"I've got four tickets on the 50, but I'm not going to that game," said millionaire baseball player Reggie Jackson. "This is no Super Bowl.
"In New Orleans, you walk down the street and bump into Pete Ruzelle. Here, it's no fun. I'm going home."
Jackson and so many other visitors here are unhappy because everything regarding the Super Bowl is so spread out.
The more is being played in Pasadena; the teams are quartered 65 miles way in Orange County; the media is tucked away near the Los Angeles airport, and no one seems to be downtown.
Still, few local merchants are complaining. There is not a first-class hotel room to be had from here to Bakersfield, 100 miles away. the Hertz people say they beefed up their rental car fleet by 20 per cent. Northwest Arilines flights from Minneapolis to Los Angeles from Thursday night to Saturday night and going back from Sunday to late Tuesday have been unavailable for a week.
Other businesses are being nicely, too.
The man at Dream Girl - "why dream you can have the real thing," reads his ad in a local tabloid - said business was booming. "We're a nude modeling concern," said Fred Lance, the owner. "We charge $40 an hour and one of our girls will come to your home or your hotel.
"We got a lot of big spenders in town this week. They're here for a good time, and we give it to them. Our girls really treat you nice."
The local newspapers have been filled with ads for Super Bowl tickets, although three straight days of rain have done little to inspire consumer confidence. For one thing, 7,000 parking spots next to the Rose Bowl on an adjacent gold course have been wiped out by the downpour. People are being told to leave by 9 a.m. to assure they get to the game for the 12:30 p.m. (Los Angeles time) kickoff. The traffic will be that bad.
"We've been trying to sell our tickets all week," said one Orange County woman who took out a classified ad in the Los Angeles Times to hawk four $20 seats at $50 a pup. "You're only the third person to call," she said on Friday, "and the other two wanted to pay face value. We though we'd get enough to pay for a party, but now it doesn't look so good. We'll probably have to go."
Murray's, one of Souther California's largest ticket agencies, is still asking and getting between $45 and $125 each for game tickets, and already has sold 7,000.
One Minneapolis travel agency bought 1,300 tickets ad $75 apiece for a package tour, the largest single bloc purchase, according to David Adelman's of Murray's. "Right now (late Friday) we've get 500 tickets left and they're moving pretty well," he said. If it's raining on Sunday, though, you'll be able to walk up to the gate and buy them for $2 each. People are starting to shy away now because of the traffic. We could get stuck with a lot of tickets."
Many of the beautiful people are staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where rates range from $75 a night for a single room to $500 a night for a four-bedroom bungalow. Howard Hughes stayed there often, and Bungalow 5 is usually reserved for Elizabeth Taylor.
The hotel guest list this week includes Olivia de Havillan, Fay Dunaway, Ethel Kennedy, Peter Finch, George Stephens, Howard Cosell and Joe Namath, among others, French film director Franchise Truffant is satying there, too, and, according to a hotel publicity type has two tickets on the 50. Elliott Giuld and Walter Matthau will go to the game and Brenda Vallaro will hold an intimate little gathering at home to watch on television.
Hollywood and football coexisted this week. The other day, comedian Don Rickles showed up in the press room at the Marrion to plug a network special. He wakled through the media workroom as writers were typing their daily stories yelling "Nixon could be dead, and you guys would be writing about Tarlington's sprained wrist."
Down the freeway to the teams headquarters, controlled bedlam prevailed. Both teams sequestered the players away from their wives and Viking tackle Alan Page delivered the quote of the week, "No sex is the unspoken rule," he told one reporter. "There's no time anyway."
The NFL cut down from four to three days the players would be available to the working press, though few people complained Many of the Vikings, in the Super Bowl the fourth time, seemed bored by all and Carl Eller picked the precise hour of Thursday's press conference to visit the dentist. The Raiders genuinely seemed to enjoy the daily grilling. Their coach, John Madden, a man many of his players call Pinky the Elephant, was a delight all week even though many of the questions were as insane as ever. A sample:
"Do you foresee a high or low scoring game? You're coming from cold weather to warm weather, will that affect you?" and the inevitable "would you predict the outcome?"
The halftime show Sunday should be spectacular. All 213,000 fans will be asked to join for 21 minutes in the mist elaborate card stunt ever. They won't be able see the results, but it should make for some decent television. Disney Productions will handle the on-field entertainment for a mere $25,000.
The parties were lavish, as always. NBC held a bash tonight at the posh Century Plaza and will host a breakfast in a test adjacent to the Rose Bowl Sunday morning. A thousand people are expected for brunch.That's a lot of lox and bagels.
The NFL was heavy on the tacos and hot sauce at its Mexican Fiesta affair at the Pasadena Civic Center Friday night. The party cost about $75,000, according to the league, and there was 5.09 pounds of food per person available for the 2,500 folks who showed up. There were no left-overs.