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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Odd Internet Fact: Cowboys.com Is About Gay Men, Not the Dallas Football Team

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 7:33 AM

click to enlarge cowboys2.png

Type 49ers.com into a browser, and the Internet takes you to the San Francisco 49ers' official website. Same story for raiders.com, as well many other teams, including the Bengals, Steelers, Seahawks, Patriots, Packers, and Redskins.


But type in bears.com and the Internet sends you to a retail site offering "High Quality T-Shirts and other bear-related products." Titans.com goes to a modestly designed financial news aggregation page. Eagles.com and falcons.com are "Coming Soon" and "Under Constriction." Fans of those teams must type in the city name as well -- chicagobears.com, tennesseetitans.com, etc.

The domain name ownership web is often tangled and unpredictable. Strangely, typing ravens.com into your browser takes you to Facebook. And, sadly, giants.com takes you to the official website for the New York football team.

Perhaps most unexpected, however, is the destination of cowboys.com: a Toronto-based gay dating website "for men who enjoy the same country living lifestyle."

Just how did oil magnate Jerry Jones, owner of the 49ers' long-time rivals, let the URL slip through his fingers? A website called DomainNameNews.com has the 2007 origin story:

The domain name brought in a $275,000 bid from a phone-in bidder at the recent TRAFFIC domain live auction in Hollywood, Florida. The bidder had been earlier identified to be a representative from the Dallas Cowboys NFL team. An inside source confirmed with DomainNameNews that the deal began to fall apart over a misunderstanding with the bidder on what the bid of "275″ actually meant. It appears the bidder thought they were buying the domain for $275.00 rather than $275,000.

Eventually, the current-cowboys.com owners, probably Eagles fans, swooped in. It remains unclear how often something like this has happened since then:

[30-ish woman, sitting at desktop computer in husband's home office, opens Mozilla.]

[Clicks "History" tab, planning to pull up interesting Dallas Observer cover story she began reading earlier that day.]

[Sees "The #1 Dating Portal Online for Gay Dating" in middle of list.]

[Stares at screen in shock.]

Seriously, though, the ravens.com thing is still really weird.

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Albert Samaha

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