The Dallas Cowboys will win the Super Bowl, 27-10, over the Denver Broncos. They'll do it on Roger Staubach's passing to Drew Pearson, a weapon they'll use a lot after Denver shows it can stop the running of Tony Dorsett. The Cowboys' defensive end, Harvey Martin will bounce Craig Morton out of the game and that will be that. Any other question?
There were two stiffs in town yesterday King Tut and Billy Carter. Tut is here as part of an American tour to raise money for Egypt's best art museum. Billy is here raising money for Billy. Naturally, a hundred reporters asked Billy who would win this Super Bowl and he said, "Dallas."
"Cause I went to college with one of their coaches."
Few experts had taken that into consideration.
Truth is. King Tut provided better information. He met the press in his throne room at New Orleans' Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, where his artifacts have been on display for five months. The king said he wasn't much of a football fan. The game wasn't big when he was a kid on the Nile 3,400 years ago. He sounded sorry about that. But he said he'd read about the game and heard about it on television.
"There hasn't been so much excitement," the king said, "since we finished the great pyramids."
The king, a regular guy, traded small talk with the reporters. His favorite quarterback is Billy Kilmer. "He's the closest to my age," Tut said, smiling. he likes the Superdome too. "How many slaves worked on that structure for how many years?" he said. The best part of a football game, he said, came "when the gladiators carry their leader off the field on their shoulders. It takes me back to my youth."
"King, could we stick to the subject?" said Ray Fitzgerald of the Boston Globe, a dogged reporter. "We're here to talk about this Super Bowl game. My question is: this being Denver's first Super Bowl in 18 seasons, do you think they'll be petrified by the spectacle?"
"Please sir, never say 'petrified' to a mummy."
"Unless I misread my hieroglypics," the king said, going on, "the Denver master, Red Miller, has his team in a state of readiness. The Denver defensive team is very strong and very fast. As we say in Egypt, a good defence is the best offense."
"But what about the Denver offense?" asked Joe Gergen of Newsday. "Craig Morton has a severely bruised hip. He'll play quarterback, but he'll have yards and yards of tape around him."
"And what, sir, is wrong with being wrapped securely?" Tut said.
Gergen regretted his four pas. He changed the subject, saying, "Will you be at the game, King?"
"Only if I can sit with Phyllis George," Tut said.
It is possible with painstaking journalistic investigation, to go completely whacko the week of a Super Bowl. You won't believe this next story, but the people who put out press releases for the NFL thought it was important enough to alert the nation's sporting press.
A television manufacturer names a pro quarterback of the year.The award, to quote the news release, is "a TV set built to resemble a football helmet." Honest. Maybe you change channels by pulling on its chin strap.
Anyways, they were flying it to New Orleans for the presentation ceremony. The thing cost $25,000 which is enough to buy 20,000 cases of Billy's Beer or 30,000 rolls of King Tut's mummy wrapping. Storms' bounced the plane around. The helmet-TV set "arrived totally demolished," the release said. In its place, the winner will be given a cartoon. Honest.
Apologies may be in order here. This is serious stuff, the Super Bowl. That's what everybody tells us. They tells us 150 million people will be watching the silly game on their TV sets, whether they're shaped like football helmet or not. But, really. How can you get serious when the NFL puts out press releases telling you that an airline is flying in an orange 747 from Denver?
It's a simple football game we have here, not the resurrection of King Tut. Dallas will win because its cheer-leaders lead the world in belly buttons. Roger Staubach will win the game because he will throw and run better against Denver than Craig Morton will against Dallas. The decision won't swing on which quarterback believes more in Jesus Christ.
Forget Tom Landry's forgettable explanation of how the game will go. "Without a doubt," the Cowboys' coach said this week, "the key matchups will be the two defenses against the two offenses."
Billy Carter did better than that.
Denver comes into the game on an emotional high, which may help the Broncos in the first five or six minutes. Emotion wears off quickly when a team gets behind, and it says here Dallas will score early and establish unremitting control of the proceedings.
That's because Staubach has more offensive weapons - Tony Dorsett, a 1,000-yard gainer, will be the least of them - and Morton, on that mummified leg, will be in pain all day. Denver's quarterback were sacked an astonishing 50 times this year and if Morton thinks the Internal Revenue Service is after his hide, he ain't seen Harvey Martin yet. Martin has 23 of the Cowboys' 53 sacks this season.
"Another thing I like about Dallas," King Tut said, "is the coach, Tom Landry. I Haven't smiled under this tape for 3,400 years. Landry doesn't smile, either. Nice."