In this throwback piece, we take a look 34 years into the past at one of Dale Hansen's all-time favorite stories. He did a tongue-in-cheek story in 1983 about how legendary Cowboys head coach Tom Landry was, in fact, Superman.
It was the first Sports Special ever, and WFAA's sports team was ready to roll with the new concept.
“I came up with the closing story of, ‘Tom Landry is actually Superman,’” Hansen said. “And it just hit me at training camp -- and I used to do a lot of goofy stories back then -- but it hit me that I think Tom Landry was Superman.”
Among the similarities:
• Superman went off the air in 1959, Tom Landry started coaching the Cowboys in 1960
• Both Clark Kent’s and Landry’s bosses had ties to the newspaper industry. Perry White was a fictional newspaper man, and Cowboys GM Tex Schramm was formerly in the business
• Chief scout Gil Brandt shared the frugality of Jimmy Olsen from the Superman comics
• And, of course, the whole “truth, justice and the American Way” thing
One of the best things about the video? Dale had to interrupt Landry’s interview with a high-profile newspaper to get a shot of the head coach playing Superman (unbeknownst to Landry) before Dale headed back to L.A.
“I finally interrupted them, and said, ‘Tom, I just need one shot for a story I’m doing,’” Dale recalled. “The newspaper guy kind of looked at me like, what a jerk I was to interrupt him.
“I told Landry what I wanted, and he asked, ‘What is this story about?’ I said, you really don’t want to know.”
Tom Landry’s wife, Alicia, told Dale after the story aired that Landry loved it.
“I hope he did,” Hansen said, “because it was meant as a serious tribute to him. Tom Landry was Superman to me.”