People used to wonder whether the Dallas Cowboys would win another Super Bowl before infamous former Arkansas Razorback Jerry Jones passes away.
Now things have gone so long that fans have begun to wonder whether the Cowboys will win another Super Bowl before they are wiped from this planet.
About once each decade it feels like there's a shot that it might could happen. Welcome to this decade's moment.
The Cowboys are lead by quarterback Dak Prescott, which is why many have written Dallas off already this postseason. However, this is a man who once led Mississippi State to the nation's No. 1 ranking for five straight weeks, so he's capable of miracles.
The last time Dallas was legitimately good for any major stretch, I was in junior high, and for reference, my wife says I'm 43. That's right, it's been so long that it harkens back to a time when freshmen weren't part of the high school system.
Pro sports wasn't much of a thing in Arkansas at the time. You'd catch the playoffs in pro football and basketball, and every now and then you'd watch Monday Night Football because it was the biggest regular season sporting event and an excuse to try to stay up late, but pro sports just didn't matter.
The only time you wasted being indoors was a few hours on Saturday for college football or basketball.
The only reason that started to change even the slightest was an upstart show called Sportscenter, with its loaded Hall of Fame class of anchors appealing to younger viewers with phrases such as "Boo-Yah," "Back, back, back, back, back, back..." and "Cool as the other side of the pillow!"
Young men began to work highlights of professional sports into a rotation with "Gargoyles," "Saved By the Bell," and "Dark Wing Duck" before each school day began.
This led the young men in my neighborhood to adopt a pro football team, but there was no obsession.
For me, it was the Buffalo Bills. I liked watching quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Frank Reich lead the team, along with running back Thurman Thomas, to championship after championship. Since I didn't know where Buffalo actually was and all their games seemed to be covered in this mythical substance called snow, their games held a magical quality to me.
The problem was very few pro football games were broadcast on TV at the time, and unike the Arkansas Razorbacks, their games couldn't be listened to on a long dirt road to a fishing lake created by the flooding of either the Ouachita or Saline Rivers, so pro sports were out of sight, out of mind.
Then an obscure man who was either an oil tycoon or owned a chain of Arkansas Pizza Huts, no one could be sure since the internet didn't exist, bought the Dallas Cowboys. A few of the oldtimers who gathered each morning at Carl's, a local bait shop/gas station, to drink coffee and shoot the breeze, could be overheard saying Jerry Something Or Other was a former Razorback, which meant a few people might start watching the Cowboys.
That didn't make much sense to me. I didn't know any casual Cowboys fans.
I followed the Bills, and David, my neighbor to my left was a Packers fan because his adopted dad Byron loved them.
Ryan, my neighbor across the street, had what I later learned was a Saints logo up at his house, but I couldn't picture him stopping down from making an extra buck mowing yards or washing his dog in tomato juice after another skunk attack long enough to actually watch one of their games.
A new kid moved in beside Ryan who liked the Bears, but he was a city kid from some place up in Missouri so we took it with a grain of salt.
But then Jerry Something or Other did something that caught my attention. He hired Jimmy Johnson as head coach, and drafted Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman, and while we had no clue who the man we'd come to know as Jerry Jones was, we definitely knew those guys.
Jimmy Johnson was the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes, the most dominant and hated team in all of football. It made no sense why he would step down from such a huge job to coach an NFL team, but I had seen his work up close and personal.
My 9-year-old self listened as Johnson brought his team to take on the elite of the mighty Southwest Conference (definitely said in jest) in front of what was one of the largest crowds to ever watch a Razorback game at the time as over 55,000 packed War Memorial Stadium.
Miami handed Arkansas its first loss in Little Rock since 1983, which was a big deal since the Hogs played three games at War Memorial and the other three in Fayetteville back then.
Johnson, despite being admittedly bitter at being turned down by athletics director Frank Broyles for the Arkansas job twice, tried to keep the game respectable by putting in back-ups in the second quarter.
His efforts kept it the final score down to 51-7, the second largest margin of victory in what was Irvin's final season as a receiver for the Hurricanes.
The following year, I laid on my grandmother's shag carpet and watched as an upstart new quarterback named Quinn Grovey almost pull up the greatest upset of the decade at Miami in the Orange Bowl on Thanksgiving weekend.
Fullback Barry Foster, for our younger readers that's a player who used to line up between the quarterback and running back when quarterbacks used to take the snap from under center, broke an 80-yard touchdown run and caught a touchdown pass from Grovey to put the Hogs up 16-15 late in the fourth quarter against the defending national champions.
Steve Atwater, possibly the hardest hitter to ever play the game, dropped an interception that would have sealed the game on the play before Miami narrowly avoided being upset by the SWC champions with a field goal. Johnson avoided giving the 10-0 Hogs their first win over a ranked team.
Unfortunately for Johnson, his team finished No. 2 after losing 31-30 to eventual national champion Notre Dame six weeks earlier in the famed Catholics vs. Convicts game.
The following week, Troy Aikman's UCLA team dominated Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl and sent Aikman on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Aikman would go on to beat out Hurricanes quarterback Steve Walsh, who was chosen No. 1 by the Dallas Cowboys the following draft.
I watched Aikman pick apart the Packers at David's house one day and saw running back Emmit Smith almost single-handedly destroy Philadelphia on a TV at Wal-Mart one day.
While I still favored the mythological quality that surrounded the Bills, Dallas felt more real.
By the time the two teams played in the Super Bowl, the window had essentially closed on Buffalo getting over its Super Bowl curse.
The Cowboys claimed their first two championships by defeating the Bills in the final two of Buffalo's four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
It was after this that we finally figured out Jerry Something Or Other's last name as he appeared to run off Johnson so he could get credit for the Cowboys' success. It turns out Johnson already had one foot out the door as he missed the South Florida lifestyle, but fans didn't know that at the time.
Anger abound, and it was directed squarely at Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys missed out on what should have been a third consecutive Super Bowl before Barry Switzer took a team everyone believed to be Jimmy's to a third championship in four years with a win over Pittsburgh.
Then it ended. Switzer didn't get credit for that final Super Bowl. Jerry didn't get credit for any of the Super Bowls.
Jimmy got the glory of all three.
The dynasty that once was hasn't been a legitimate threat since.
Now it's up to Prescott and his fellow Cowboys to set the world right again.
In 2016 the Chicago Cubs ended the Curse of the Goat by winning the World Series, but in turn appears to have cursed the entire country and possibly the world in turn.
Perhaps the only thing that can set things right is if the Cowboys finally end what appears to be the Curse of Jimmy.
Perhaps a Super Bowl win will send that curse out into the world and the Curse of Jimmy and the Curse of the Goat will cancel each other out.
Who knows? A Cowboys win might return us to the 90's, a strange world where one of the longest stretches of peace our country has known existed, gas stations were practically paying you to take their gas, millionaires were being made every day as the economy soared, and you could hug your loved one as you boarded the plane at an airport while holding a water bottle.
No pressure Dallas. The fate of the world rests in your hand.
But, more importantly, a chance for Dallas to be good before Jerry Something or Other and the rest of us pass on to the Great College Football Saturday in the sky.