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February 7, 2017

The Thrill of Victory

Harry M. Covert

The admonition of "oh ye of little faith" sure struck us all in Sunday's Super Bowl LI (51). I quit wagering on any game of chance many years ago. Luck just never has struck any would-be games of chance for me. Never pitched pennies.


Once I picked seven of nine college football games. The bookie paid me $40. I was a rather young sportswriter in the days of hot type. Thought that was something else.


Then on May 25, 1965 I wagered $20 that Sonny Liston, then world heavyweight boxing champion, would beat a brash 22-year-old Cassius Clay in Lewiston, Maine.


Need I report to all the smart bookies and sports enthusiasts the outcome of that match?


Well, my gambling days ended that night. That loudmouth from Louisville, Kentucky, set me straight. Mr. Clay scored a technical knockout of Mr. Liston in the seventh round. Really, he beat Mr. Liston to exhaustion and claimed the championship and on to fame and fortune as Muhammad Ali.


The boxing bettor taught me a lesson about all things in the ring. He went out and bought a pair of classy Bostonian shoes and couldn’t resist reporting that I didn't know anything about the sweet science.


At halftime Sunday, Atlanta's Falcons were awesome and were whipping the New England Patriots 28 to 3. What a game. The tweets were something else. They were going nuts and turning against Tom Brady with all sorts of mocking and wise cracks. I figured the National Football League commissioner was privately trying to keep a straight face. Honestly, I had hoped either the Baltimore Ravens or the Washington Redskins would have been in Houston.


What a thrill it was to see the coin flip by the 41st president, George H. W. Bush, and his wife Barbara. And how ‘bout the awesome welcome for Vice President Mike Pence.


I was truly taken aback, as were everybody else chomping down on chili and cheese and salami snacks. It was a state of shock.


Honestly, sports fans at the half were stunned. How in the world could the Patriots survive? The Falcons were tremendous.


Then I enjoyed the snacks and considered retiring to my bed.


Suddenly Twitter came alive. President Donald Trump predicted Patriots were going to win and by eight points. You're kidding!


I know No. 45 is close friends with Patriots owner Bob Kraft and quarterback Tom Brady. This time the Twitter King may have lost his mind.


More snacking to help endure. Yes, Mr. Brady woke up and before we realized the end was near, the New England battlers pulled it off in overtime 34 to 28. He sure picked the winner. He missed the score by two points.


Lots of firsts in this game, among them $5 million for a teevee commercial.


I didn't bet. What a game and probably the best ever. I admit, thrilling. Now, it won't be long before the Washington Nationals, the Baltimore Orioles and Frederick Keys will have our attention.


Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
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