DALLAS (AP) _ John Bickel has been on the mountaintop with other Dallas Cowboys fans as he watched the team earn its third trip to the Super Bowl in four years.
And he’s been in the valley _ only weeks before, when the Cowboys lost 20-17 to the Philadelphia Eagles, the game in which Dallas coach Barry Switzer made a questionable fourth-quarter decision to go for it twice on fourth and one from his 29.
But Bickel, a partner with the downtown law firm Bickel and Brewer and a longtime season ticket holder, never has been to a Cowboys’ NFL championship game.
He hopes to change that Sunday _ if a court schedule doesn’t interfere.
``That’s been the story of my life,″ Bickel said.
Other season ticket holders were more confident of making it to Tempe, Ariz., for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mike Neuhoff, who saw the Cowboys’ Super Bowl victories over Buffalo in 1993 and 1994, will fly into Arizona on a wing and a prayer.
``I am going this year, but have no ticket,″ he said. ``I’m flying out Friday night, going with five other people. Four of them have tickets. So we’ll play golf and hang out together.″
An option holder at Texas Stadium, Neuhoff did not get a lottery pick for a Super Bowl ticket. But he made plane reservations about 1 1/2 months ago anyway.
``I had to get on the list for a hotel room, even then,″ Neuhoff said. ``It was several weeks before I actually got a room.″
He’s already spent $800 on transportation and lodging, plus three planned rounds of golf at $100 each.
Bickel, a ticket holder for five years, wanted to go to the Cowboys’ previous two Super Bowl games.
``But I was unable to do so because of the press of litigation,″ he said.
Now, Bickel allows at least a 50-50 chance of seeing the Cowboys play Sunday.
He’s trying to juggle his schedule for a departure with Bill Brewer, another founder of the firm, for Sun Devils Stadium with the firm’s two tickets. But a hearing for a civil trial is pending before State District Judge Louis Nicholson.
``Unless I am in trial the next day after the game, I will be there,″ he said. ``But it depends entirely on what the judge decides to do.″
Another downtown law firm, Jenkens & Gilchrist, has a luxury box at Texas Stadium and 10 to 12 season tickets. Some of the firm’s lawyers will be on hand to watch the Cowboys seek a record-tying fifth Super Bowl title in an unprecedented eighth appearance.
Founding partner Henry Gilchrist wishes he could be one of them. He went to the 1978 Super Bowl when Dallas beat Denver 27-10.
``Being at a Super Bowl is an unbelievably electrifying experience,″ he said. ``If I could just drop in to Tempe, see the game and then leave, I’d go. But to fight through the arrangements of finding tickets, finding a hotel _ it is about impossible to get a rental car _ it’s a major effort. If Jerry Jones would give me a seat on his plane, I would love to go.″