Maybe Willie and Waylon already sang it, and if they haven't they ought to, because it's dead-sure true. Just because you're paranoid (sing along, folks) doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Which brings us to a consideration of the Dallas Cowboys, who are irritating and agitating a lot of people, including some who type for a living and have all the paranoia they can handle.
True, true, the Vikings are in town today, those Norsemen from the tundra in horny hats and furry shoulder pads. Head trapper Bud Grant will have Tommy Kramer throw 50 passes at the Redskins in today's quarterfinal of the Donlan-Garvey Memorial Super Bowl Tournament. Here's enough analysis: with three interceptions and another big day from Joe Theismann, the Redskins win, 34-21.
Now, about the Cowboys. "Madness is a relative state," Woody Allen said, "and who is to say which of us is insane?" A typist who comes to RFK Stadium today wearing a surgical mask while teaching a squirrel to speak Spanish is not necessarily a lunatic. His mood may be a rational reaction to what's going on with the Cowboys.
Let us count some ways the NFL loves the Cowboys.
(1) The Competition Committee, on which Cowboy President Tex Schramm is the most voluble player, decided to break ties by referring first to head-to-head results and then conference record. It happened that the Cowboys' prestrike defeat was out of the conference.
(2) The committee selected conference opponents for makeup games. It happened that the Cowboys were given the Vikings, who then seemed moribund.
(3) Everybody likes to play Sunday to Sunday. But in this DGMSBT, six teams will play six- or eight-day schedules. It happened that only the Cowboys and San Diego would play the first two Sundays.
There are, probably, reasonable explanations for these happenings, and they may make good reading for squirrels when translated into Spanish. But right now six jillion people believe that Pete Rozelle, on first waking each day, calls Tex Schramm for permission to brush his teeth.
Joe Gibbs, the Redskins' coach, is so paranoid about the Cowboys that he figured the NFL would end the strike in time to send the Redskins to Texas Stadium. And nothing agitates Gibbs more than an allusion to the Cowboys as a model for success.
"We want to be the Redskins," Gibbs said. "We're not looking to be anything like the Cowboys."
Question: Does anybody believe Tex Schramm's real name is Texas? "He is Texas Ernest Schramm Jr.," a Cowboy publicity man said. When asked where ol' Ernie Schramm was born, the publicist said, "Los Angeles, but his roots are in Texas. He went to the University of Texas."
Question II: Why does Tom Landry wear a suit, tie and hat on the sidelines? Bum Phillips gets his clothes from bunkhouse hampers. Otherwise, all NFL coaches wear team-jersey stuff on game days. Maybe Landry doesn't want to look like Billy Graham on Sunday. Maybe it just happens.
It also just happens that the Cowboys seem to get the breaks when Rozelle's zebras have to decide if a penalty is against Billy Graham or the other guy in the smelly football windbreaker.
Such as last week when Tampa Bay, ahead, 17-16, made an important first down at its 33-yard line.
But the first down was taken away when an official convicted a Tampa Bay guard of an illegal block. The picky-picky penalty riled up the guard, who kicked the official's flag into the air.
So the zebra tacked on an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. Instead of first down at the 33, Tampa Bay was third-and-forever at their 12. Next play, they threw an interception that the Cowboys ran in for a game-turning touchdown.
The hero was not Too Tall Jones or Harvey Martin. It was (where do they get these guys?) Monty Hunter, who (to answer the question) had been a walk-on at some rinky-dink school and lately worked in a factory.
It is, O Diary, too much.
Too much Cowboys, too much Too Tall, too much America's Team, too much Tex-from-L.A., too much Landry/Graham hanging around dusty American Express saloons.
You turn on the TV, there's an ad for NFL products such as beer mugs and lamps. And which team's logo is on the stuff?
It ain't Buffalo's, Rolaid breath.
You go to a movie, "Middle Age Crazy," in which your sweetheart, Ann-Margret, is married to Bruce Dern, who, crazed by years, leaves your sweetheart for a younger woman. The younger woman is a Cowboys' cheerleader.
Too, too much. The Cowboys, to be fair, can play football some. Rampant paranoia (Bud Grant calls the Cowboys "the league's team") may be the envy the philosopher Seneca spoke of: "It is the practice of the multitude to bark at eminent men, as little dogs do at strangers."
So the Cowboys ignore the barking paranoics. Tex-from-L.A. and Landry/Graham walk tall, proud that in a decade they could take a kid from the Naval Academy and teach him to sell stomach pills.
For relief from Angst Cowboyus, a victim can turn to Page 61 of the Oct. 15, 1962, Sports Illustrated.
The headline: "The Redskins find a new kick--winning."
Those Redskins, once 4-0-2, finished 5-7, also-rans again. However miserable they were, they had company. The joy of rummaging in closets is finding an old magazine that tells you the world wasn't always this way. Once upon a time, you could read a sentence beginning, "When the Washington Redskins opened the current National Football League season by tying the lowly Dallas Cowboys . . . "
The lowly Dallas Cowboys.
Those were the good old days.