If Virginia is for lovers, Texas is a good place for losers.
It is not true Bud Grant and Fran Tarkenton, Chuck Knox, Chuck Noll, and Bill Kimer are consulting with rental agents in Dallas, but it would make sense.
Big D may have the nicest fans in the land. Criticism was at the minimum after the Cowboys lost to the Lost Angeles Rams in their playoff opener.
A reader of the Dallas Cowboys Weekly would cast a suspicious eye as he scanned a page of letters, from Iowa to Louisiana, California to Cuba, and all over the Lone Star state. Some samplings:
"Well, the season is the past and now we have next season to look forward to. Thanks for a beautiful season."
"I'd like to congratulate Dallas on making it to the playoffs again."
"I just wanted to write and say how happy the Dallas Cowboys have made me this year. I also would like to say how pleased I am for such a successful season, a little shorter than we hoped for, but great nonetheless."
"Tell the Cowboys not to feel bad, because they played good all year. They will go all the way to the Super Bowl next year, and win it, too."
"Even during the slump, I looked upon the Cowboys as the best team in the NFL."
"I have been a Cowboy fan since the Year 1, I guess. I must say I had my bags packed for the Super Bowl and I know no one's more disappointed than the Cowboys themselves. You are all terrific and you bring a lot of fun and excitement to this great city."
"A lot of teams don't even have any kind of hope for the playoffs."
"I have no doubt the Cowboys will be back. I have also been working hard to influence the proper authorities to consider the need for a football draft. I have, along with my coworkers, written, signed and mailed letters to our congressmen and pete Rozelle," a woman wrote.
There was one remorseful letter, but it did not blame the Cowboys as much as the officiating.
"My dad, my son, and I had a sad Christmas. Oh, we had a wonderful dinner, loads of presents and general good cheer. However, the gift the three of us wanted more than anything else just wasn't there: The Cowboys in the Super Bowl. The last time I felt an aching pit in my stomach over a football game was the time my high school team dropped a playoff game, 2-0.
"When you grow up with a team like the three of us have with the Cowboys, you can't help but feel heart-ache - especially when a couple of calls could have just as easily gone the other way."
Tex Schramm, general manager of the Cowboys, was accused in jest of writing the letters himself, although they were signed.
He laughed off the accusation and said that his organization, which publishes the paper, received about 250 letters since the playoff game loss and "all but 2 to 2 per cent were sympathetic.
"Most of those taking a shot at us wondered why Danny White was not substituted for Roger Staubach in the fourth quarter when it appeared his broken passing hand was bothering him."
In another context, the Cowboys received a lot of letters criticizing the officiating, including clippings of newspaper photographs indicating that tight end Billy Joe DuPree was done out of a first down on a pass reception in the crucial close of the game, won by the Rams, 14-12.
The apparent solution for teams whose fans boo is to start their own newspapers and solicit letters.
Schramm said the Cowboys sold about 37,000 season tickets, to 11,000 purchases, but only a small percentage took advantage of the offer to buy the weekly paper.
He said the paper had a press run this season of about 32,000 with about 30,000 paid subscriptions at $11.95 for 32 issues. About 1,600 papers an issue were sold in coin boxes, at 50 cents a copy.
Schramm said the paper had enough ads to make some money and about 6,000 papers were sold in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 18,000 outside, and six thousand out of state.