Laughlin’s wake up call: Arizona Cardinals!

Dec 28, 2004 7:28 AM

LAUGHLIN — On an invitation from Flamingo Hilton Laughlin Race and Sports director Bill Fogg, I drove down to this Colorado River border town that has neatly bottled the good points of old and new Las Vegas.

What I didn’t realize was how much pull the Arizona Cardinals have on local betting. The Cards! Heck, they only sell out when the Cowboys, Bears and Packers play in Tempe — and that’s because these visiting teams have fans whot travel everywhere.

"Absolutely, we would get more business if the Cardinals were better," Fogg said. "Remember when (ex-coach) Buddy Ryan came to Arizona a few years back and said he was bringing Arizona a winner? He said his goal was the Super Bowl. At that time the Cards were a little under .500, not the worst team in the league. Our future book wagers on the Cards went from 40-1 to 6-1."

Well, this year’s Cards have shown signs of improvement under the former Vikes head coach Dennis Green, but the jury is always out so long as Bill Bidwell owns the team. But it is nice to know there is good support for the Cards in Laughlin.

As we head into the final week of the NFL’s regular season, Atlanta’s mailed-in effort at New Orleans convinced us not to bet on a playoff team with nothing at stake.

Steelers NL at Bills: Tommy Maddox relieved Big Ben at QB to finish off Ravens. Maddox figures to start this week as Steelers try to stay warm in Buffalo. BILLS.

Packers +3 at Bears: Chicago will be out for blood in this bitter rivalry, but Pack wants to escape Soldier Field without injuries. Especially, to that Favre guy. BEARS.

Browns +10½ at Texans: Great win for Houston last week in Jacksonville. Texans going after .500. Browns will play D and again run Suggs. UNDER 40.

Cowboys +2½ at Giants: With two straight good efforts under his belt, expect Eli Manning to finish his rookie season big. No love for Tuna in NY. GIANTS.

Chiefs -3 at Chargers: Tough loss for San Diego at Indy, though coming up with another cover. It’s rest time. CHIEFS.

Last week: 6-1

Season: 44-25