Holidays or bust was taken literally

January 05, 2016 3:00 AM


Holidays or bust was taken literallyThe Holidays of times past had unique traditions. We could expect a bust or two from the Feds as they could be counted on to keep their tradition alive.

The Super Bowl then was in early January. The AFL and NFL league champs played a meaningful grudge game before they joined and became conferences. One game between them to settle a very real dislike they had for each other.

The Feds annual Super Bowl bust was anticipated and didn’t produce much or scare anyone since we prepared for it. It was our own Super Bowl between them and us.

One Christmas Churchill Downs got burglarized. The bad guys busted through the wall from the drugstore next-door. They made a nice score because they knew where the hidden safe was and also the hidden compartment in the office door.

Someone supplied inside info, of course, but the guy the police suspected and detained first was the last guy who was capable of pulling this off. Bobby the Owl was the first suspect to be interrogated. Bobby was harmless and couldn’t even think of such big time stuff. All he wanted for Christmas was to hit a $20 two teamer.

Guess what? The case was never solved. Who wants to bet the loot was slowly lost betting it back anyway!

Another memorable Super Bowl Sunday robbery is especially close to me. I headed out early for Bill Dark’s Del Mar Race & Sportsbook in North Las Vegas. I’m going in the front door as two guys are leaving. One holds the door for me and I go in.

The place is quiet, the TV is on, a typical Sunday morning show, and everyone is watching . Nobody even looks at me. Even the two racebook customers are watching.

Me being half smart realizes something’s not right. Turns out the two guys leaving as I entered were wearing trench coats covering up their shotguns. They had just politely and professionally stuck up the joint.

They calmly announced their intensions and diffused an otherwise scary situation. They turned on the TV and told everyone to watch and don’t look back. They took the books’ keys and told Crazy Louie the sportsbook clerk they would be on the roof outside so the locks wouldn’t need to be changed.

That’s probably the only Super Bowl Dark ever lost and his early customers that Sunday morning were defeated before the game even kicked off.

Today’s bad guys might have turned it out differently using their shotguns.

Those games were different also. The Super Bowl was a one game matchup between the two best teams. It didn’t take a month-long, eight-team sudden death tournament involving a few average teams who might sneak in.

The 10 or so college bowl games were always great matchups. No break even or losing teams among the absurd 80 teams that played this season. We had the Rose, Cotton, Gator, Citrus, Orange Bowls, etc. Usually sell outs, not empty stadiums like the Go Fly A Kite Bowl or the WD 40 Classic in Bent Elbow, Maine.

The BCS Final Four will be The BCS 24 eventually and The Super Duper Bowl will be a studio event between Mexico and China someday soon. The mercenary NCAA and the NFL just can’t help themselves.

Like I say, “Times change, change with them or get outta the way.”

Scotty Schettler began his Las Vegas journey in 1968. By the time he quit the race and sports book business he had booked over $1.5 billion for different employers. He says he knows where most of the cans are buried. His book,  is available on Contact Scotty at