Chris Christie is staying true to his childhood sports allegiances.
The New Jersey governor doesn’t root for either of his state’s two NFL teams, the Jets and Giants in East Rutherford. He doesn’t root for the Philadelphia Eagles, either, a popular team in southern New Jersey.
He cheers for the Dallas Cowboys, a divisional rival of the Giants and Eagles.
Christie discussed his favorite football team in a 2010 interview with the Star-Ledger.
"Listen, I grew up in the early 1970s and became a huge Roger Staubach fan and a Cowboys fan," Christie said. "Believe me, it doesn't get me anything political around here because the Giants fans hate me, the Eagles fans hate me, it doesn't matter. But you grow up rooting for a team. That's just the way it works."
As the Cowboys marched into the playoffs this season, Christie has become a visible presence at the team’s games, walking the sidelines and sitting near owner Jerry Jones.
Sunday marked Christie’s most visible appearance yet: the Cowboys’ first playoff game in five seasons.
Dallas scored a late touchdown to take a 24-20 lead against the Detroit Lions. And there was Christie, in a burnt orange sweater, trying to get a high five, and settling for a group hug with Jones and his son Stephen.
The heartfelt embrace wasn’t felt so warmly across the Garden State, with critics taking shots at Christie’s weight and 2016 presidential ambitions.
The situation confused Larry King.
“Anyone else wondering WHY Chris Christie was in Jerry Jones’ box for #DetvsDAL? I knew politics made strange bedfellows, but football too?” he wrote on Twitter.
Anyone else wondering WHY Chris Christie was in Jerry Jones' box for #DETvsDAL? I knew politics made strange bedfellows, but football too??— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 5, 2015
Christie’s brother Todd, frustrated by the online vitriol, wrote that his brother’s critics need to “get a life.”
“The Gov has been a Cowboys fan for his entire life and ALL of you would sit with the owner of your favorite team in a heartbeat if given the chance,” Todd Christie wrote on Facebook.
At this point, Christie is considered a good luck charm for the Cowboys. The team is 4-0 when he is in attendance, according to the Dallas Morning News. And he expects to keep on attending the team’s playoff games. The Cowboys next play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
“This is really exciting stuff,” Christie told the Dallas Morning News following Sunday’s game. “We’ve had a few tough years behind us with the end of the season coming too quick, so for a Cowboys fan this is great stuff. I can’t wait until next week.”