Ride the Colts, Manning’s arm

Jan 23, 2007 6:31 AM

We were treated to an absolutely classic game, in which the Colts and Patriots gave 110 percent on both sides of the ball.

It goes without saying that the AFC has at least four teams that would be substantially favored over the Bears, and rightfully so.

One twist that you’ll be reading about is the history of a long friendship of the opposing coaches. Will either coach let up on the throttle as the fourth quarter comes on Feb. 4? Will there be a concession touchdown to make the final score look better for the losing team?

The public will indeed bet the Colts higher as the two week period painfully progresses because of the quarterback comparisons that are certain to arise.

If you like the dog be patient. If you like the favored Colts bet early as I intend to do as soon as my mortgage broker approves my third trust deed.

As we approach the off week of the Super Bowl I want to be the first to relate to you two prior Super Bowls that have remained in my memory for many years. The year was 1979 and coincidentally it was being played in Florida, as is this year’s edition. With the help of some guys who remember stuff, can tell you that the Pittsburgh Steelers led by Terry Bradshaw opened as 3-point favorites over Roger Staubach’s Dallas Cowboys.

At the time I was running the horse book for Bill Dark at the old DelMar Race and Sports Book in North Las Vegas. Every Sunday night our families ate dinner together and all our accounting for the prior week was settled.

This particular night the conversation was dominated by our individual estimates of the line for the upcoming Super Bowl. We agreed that —5 or —6 would be put up by the Stardust in the morning. My instructions were to be ready to bet on the opening number as we both believed that the public would push up the mighty Steelers and we wanted to get down on the lowest number possible.

When I saw a —3 I fired as much as I had without calling as I was afraid that the number might change and go higher. We were both elated when I got back to the store with the ticket. In those days everybody followed the Stardust’s numbers so Bill increased his bet with other books as the day went on.

As the full week progressed the game went to —4 and higher. We realized that at +4½ we might have a pretty good middle going so we reinvested two-thirds of our money on the Cowboys at +4½.

Bill had a ton going for him and declared that if we middle this game he’s going to take me to Hawaii. As you may recall Pittsburgh won 35-31 and a few days later I got my first and only visit to the Islands. We played softball every day with the local team and had a great time. It was indeed a Super Bowl to be remembered.

Here’s the other one that is indeed one to forget. Our very first Super Bowl at the Edgewater Hotel in Laughlin, Nevada was one that we anticipated doing very little business on as we had been open only a few months.

It was the first sports book to open in Laughlin and the tourists were mostly unaware that sports and race betting were available. On Super Bowl week when I returned from Vegas on Wednesday I was met with great news, or so I thought. A customer had bet $10,000 on our parlay cards I was told. The news ever got better when it was explained to me that he bet $5,000 predominantly on the Dolphins and $5,000 predominantly on the 49ers, so we automatically were $5,000 winners.

He couldn’t win both sides, I reasoned, so I bragged to my bosses how "sweet this is." Upon looking at the stubs they were all $50 cards comprised of final score, most rushing yards, most passing yards, most interceptions, most first downs, which team wins the first half and a few other props that I don’t remember.

In order for the customer to win, one team or the other would have to dominate the entire game in almost all statistics.

Here are some of the highlights of this particular game.

Passing yards: 49ers, 326, Miami, 211

First downs: 49ers, 31, Miami, 19

Passing TDs: Montana, 3, Moreno, 2

First half score: 49ers, 28, Miami, 16 points

Final score: 49ers, 38, Miami, 16.

That was total domination by the 49ers. With my tail between my legs I humbly told my bosses how "sweet it wasn’t."

Have a great week!