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Super Bowl at Large : The Garv and Broncos Locked in Sudden-Death Ballroom Brawl

Super Bowl at Large: This is the third of nine daily "Super Bowl at Large" columns giving glimpses of people and pageantry, happenings and hoopla during Super Bowl week in San Diego.

January 26, 1988|TOM GORMAN

In maybe the first major case of nastiness this Super Bowl week, we have the Denver Broncos in one corner, favorite son Steve Garvey in the other, and the La Jolla Marriott trying to get the two sides to shake hands.

The issue: Garvey reserved the La Jolla Marriott's ballroom several months ago for his Jay Leno--Otis Day and the Knights show Thursday night, and the Broncos want the ballroom for themselves, and want him kicked out.

Garvey can have his party for 900 people in a tent outside, the Broncos say.

Heck no, says the Garv.

"We reserved that room months ago," said Dave Karlin, special events coordinator for the Garvey Marketing Group, which is promoting the 9 p.m. show on behalf of two charities. "We're going ahead as planned. And we can't understand why they are so adamant about throwing Steve Garvey out of the room. Without these kinds of parties for the public to attend, the Super Bowl wouldn't be what it is."

Denver Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano said his team still assumes Garvey's show will end up in the tent.

"We're here for the entire week, and all along we've felt that exclusivity of rooms would be important to us," he said.

Saccomano said he couldn't confirm or deny Karlin's contention that the ballroom is needed simply for equipment storage.

"It's been known for a long time that a team would be coming here, and it's like setting up spring training camp for one week. We need all that space."

And what does the Marriott have to say about all this? Said Sue Chung, director of marketing: "A decision hasn't been made yet."

Some of the Washington Redskins didn't lose any time when they flew into town Sunday night. Within an hour of touchdown at Lindbergh Field, 10 players were lifting Buds at Club Diego's in Pacific Beach.

They hung around for a couple of hours and left at midnight, en route, they said, to another watering hole by way of limousines.

But that will have been their last late-night carousing. Starting Monday night, curfew for the players was midnight.

The Super Bowl souvenir stand at the Hyatt Islandia is doing well, although what's hot and what's not seems to be cyclical.

Monday morning, for instance, 25 $7 brass key rings, fashioned after Super Bowl tickets, went quickly to Washington Redskins coaches who are staying at the Mission Bay resort, sales clerk Eric McCrystal said.

Sales of Denver Broncos products were flat Monday. But not so last week, he said.

"We had the Midwest Assn. of Reform Rabbis in here for a convention, and the ones from Colorado bought a lot of Broncos stuff."

Not all Super Bowl week parties are cut from the same mold. In the Grand Ballroom of the U.S. Grant Hotel Monday night, a $40-a-plate banquet was held in honor of the late Dr. Tom Waddell, a former Olympic athlete who founded the "Gay Games" and died of complications from AIDS last July.

The dinner was sponsored by the Lesbian and Gay Men's Community Center, with proceeds earmarked for Gay Games III, an Olympics-styled event set for Vancouver in 1990.

Why a Gay Games fund-raiser during Super Bowl week? "It seemed appropriate," said organizer Herb King. "There are a lot of out-of-town people here this week interested in this."

If there's any doubt about what kind of ambiance the out-of-town media is transmitting back home, consider the scene Monday at the Hyatt Islandia, where the Washington Redskins are holed up.

Television stations set up outdoor studios poolside, beneath a brilliant blue sky and with a sea of pleasure yachts serving as a backdrop.

Reporters sat around in shorts and bathing suits, working on portable lap computers. In the parking lot, filled with out-of-town television production trucks, beach lounges were hoisted onto roofs. For shade, they used microwave dishes instead of beach umbrellas.

It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Rosa Cardini is serving lunch Wednesday at Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana to 3,000 visiting journalists in town for the Super Bowl--along with any number of freebies.

Cardini's father is Caesar Cardini, who concocted the popular Caesar's salad dressing 64 years ago at his restaurant-hotel in Tijuana. So guess: What's for lunch?

The day's recipe: 840 heads of romaine lettuce, 1,400 ounces of garlic-flavored oil, juice from 175 lemons, 350 cups of croutons, 980 ounces of Parmesan cheese, 840 soft-boiled eggs--and a pinch or two or three of salt and pepper.

It'll be prepared in a specially constructed salad bowl, 14 feet long, 8 feet wide and 18 inches deep, tossed by 14 Tijuana and San Diego chefs with wooden forks and spoons 3 feet long.

Bob Payne, executive director of the San Diego Super Bowl Task Force, was purring at a thank-you party thrown Monday night for the task force by Watt Industries at its Landing condominiums on Coronado Island.

"When the Super Bowl was in L.A., the game was played in Pasadena, the teams' headquarters were in Orange County, and affluent America spent its money in Beverly Hills," Payne said. "We have proven we can all come together for a common cause in San Diego."

"I'm sort of proud of what we've done," he said. "I've seen people who unselfishly want to make this work."

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