Consider Christmas Eve 1977. On that Saturday, the Baltimore Colts and Oakland Raiders met at Memorial Stadium in an epic and exhausting double-overtime playoff game that featured seven consecutive lead-changing scores. In the second overtime quarter, the assembled congregation rose to its feet in unison, holding its collective breath as Colts receiver Raymond Chester slipped behind the Raiders' secondary. The pass from quarterback Bert Jones, hobbling with a toe injury and struggling to set his feet, fell just beyond Mr. Chester's grasp. As the ball landed harmlessly on the mangled turf, the crowd sank back into its seats, having endured yet another of that afternoon's many juxtaposed moments of euphoria and chagrin.