EDITOR'S NOTE: Leon Uris, widely acclaimed best-selling author of such books as Exodus, Trinity, Topaz, QB VII and The Haj, is also a longtime football fan. As a resident of Aspen, Colo., he has had a good view of the National Football League in general and the Denver Broncos in particular. Uris has been in Southern California the past week observing the Super Bowl scene. In a story written for the Denver Post, he shares some of his thoughts and impressions.
Big Ed glowered down the long mahogany table, his trusted aide, Hogan, standing a respectful step behind and within range of His Honor's good left ear.
"Any further business?" Big Ed threatened with a yawn, glancing meaningfully at his Korean quartz watch with the inter-changeable wrist bands.
Hogan shifted his feet nervous like, gulped a loud dry one and squinted shifty eyed at the portrait of Fiorello La Guardia.
"All right, what's the drill?" the Mayor snarled.
All eyes commenced to Hogan. "Ahem," he began, "it seems that we got this here request from the Giants to hold a ticker-tape parade down Wall Street."
"How come?" His Honor inquired.
"They won the champeenship of their conference and they're gonna go to the Super Bowl in Pasadena. Victory is a foregone conclusion."
"An absolute certainty," the assemblage said in unison.
Big Ed pressed his finger tips together and gazed at the ceiling. "Last year it was the Monsters of the Midway and this year . . . the Monsters of the Great White Way," he chortled. "Hey, that's a zinger. See that it gets into today's press release . . . and credit, you know who."
"Your eminence, there seems to be a minor glitch," Hogan blurted.
Upon hearing Hogan's knees go clickety-clack from trembling, Big Ed keenly sensed something was awry. "Speak up, Hogan, or it's back to Sanitation for you."
"Well, yer grace, it appears that the Giants have been playing in the Meadowlands and . . ."
"The Meadowlands! You Know That Word Is Forbidden! " Big Ed shrieked, ripening to a deep magenta. "Why wasn't I told?"
"But sir, they've been playing there for 13 years."
Hogan dutifully cleaned the crushed cigar from His Honor's teeth.
"I'm not going to allow foreigners to gouge pot holes in our streets!" Big Ed wheezed, reaching for the Valium jar.
Hogan leaned over, out of earshot of the others, as a great confidant does, and whispered: "But yer holiness, that could likewise mean the demise of the St. Patrick's Day Parade."
Digesting the consequences, the Mayor grunted: "Never mind, this man's city will hold dozens of parades so long the real national game is played in the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field."
Hogan confided again.
"Hummmm, is that a fact," the Mayor said. "How long ago? A housing project and a K mart? Well, by gum, we still have the Rangers and the Knicks . . . er . . . don't we?"
Hogan explained the current state of affairs.
"They really suck, huh?" His Honor concluded.
The length of the mahogany table nodded in unison.
"It seems that all we got left is Steinbrenner . . ."
" Don't Say That Name !"
"Of course, there's the Mets," Hogan said. "That is if we can stop New Jersey's dastardly plot to have Shea Stadium condemned. Their cruddy disinformation is spreading the falsehood that Shea isn't safe, inside and out."
Big Ed was clearly shaken. Tears welled. "I just don't get it. We've got the sweetest, most gentle, sportsmanlike fans in the world. Why at last year's World Series, there were less than 2,000 arrests."
"Mayhaps we should reconsider," Hogan said. "Both Union City and Hackensack have offered to hold ticker-tape parades."
"No! I shall never be intimidated by Hackensack. By the way, just who are these so-called Giants playing?"
"Run that past me again."
"Denver, you know, like the omelet. The Broncos . . . if they dare show up in Pasadena."
A shower of uproarious hilarity sprayed out, trashing the sacred rule against laughter. Tears streamed down grown men's cheeks and the big mahogany table was pounded until it bounced as they fell out of their chairs and gagged out the word . . . "Denver." Clutching aching sides, they regained composure and crawled back up to their seats.
Hogan leaned over the Mayor one more time. "The opening book shows the Giants a 10-point favorite," he whispered. "I just laid down a small wager for the Cardinal . . . all winnings to go to Oral Roberts as an ecumenical gesture."
They don't call him Big Ed for nothing. He arched his back in unmistakeable majesty and looked each man in the eye in such a manner that each man would scarcely forget. "So long as I'm the top banana of this here apple the Giants can $%*!$%!" he explained. And then, continuing to assume his mantle of authority and wisdom, intoned: "We're going to hold a ticker-tape parade that will make Lindbergh's look like chopped liver when Dennis Conner sails up the East River bringing the America's Cup back to the New York Yacht Club."
La Guardia's portrait fell to the floor.