Tito could cook but wasn’t much of a sportsbook teller

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It was back in the 80’s at the Stardust and this is the saga of Tito, a ticket writer who was hired by Scotty Schettler.

Everyone loved Tito, who was a great pizza maker, but as a ticket writer on a scale of 1 to 10 Tito was a zero. In today’s sportsbooks, Tito most likely would never get by an interview but if he was hired he would never last a week. One thing about Tito is he always wrote the most sports tickets. The problem was at least half were his and none over five bucks.

Now this story is about the time when we first got our new computers in and the writers were just getting the hang of them. All line moves could be made by a supervisor. There was always one on the lines, at any ticket writer’s window.

Now there was a big Monday night football game and a bettor came up to a window and wanted a dime on the favorite who was -6 points. When the ticket came out it read -24. I knew there could only be one culprit. I strolled down to Tito’s window and watched as he kept changing the line on the game.

I asked Tito what he was doing. He responded about practicing and not being able to figure how to drop the line. He could only raise it and wanted to bet $5 dollars at -5.

Tito was Tito and he somehow stuck around. It could have been the pizza as he was a cook at the infamous Tower of Pizza when Scotty worked there. To this day we still never found out what Scotty did at the Tower of Pizza. Tito said he washed dishes. We all must start somewhere.

Don’t know exactly where Tito is now but we wish him a very Merry Christmas.

Now let’s find some winners so as to get some of our Christmas cash back.

Tuesday’s bowl games can be found in the Two for Tuesday column.

Wednesday

POINSETTIA, San Diego

Boise State -8.5 vs. N. Illinois: Boise has not had its typical season and there is no blue carpet in Qualcomm. That leads us to the Huskies even though they did lose their last two games of the season. The loss was to Ohio University, who almost took down App State and a hot Bowling Green in the MAC championship game. We will take the points and hope the rest did them good. N. ILLINOIS.

GODADDY.COM, Mobile, Ala.

Georgia Southern +7.5 vs. Bowling Green: The Falcons from BG had a great season winning 9 of their last 10 games plus the MAC title. If Toledo beats Temple and UNI hangs in with Boise we will be all over the Falcons. Note that Georgia Southern lost its last game to Georgia State, 34-7, which fell to San Jose State at the Citrus Bowl last Saturday, 27-16. BOWLING GREEN.

Thursday

BAHAMAS BOWL, Nassau

Middle Tenn. St. +3 vs. Western Michigan: Nice reward for these two teams, a trip to the Bahamas. Must favor the Blue Raiders from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and it will be colder there for Santa’s trip than in the Bahamas. The Blue Raiders went 4-0 SU and ATS to finish the season to get here. The Broncos, who get out of Kalamazoo, Mich., (cold, cold and colder), will also love the trip. They did beat Toledo in their last game of the season. In a real toss up we will take the three points. MIDDLE TENN ST.

HAWAII BOWL, Honolulu

Cincinnati -1 vs. San Diego State: If you’re wrapping gifts or going to midnight Mass, this one will be a good game to keep you awake before the fat man comes down the chimney. Long trip for the Bearcats but a good one getting out of the deep freeze in Cincy. Just another nice day for the boys from San Diego State who won their last nine games of the season. We will side with the hot team, if you get my ocean drift. SAN DIEGO ST.

Saturday

ST. PETERSBURG BOWL Tropicana Field

Connecticut +4.5 vs. Marshall: U Conn just will not be able to score enough points vs. the Thundering Herd to keep up, and Marshall has won and covered in their last three Bowls. MARSHALL.

SUN BOWL, El Paso

Miami, Fla. +2.5 vs. Washington St.: This game goes to the best head coach and one of the finest in the land in Mike Leach of the Cougars, who has really turned this program around. Forget the loss in their last game, Coach Leach will have his team in high gear for the win. WASHINGTON ST.

HEART OF DALLAS
Cotton Bowl

Southern Miss +8.5 vs. Washington: If anyone asks where this game is being played just don’t answer. Big schedule difference here as Huskies played a much tougher schedule and own wins over Washington State, Arizona, USC and a narrow loss to Oregon. No quality wins on the Golden Eagles slate. WASHINGTON.

PINSTRIPE, The Bronx

Indiana -2 vs. Duke: Good game for ABC in the “I don’t really care” Bowl. The question will be how many fans will be at Yankee Stadium? Indiana finished the season 6-6 after winning their first four games vs. little. They then dropped six straight conference games before beating a whipped Maryland team, 47-28, and Purdue, 54-36, both on the road. Duke won 6 of its first 7 games then lost 4 of 5 with a season-ending win vs. Wake Forest. It seems the momentum is with the Hoosiers who make a rare Bowl appearance. They did only lose to Iowa by 8 and both Michigan and Ohio State by 7. INDIANA.

INDEPENDENCE, Shreveport

Tulsa +13.5 vs. Virginia Tech: It’s good-bye time for retiring head coach Frank Beamer after 29 years with the Hokies. His crew had to beat Virginia in the last game of the season to get to 6-6 and a trip to Louisiana. The question will be can they score enough points to cover this spread? The teams they beat by more than two TD’s were Furman and Purdue and that is it. Tulsa lost by more than two TD’s to Memphis and Navy. We think Beamer gets his win but not by the spread. TULSA.

FOSTER FARMS, Santa Clara

Nebraska +6.5 vs. UCLA (61): We’ll be well done by the time this game gets going in northern California, and really can’t find a winner. The Cornhuskers somehow beat Michigan State and that win got them here with a record of 5-7. Ugh! UCLA can have a big game on occasion but not reliable to say the least, even though their record is 8-4. We will hope for a scoring spree. OVER.

Monday

MILITARY, Annapolis

Pittsburgh +3.5 vs. Navy: No brainer here as the Navy has had a prep game with Army. It will be fitting they win this bowl at home. NAVY.

QUICK LANE, Detroit

Central Michigan +6 vs. Minnesota: Another no brainer as we get the Chippewas from the MAC vs. the Golden Gophers from the Big Ten. We will side with the Big Ten and lay the 6. MINNESOTA.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and always remember, “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.” Don’t forget the true meaning of this beautiful day. And to all, a good week.

NFL Last Week: 1-0-0

NFL Season: 15-14-0

CFB Last Week: 3-2-0

CFB Season: 74-52-3

Note: No selections in pro football this week. We’re eating.

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GT’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Twitter: @SabesBet. Email: [email protected].

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