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America buys into Cowboys

Times Staff Writer

You might not call them “America’s Team,” your friends might not call them “America’s Team” and maybe not a single person you know would call them “America’s Team,” but make no mistake, the Dallas Cowboys are clearly “America’s Team.”

How do we know this? Follow the money.

According to a Harris Poll last month, the Cowboys are No. 1 among adults who follow professional football. (The Colts, Steelers, Packers and Bears follow).

And you thought the Patriots were America’s Team? What have they done lately, besides win three Super Bowls in the last six years and go undefeated so far this season? (Yes, the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1996).

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But this “America’s Team” thing, it’s all about the ka-ching.

The NFL Shop, which is the NFL’s online merchandise store, lists the Cowboys first in memorabilia sales, ahead of the Bears and the Steelers.

The No. 9 jersey of Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo is the top-selling jersey this year.

If you don’t believe the cash register, maybe you’ll believe your eyeballs. When you take the five most-watched regular season games on television in the last 20 years, the Cowboys played in four of them.

Trivia time

How did the phrase “America’s Team” originate?

Sorry, Charlie

It looks like reporters covering 1-9 Notre Dame are just accepting the fact the Irish are lousy or they’re letting coach Charlie Weis off pretty easy, judging by their questions after Notre Dame’s 41-24 loss Saturday to Air Force.

The first question was about a bright spot on defense, the second about the challenge of teaching high school kids to play up to the college level, the third about not having much time left in the season to teach, and the fourth about the personalities of the players.

It wasn’t until the fifth question that someone asked Weis why skeptics should believe that he’s the man to get the job done.

Weis’ answer: “They have to believe what they want to believe.”

Another answer: It’s hard to believe Notre Dame has lost nine games for the first time ever.

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The China Daily, China’s state-run newspaper, reported that the Chinese government is creating a database on the nearly 30,000 foreign reporters assigned to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

According to the newspaper, the plan is to prevent people from posing as journalists.

Yeah, you know, we’ve had way enough of that craze and it’s just got to stop.

Real estate news

Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns bought the Phoenix home of Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart for $1.9 million. That’s about $500,000 less than what Leinart paid for it a year ago.

Wow, it has been an off year for Leinart, hasn’t it?

Car news

Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox is selling on EBay his 2006 Chrysler 300M, which he figures is worth about $35,000, but expects to go for $50,000.

Ramirez claims he only drove the car in lazy circles, or, in other words, close to the same pace he chases fly balls.

Trivia answer

It came from the Cowboys’ 1979 highlight reel, when NFL Films executive Bob Ryan and then-Cowboys public relations director Doug Todd were trying to come up with a moniker. They rejected “U.S. Cowboys,” “Champions Die Hard” and “Cowboys a National Team.”

And finally

Jimmie Johnson has opened up what’s probably an insurmountable 86-point lead in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series with only one race to go, but Johnson doesn’t want to start celebrating just yet. He’s starting to think about it, though.

“I have to run 400 more miles,” he said, “and we’ll get nuts after that.”

thomas.bonk@latimes.com


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