The 1987 NFL season featured a 23-day players’ strike; replacement players were used during weeks 4-6. The Dallas Cowboys’ replacement football palyers were dubbed the “Rhinestone Cowboys,” after the 1975 song hit “Rhinestone Cowboy” sung by Glen Campbell.
Wikipedia: 1987 NFL season
The 1987 NFL season was the 68th regular season of the National Football League. A 24-day players’ strike reduced the 16-game season to 15. The games that were scheduled for the third week of the season were canceled, but the games for weeks 4-6 were played with replacement players. 85% of the veteran players did not cross picket lines during the strike.
The replacement player teams were given mock names like “Chicago Spare Bears”, “San Francisco Phoney Niners”, “New Orleans Saint Elsewheres”, “Washington ScabSkins”, and “Seattle Sea-scabs”
Wikipedia: Rhinestone Cowboy
“Rhinestone Cowboy” is a song written by Larry Weiss and most famously recorded by country-pop singer Glen Campbell. The song enjoyed immense popularity with both country and pop audiences when it was released in 1975.
Weiss wrote and recorded “Rhinestone Cowboy” in 1974, and it appeared on his 20th Century Records album Black and Blue Suite, based on the life of Paul Smith of Hitchin. Neither that version, nor a cover by Neil Diamond made much of an impression on audiences (although Diamond’s version did garner adult contemporary airplay). In late 1974, Campbell heard the song on the radio and, during a tour of Australia decided to learn the song. Soon after his return to the United States, Campbell went to Al Coury’s office at Capitol Records, where he was approached about “a great new song” — “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
Several music writers noted that Campbell identified with the subject matter of “Rhinestone Cowboy” — survival and making it, particularly when the chips are down — very strongly. As Steven Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic put it, the song is about a veteran artist “who’s aware that he’s more than paid his dues during his career ... but is still surviving, and someday, he’ll shine just like a rhinestone cowboy.”
5 October 1987, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Free Press, Scott Taylor column, pg. 35, col. 5:
Watch the Masqueraiders, the Illeagles and the Rhinestone Cowboys?
Google News Archive
22 October 1987, Victoria (TX) Advocate. pg. 1B, col. 2:
“Rhinestone" Cowboys Feeling Heat
By DENNE H. FREEMAN
AP Sports Writer
IRVING (AP)—There were some empty “rhinestone” Cowboys lockers at Valley Ranch Wednesday, and more will follow as the replacement Dallas players feel the heat from the veterans’ return.
Sport: New Formation: Odd Man Out
By Tom Callahan
Monday, Nov. 09, 1987
The most noticeable damage has been done in Dallas, where the first man through the picket line was Co-Captain Randy White. “Captain Scab,” Tailback Tony Dorsett called him. In the next instant, threatened by the fine print in his contract, Dorsett followed. Quarterback Danny White too. “White’s a weenie! We want Sweeney!” the fans clamored. Tired of decay, they actually preferred the rhinestone Cowboys, led by a small and appealing Doug Flutie- type, Kevin Sweeney.
Updated: June 9, 2011, 5:04 PM ET
NFL replacements part of history
By Elizabeth Merrill
There are no endearing stories in the 2011 NFL lockout.
They (1987 replacement players—ed.) were called scabs and were met with hostility, threats and profanity as their buses crossed the picket lines. Their following depended on the city. In union towns, the replacements were shunned. In places such as Dallas, some fans loved their grit and nicknamed them the “Rhinestone Cowboys.” Nearly every replacement team wound up with some kind of revamped nickname, and they generally weren’t nice. The Chicago Spare Bears. The Seattle Sea-Scabs. The New Orleans Saint Elsewheres.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Thursday, June 16, 2011 • Permalink