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Don’t be afraid to lay the lumber!

Jan 21, 2003 6:16 AM

I just can’t get too excited over the upcoming Super Bowl between the Buccaneers and Raiders, especially when I think back on my favorite two Super Bowls.

Being a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and a bettor, I will tell you a little about my favorite two games. Tops was the 1979 Super Bowl XIII pairing the Steelers against Dallas. Pittsburgh was a 3 1/2 or 4-point favorite depending on what spot you were at, but the Stardust (my hangout in those days) had the game —3.5 for the Steelers and Dallas +4 if you wanted to bet that side.

Being from Steubenville, Ohio (39 miles from Pittsburgh) I had a lot of friends interested in what the line was in Vegas. Upon hearing that I could lay —3.5, they couldn’t believe it. Airline tickets from Pittsburgh to Vegas became harder to obtain. I asked a friend what the line was there and he said Pittsburgh —7. Without hesitation I told him to get me some of that +7 before he got on the plane.

Well, it was the perfect outcome. I layed the —3.5 at the dust and took the + 7. The Steelers won by 4 in what was the most disastrous outcome possible for the book, which had to pay all the —3.5 and refund all the +4. I asked the sports book manager why he put up that kind of line. His answer was that in 1976 Super Bowl X the Steelers beat the Cowboys 21-17 and he didn’t think it could come 4 again. Oh well.

My second favorite game was the 1980 Super Bowl XIV, matching the Steelers against the Los Angeles Rams at the Rose Bowl. One reason I so fondly remember this game was that I had 50-yard line seats, my friend Lenny S. was best man at L.C. Greenwood’s weeding, so we had a little juice.

When the guys got to Vegas on Wednesday, Pittsburgh was a 10-point favorite and we all emptied out on Swann & Co., heading to L.A. for three days of horses and the Super Bowl. While at the track I was rooting so hard trying to get a 10-1 shot home that I threw my back out and could hardly walk.

Once at the game and sitting in some of the best seats in the house, all I could do was sit because I was in so much pain. Every time there was a big pass play everyone would stand up and I would miss the whole thing. What saved me was the beer. All I can really remember is that the final score was Steelers 31, Rams 19.

When I realized how much money we had won, my back pain was gone. Amazing! By the way, the books got middled in that game also. The Steelers opened —9.5 and closed —12.5 or something like that.

Well now it’s XXXVII and no Steelers/Cowboys. However, we do have a 4 point spread, with the Raiders the smallish favorite. It’s the Bucs "D" against the Raider "O" and the way I see it is that Tampa will need a lot of turnovers to get the win.

I must go with the Raiders and their red hot QB Gannon to get the job done. I don’t see this game coming 4, so sport books out there shouldn’t worry about getting middled or sided. In fact, the house could probably put up Raiders —4 and Bucs +4.5, get all the business, and not need to worry mate.

Have fun, enjoy all the parties and have the best of times win or lose.

Last week: 0-2

Playoffs: 4-6