There's a story behind every ticket to the Superbowl.

Arthur Kellar, chairman and major shareholder of Fairfax-based EZ Communications Inc., went as the guest of the man who was trying to buy the company -- John Lynch, head of San Diego's Noble Broadcast Group Inc.

Kellar brought a half-dozen EZ associates to watch the game from Noble's private box. They paid their own way to San Diego, combining the trip with negotiations over Noble's proposed acquisition of EZ, which owns 15 radio stations around the nation.

Several days after the game, EZ announced that it had agreed in principle to a $100 million buyout offer. Then, just as fast, the deal went sour. Kellar says EZ decided the takeover was not in the company's best interests; Lynch says Kellar started asking for more money.

"We went to the Superbowl to further consider their offer, consider the possibility, and we rejected it," Kellar said. "We could have gone anywhere to consider the possibility."

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

Washingtonians often are criticized for their dull taste in business clothes. But according to a new survey of business executives, the conservative look is just fine. Male executives may be able to get away with working in shirt sleeves, the survey found, but working without a tie is a no-no.

The survey, conducted among personnel officers of 100 companies in the Fortune 1,000 by Robert Half International Inc., a San Francisco recruiting firm, found that only a handful of those interviewed felt that male executives could get away with not wearing a tie, and 95 percent felt that it was either generally not acceptable or never acceptable to be bare-necked.

However, only 1 percent were that tough about executives working without jackets, and a vast majority said it was always or generally acceptable to be in shirt-sleeves -- unless the executive is meeting with visitors to the company. Then 36 percent of those interviewed said they'd prefer the executive wore a jacket -- not to mention a tie.

Robert Half, the founder of the company that did the survey, said he felt that working without a tie was too informal and was "hardly likely to convey a businesslike appearance of neatness and order." And he said it probably doesn't hurt to keep that jacket on, too. "An enhanced personal appearance can enhance your chances for success," he said, "and it never hurts to look a bit better than the rest of the people around you."