the often hapless Arizona Cardinals.
"This IS Arizona's team," says Mesa Tribune columnist Mark Emmons.
"We love this place," gushed Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin upon arriving for today's "Duel in the Desert" with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That affection no doubt stems from the Cowboys' success with the Cardinals here and at home. They have beaten them six times in their last eight games, most recently on Christmas night.
"Normally when we come here to play the Cardinals, the stands are filled with Cowboys fans," says running back Emmitt Smith. "Now that we're here for the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the season, we don't expect anything different."
Well, it will be different. Most local fans can't get tickets, possibly because they refuse to mortgage their kids, cars and homes.
The prime rate is hovering at $4,000.
Marilu Brooks won't be in Sun Devil Stadium
Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals
• • today. But she'll be there in spirit. Despite her intense loyalty, she has seen only five Cowboys' games in person, one in Texas Stadium.
She can't even pinpoint the moment she took the silver-and-blue plunge.
"But I remember the first time I saw the Cowboys ... I liked their colors and the stars (on the helmets). And I loved the Cowboys' cheerleaders Notable cheerleaders
Marilu would come to adore Tom Landry, Cliff Harris and Roger Staubach, all of whom she met personally. She's also a bit mushy mush·y
adj. mush·i·er, mush·i·est
1. Resembling mush in consistency; soft.
a. Excessively sentimental. See Synonyms at sentimental.
b. over Craig Morton, Danny White, Randy White and Walt Garrison.
She wouldn't surrender a signed photograph of Troy Aikman at gunpoint.
And while she relishes the Cowboys' four Super Bowl victories, her most memorable moment was the 50-yard "Hail Mary" pass from Staubach to Drew Pearson in a 1975 playoff game.
The Cowboys beat Minnesota that day, 17-14.
"I'm just for the whole team, the whole organization," Marilu admits. "They're classy."
On the flip side Flip side
In the context of general equities, opposite side to a proposition or position (buy, if sell is the proposition and vice versa). , she was "disappointed" at the bungled bun·gle
v. bun·gled, bun·gling, bun·gles
To work or act ineptly or inefficiently.
To handle badly; botch. See Synonyms at botch.
n. ouster ouster n. 1) the wrongful dispossession (putting out) of a rightful owner or tenant of real property, forcing the party pushed out of the premises to bring a lawsuit to regain possession. of Landry in 1989, but she came to like Jimmy Johnson and, reluctantly, even Jerry Jones.
"He's a person who's doing what he wants to do," she says of the club owner.
Tulsa born, Marilu was a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners and their legendary coach, Bud Wilkinson, and she's become fond of Barry Switzer, about whom she had some reservations.
"I heard some bad things about Barry, but since he's brought the team to the Super Bowl, I like him," she smiled.
Photo Cowboys fan Marilu Brooks of Phoenix is ready for a Super Weekend with her favorite team playing in nearby Tempe. Associated Press