Super Bowl Memories, January 24, 1982

The last time the Super Bowl was in Detroit, I was there. Back in the day, I owned a travel agency and specialized in sports trips. At the time, I really wasn't a professional sports fan, but after watching the 49ers beat the Rams late in October, I thought to myself, I think they'll probably make it to the Super Bowl. So I called up United Airlines and made a group reservation for 40 roundtrip tickets from San Francisco to Detroit. My pal, Terry Street, was the President of the Sacramento 49er Boosters, and I called him to tell him what I'd done. Like me, he's an optomist, so he thought it was a grand idea and started telling his peeps. Weeks went by and the Niners kept winning. Now other people started scrambling for space but they were a little too late.

I had no money, so I didn't have cash for a hotel deposit that would be non-refundable if they didn't make it. I got on the NFL housing list and on Monday morning after The Catch, I wired my funds. But the luxe spots were all gone. I chartered a bus to take us to the Exit Motel, which was a trucker motel in a small town north of the stadium. The Motel, coffee shop and tavern in town were all owned by a man named Shorty. Shorty and his sons came to the motel to pick us up and drive us to the tavern for drinking and dancing. Shorty was mainly interested in dancing with me, which made my friends Terry and Joe Marsalla and Don Nelson laugh because Shorty was just tall enough that his face was at chest level on me, and I'm quite buxom. Shorty had a very pleased look, I was blushing and all my guy friends were howling.

Next morning the bus came to get us and take us to the stadium. Unlike the terrible traffic jam experienced by the swanks who stayed at the luxury hotels in Detroit (south of the stadium) we breezed right in. We were there a couple hours before kickoff, plenty of time to enjoy all the various festivities.

I sat with some Bengal fans who kept cheering their tweaked LSU cheer "Who de, Who de, Who de say gonna beat dem Bengals". I would respond with the boring, but easy to understand, "Go Niners". Danny Bunz held the line at the end, the Bengals didn't score and the Niners won their first Super Bowl victory. Niners won 26 - 21.

All my people were great, including my dear friends Bruno and Irene Marsalla, Walt and Rina Flanders, Terry, Joe and Don and a bunch of new ones including Sandy Auerbach, Pat Britton, David Markell, Fernando and Dolores Marsalla, Jeff Graff, Mike and Judy Smith, Chuck Reed, Bill Loftus, Paul and Theresa Plesha, Gary Hunt, Pete Peterson and more.

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