Jose Montalvo watched yesterday's Super Bowl along with about 25 other customers of Jenkins Hill restaurant on Capitol Hill.
At halftime, Montalvo said, "The only Dallas fan here is the bartender. He gets no tips today from this crowd."
Montalvo seemed to be in a clear majority of area viewers: He despised Dallas because of the Cowboys' archenemy status with the Washington Redskins.
"I'm for Pittsburgh; I just don't like Dallas," said Ronald Duke, who watched the game at home along with his wife and three friends. "It's purely a Skins' thing."
The 14-14 second quarter tie was especially surprising to another viewer at the Duke household, Ivan Brandon. "I sure didn't expect the score to be tied.I was expecting Pittsburgh to shut out those chumps. Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters (Cowboy safeties) are no good."
Susanne Johnson, a bartender at Duddington's, another Capitol Hill restaurant, said, "I think Pittsburgh is a better team. They'll win because they will make fewer mistakes. Plus, I've got to root for them since I bet on them. I don't usually bet, but this is the last game of the season. Wagering makes it interesting."
Smaller than normal Sunday afternoon crowds were the rule at Capitol Hill establishments that normally are packed with football fans.
"During a Redskins game there would be twice this many people here," said Richard Chavoor, a waiter at Jenkins. "They'd be lined up two deep at the bar. But if I had the day off, I'd be at home or at a friend's house watching the game. It's too noisy at a bar."
Several viewers admitted they made a one-time-only venture to restaurants and bars to watch the game because they figured it would be a good way to meet people.
At the Hawk and Dove, good-natured razzing between Cowboy and Steelers fans was on display in the back room, where patrons watched one of the four television sets tuned to the game.
When Pittsburgh made it 21-14 in the first half, a bedraggled Cowboy fan sporting a 10-gallon hat stalked out.
"I want to see you after the game," said another viewer, while patting his wallet. "I told you the Cowboys would get it in the final."
Allan Skane was concerned about the thoughts of Woody Hayes, the recently fired Ohio State coach who attended the Super Bowl as a guest of National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle. "I keep cringing everytime a receiver runs out of bounds."
The biggest and most raucous group of video viewers was on hand at the Wax Museum's Gateway Theater, where a throng of 350 gathered. WMAL-Radio sponsored the giant screen telecast, which was followed by an on-the-spot broadcast of the Ken (You're Next) Beatrice's "Sports Call" show. That probably was because of the live atmosphere lent by peanut, hot dog and beer vendors circulating.
Pittsburgh fans, easily a great majority, started their biggest cheering when wide-open Cowboy tight end Jackie Smith dropped a pass in the end zone. It got louder when Dallas defensive back Benny Barnes was cited for interfering with Lynn Swann. However, several boos spouted from the crowd when a replay seemed to show the call was, at best, questionable.
"It was a rotten call," said Jay Baucom, a Cowboy fan. "Dallas is getting breaks like the Redskins."
The crowd erupted on Franco Harris' eventual clinching touchdown run. But the Steeler contingent was thereafter silenced by the Cowboy comeback bid; meanwhile, the scattering of Cowboy rooters got bolder in its decibel level.
"These are both great teams, two of my favorites," said Gregory Powell. "I was kind of disappointed with Pittsburgh's rough play at times. But it was the best Super Bowl I've ever seen. I expected it because of the great receivers on both teams."
Powell added that he came to the Gateway because he wanted to be around other Dallas fans.
Yesterday, there was not much chance.