A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 11, 2006
America’s Team (Dallas Cowboys)

"America’s Team” was the title that Bob Ryan of NFL Films said that he coined for its highlight film of the 1978 Dallas Cowboys. (A December 1979 UPI story reported that “no one now seems to remember just who” came up with the nickname.) “America’s Team” appeared on a 1979 Dallas Cowboys calendar and was used in the first two 1979 home preseason games.

The nickname was initially used with pride, but soon became a source of mockery by Dallas’s 1979 opponents. Doug Todd, the Cowboy’s public relations director, quickly killed its promotion. However, whenever the Dallas Cowboys become successful, the team’s many fans across the nation come out to support the club and the nickname is re-used.

Wikipedia: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The team is a member of the East division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). They are headquartered in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas. The headquarters will move to Frisco, Texas in 2016. The team plays its home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which opened for the 2009 season. The stadium took its current name prior to the 2013 season. The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960.

Wikipedia: America’s Team
The term “America’s Team” is a nickname that refers to the National Football League (NFL)’s Dallas Cowboys. The nickname originated with the team’s 1978 highlight film, where the narrator (John Facenda) opens with the following introduction:

They appear on television so often that their faces are as familiar to the public as presidents and movie stars. They are the Dallas Cowboys, “America’s Team”.

16 September 1979, St Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, pg. 24, col. 1:
Cowboys Bigger Than Team, They’re America’s Team

17 September 1979, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Perfect raid saves Dallas from shame” by David Israel, sec. 4, pg. 1, col. 1:
Like Butch and Sundance and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, the Hole-in-the-Roof Gang, also known as the Dallas Cowboys or America’s Team, was pleased and relieved to have worked out the narrowest of escapes.

30 October 1979, Washington (DC) Post, pg. E5:
A gag circulating in pro football was that the Baltimore Colts, not the Dallas Cowboys, really were “America’s team” because of owner Bob Irsay threatening to move to Memphis, Jacksonville, Los Angeles or some other city to get better accommodations.

3 December 1979, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “‘America’s Team’ has a happy day, at last” by Cooper Rollow, pg. C3:
IRVING, Tex.—Happy days are here again for the Dallas Cowboys.

At some undetermined point during Sunday’s 28-7 victory over the New York Giants, the professional football club that has become known as “America’s Team” suddenly found itself.

30 December 1979, Upper Peninsula (Escanaba, Michigan) Sunday Times, “Landry’s Cowboys survive a year of travail” by United Press International, pg. B6:
On top of all the injuries and internal disputes that have served to distract the players this year, one of the largest problems of all started quietly enough last March in discussions between club officials and representatives of NFL Films.

The 1978 Dallas Highlight film had been prepared and edited by NFL Films and a script had been sent to the Cowboys. A tentative title for the 20-minute movie had been selected by the filmmakers—“Champions Die Hard.”

That didn’t go over too well with the Cowboys hierarchy. So representatives from both parties sat down to think about a new name.

The film people said they had noticed that no matter in what stadium footage had been shot, there were always Cowboys pennants being waved. It was also pointed out by NFL Properties, the merchandising end of the league, that Dallas paraphernalia far outsold that of any other team.

The Cowboys, it seemed, had a national clientele.

So someone, no one now seems to remember just who, suggested calling the highlight film, “America’s Team.”

Dallas officials, who had veto power over any title chosen, thought that had a nice ring to it.

The film came out in April and merchandisers quickly picked up on the name. America’s Team calendars appeared with Staubach’s picture on them .And soon the chuckles began. The girls along the sidelines were referred to as “America’s Cheerleaders,” Schramm was “America’s President,” and Staubach was “America’s Quarterback.”

At Dallas’ first home exhibition game—against Denver—the public address announcer introduced the Cowboys as “America’s Team.”

Right then, perhaps, the feeling swept the Cowboys front office that things had gotten out of hand. They tried to divorce themselves from the name in every way they could.

But it was too late.

When the Cowboys began to struggle, the slogan was rubbed in their faces.

“They may be America’s team,” gloated Houston Coach Bum Phillips after the Oilers had beaten Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, “but we’re Texas’ team.”

Google News Archive
6 September 1980, Sumter (SC) Daily Item, “Dallas No Longer ‘America’s Team:’: Cowboys Drop Label” by Bruce Lowitt (AP Sports Writer), pg. 2B, col. 3:
“If we win the Super Bowl this year, it won’t be so funny any more,” Doug Todd was saying.

Todd is the public relations director for the Dallas Cowboys. You remember them, don’t you? America’s Team?

TODD’S THE guy who gave his imprimatur to that gem of a nickname when Bob Ryan of NFL Films, director of the Cowboys’ film of 1978 highlights, came up with it as a working title. Then the Cowboys’ calendar came out. “America’s Team,” it proclaimed. And when the Cowboys played their two home preseason games, they were introduced as “America’s Team: once again.

“After that, though, I began thinking it sounded a little self-serving, so we cut it out,” Todd recalled. Too late.

16 July 2003, New York (NY) Times, pg. A17:
Tex Schramm Is Dead at 83;
Builder of “America’s Team”
By Gerald Eskenazi
Schramm was general manager of the Cowboys from their creation in 1960 until 1989, he span in which they became known as America’s Team while producing a winning stretch that reached 20 straight seasons.
Schramm did not coin the term America’s Team, but he loved it. It had a dashing connotation with the Lone Star on the helmet, and it became the title of the Cowboys’ 1968 highlight film (1978 is correct—ed.), which helped brand it on the public consciousness.

In 1972, he introduced the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to pro football. They formed a touring troupe that took them around the world.

Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Stationery, namely, postcards. FIRST USE: 20111000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20111000
IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Headwear, namely, hats. FIRST USE: 20010000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20010000
Standard Characters Claimed
Serial Number 85690447
Filing Date July 30, 2012
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition March 26, 2013
Registration Number 4349178
Registration Date June 11, 2013
Owner (REGISTRANT) Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Ltd. JWJ Corporation (Texas Corp.) LIMITED PARTNERSHIP TEXAS Cowboys Center One Cowboys Parkway Irving TEXAS 75063
Attorney of Record Kevin G. Smith
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Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Friday, August 11, 2006 • Permalink