Super Bowl mania, from chocolate footballs to a ticker-tape parade, has given this city a momentary and joyously embraced escape from the realities of Miami, 1983.
"We're just having a great time," said Dolly Baraso, a receptionist at the Coopers & Lybrand accounting office here.
So, it seems, is most of Miami. Schoolchildren celebrated Dolphins Day by churning out posters proclaiming the Miami Dolphins as No. 1. Operators at Miami Beach's Eden Roc hotel have been answering the telephones: "Eden Roc. We love the Dolphins." And local television news has abandoned crime coverage for satellite reports from Los Angeles assuring Dolphins' fans that "it's going to be a real good game."
For an increasingly foreign-accented city wrestling with racial tensions and drugs, such football madness has the refreshing effect of a sundowner after a hard day: everyone knows the euphoria is artificial and short-lived, but it sure feels good.
Mayor Stephen Clark of Metropolitan Dade County, in collaboration with Mayor Maurice Ferre of Miami, is sponsoring a ticker-tape parade for the Dolphins on Tuesday. Win or lose, the players will move down the city's main commercial streets in the company of their families and local politicians to receive Miami's cheers.
"Businesses are donating shredded paper that we will throw from the highest buildings all over downtown," said Towana Thompson of the Dade government.
Baraso and her colleagues have been trading triumphant doggerel with their counterparts at the firm's Washington office. The exchanges were climaxed Thursday by a threat from the Miami corps "about how we're going to turn the hogs the Redskins' offensive line into sausage," she said.
Not to be outdone, Barry and Patty Goldin's candy store, Chocolate Patty, started making white chocolate footballs and football helmets bearing the Dolphins' insignia.
Patty Goldin said the idea came from her husband, who was a Redskins' fan until the couple moved to Miami.
"Don't ask me about football," she added. "My husband said to do something for the Dolphins."
Travel agents report that flights to Los Angeles are booked full. Several have organized charters.
Pan Am put together a special round-trip flight, which also is full. The plane will leave at 7 a.m. Sunday and return by 6:30 a.m. Monday, in time for the passengers to get to work. "It will be sort of a party all the way and all the way back," Mike Clark, a Pan Am spokesman, said.
Against the background of celebration, the Rev. Jonathan Rolle, a black activist from Miami's troubled Overtown section, issued a reminder that once the diversion is over the city will have to return to business, just as it did 10 years ago, when the Dolphins beat the Redskins in the Super Bowl.