Dec. 26, 1983

Maybe the good football fans of Dallas considered a wild-card playoff game beneath their dignity.

Or maybe the 4,000 unsold tickets that threatened to blackout the telecast of their showdown with the Los Angeles Rams were due to a disgusted handful who’d seen their team fall short of the Super Bowl one too many times with a virtually unchanged cast of characters.

“We’ve lost the last three NFC Championship Games with the same team,” wide receiver Butch Johnson said, per Boston Globe football writer Michael Madden.

Oh, lordy – three years and no Super Bowl!

A decade later you’d think Madden was talking to Buffalo Bills receiver Don Beebe. Of course, at least those Bills actually advanced past the conference championship game.

At any rate, two well-heeled Dallas bigshots, W.O. Bankston and Lester Melnick, bought up the 4,000 tickets just before the blackout deadline.

Folks got to watch the Rams stun the Cowboys, 24-17.