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Dallas Greets Victory With Calm Satisfaction

January 29, 1996

DALLAS (AP) _ Ho, hum.

The return of the Super Bowl title to Dallas was greeted Sunday night with serene satisfaction in the Cowboys home town.

In contrast to the rowdy glee that had accompanied past Super Bowl victories by the Cowboys, revelers left downtown night spots with more smiles than shouts after Dallas defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17.

In fact, the crowds in the West End entertainment district were not as thick as with past Super Bowls.

``During the game, it was much more quiet than on a normal Sunday,″ said Sgt. Mark Trower, shift supervisor for Dallas police communications.

``Of course all that changed after the game. From some areas, we’ve had reports of random gunfire, celebratory gunfire, some trash Dumpsters set on fire, things like that.″

Police spokesman Chris Gilliam said normal downtown patrols were used in the district, where parking lots were only 20 percent full. No one had trouble finding a seat at any of the area’s restaurants and bars.

In one, Woody Durbin watched with six colleagues as, after Pittsburgh had closed to 20-17, Emmitt Smith’s touchdown run with 3:43 left in the game sealed the victory.

``If you’re gonna be a Cowboy, you gotta rise to the occasion,″ Durbin said. ``Only thing is, the occasion has to be hitting you in the face.″

No sooner than the final gun sounded than the first souvenir-shirt vendors hit the West End streets with Super Bowl champion T-shirts and sweat shirts.

A livelier crowd was found at a Truckstops of America lounge in suburban Mesquite. It was a come-as-you-are party for about 35 truckers, in a 25-by-35-foot room dominated by a television set.

Cowboys fans outnumbered Steelers fans 2-to-1, but what the Pittsburgh faithful lacked in numbers they compensated for in verve.

``It’s wild here, man. I love watching it here amongst the truckers,″ said driver Arthur Gunter of Dunnellon, Fla., a Steelers fan.

In the past, game-night crowds were not as unruly as those that greeted the returning Super Bowl champions on parade days.

In 1993, groups of teen-agers fought with each other and police as an estimated 400,000 people cheered the first Super Bowl-winning Cowboys team since 1978. Authorities reported at least 50 injuries and 75 arrests.

In 1994, some 60,000-70,000 loud and enthusiastic fans peacefully celebrated with that year’s returning world champions. Police reported 39 arrests for offenses including minor assaults and drug possession.

The daily average number of arrests in the downtown area is 15.

The atmosphere was nothing like that where Frenchy Rheault was sitting. He and his wife, Terri, cheered Larry Brown’s fourth-quarter interception, his second, that set up Smith’s second touchdown.

``Larry Brown, MVP of the day!″ he cried. ``Not so valuable player right there,″ he said of the Steelers’ Neil McDonnell, who threw the errant pass.

Across from him sat Mark McGill of Milford, Conn., the only person in the bar cheering the Steelers.

``If the Steelers win, I’m going to get a running head start for the door.″

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