It was, of course, a brilliant idea. Fun and functional. One editor, who prefers to remain nameless, went to another editor and said, “Okay. Look. We’re running a story [on Page 96] on football gambling, right? Why don’t we pick a weekend and have the magazine actually bet with the bookies. See? We’ll have a real and tangible example of how the process works. Great, huh?”

“Yeah,” said the other editor. “But what do we bet with?’

“Money,” said the first.


“D Magazine’s.”

“You’re crazy. Let’s go ask The Publisher.”

The Publisher, being a skeptical sort, was dubious. “That’s ridiculous,” he said.

“Why?” the editors asked.

“Because you could lose it,” he noted perceptively.

“Hey,” said one editor soothingly. “We can’t lose all of it. Odds are we’ll break even, maybe lose a little. And then again … we might just win big.”

A glitter in The Publisher’s eye. “How much do you need?’

It was resolved that $300 would be sufficient. A “friend of the magazine,” who has been known to put down a football wager or two in his time, was called in to handle the betting. On a Friday, he telephoned the bookie.


“Hello there, Sport.”

“Hi ya, Slim. What can I do for you?”

“What have you got for lines?”

He gave us his lines. We said we’d check back, called two other books to get their lines, and then discussed the possibilities. We would take no long-shots, play no I’ve-got-a-feeling hunches. It would be a solid, careful group of bets. We called the book with our selections.

“Give me 66 on Michigan State, give me 44 on Baylor . . .” Seven bets were placed on Saturday’s college games. We were set, wondering only how we’d divvy up the winnings.

On Saturday the tube was our life. We watched the Tennessee-Alabama game (no bet) and watched the other scores.

Bet # 1: We take Michigan State + 21/2 points against Minnesota. State is winless but has been playing it close; they are playing at home to a homecoming crowd against an unproven Minnesota team. Michigan State piles up a good deal more total yardage than Minnesota. Minnesota piles up more points, winning 14-10. We lose to the spread by 1? points. Down $66. Damn.

Bet #2: We take Illinois +1 over Purdue. Illinois has lost three straight after beating highly touted Missouri – they appear better than their record. They are, winning 21-17. We win $60. Now we’re rolling.

Bet # 3: We take Georgia Tech + 13 1/2 points over Auburn. This is a good spread – Auburn doesn’t often win by big margins. This day they don’t even win. Georgia Tech scores 21 points in the fourth quarter to register a 28-10 upset. We win $30. Easy money.

Bet #4: We take Ohio State over Wisconsin + 17. Ohio State will be looking for a big score blowout over hapless Wisconsin for Top Ten prestige. Instead they muddle to a 30-20 victory. We lose to the spread by 7, we lose $44. Oh well, we’re about even.

Bet #5: We take Baylor + 6 1/2 against Texas A&M. A&M, we think, is still overrated. Wrong. Baylor is overrated. A&M wins 24-0. We lose $44. Damn.

Bet #6: We take Stanford -6? over Washington. Stanford is strong offensively and playing at home. On the Prudential College Scoreboard, Stanford leads 27-7 in the fourth quarter. We leave the tube counting a sure victory. The Sunday morning paper tells us that lowly Washington roared back with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, losing by only 34-28. We lose to the spread by 1 point. We lose $33. Damn.

Bet #7: We take Washington State + 24 against UCLA. UCLA has beaten the spread five consecutive weeks, almost unheard of; they’re due a letdown and 24 points is a lot. But not nearly enough. UCLA runs amuck, 62-3. We lose $44. Down $152 for the day. Oh no.

We huddled nervously on Sunday morning. The plan had been to bet on the pro games Sunday according to what happened Saturday. We decide to bet $154 over four games and hope to break even for the weekend. We’re bound to win a couple.

Bet #1: We take Detroit + 3 1/2 over Washington. Our “consultant” has strong feelings about Detroit: “They’re hungry,” he says. Washington is starving, wins 20-7. We lose $33. Oh no.

Bet #2: We take Dallas over St. Louis + 4. A toss-up, but we pick Dallas for local color. Black. The Cowboys drop eight passes and the game, 21-17. We lose $33. Oh no.

Bet #3: We take Chicago +7? over LA. The Rams are missing their top two quarterbacks with injuries; Chicago has been playing well and has momentum. Sure enough, Chicago leads 12-10 after three quarters. End of momentum. The Rams score 10 in the fourth and win 20-12. We lose to the spread by ? point. We lose $33. Oh God, no.

Bet #4: We take Houston over San Diego +4. This is our big money game of the day; this bet looks good. San Die-go has been inconsistent; Houston’s league leading defense is very, very tough. San Diego racks up 502 yards and wins 30-27. We lose $55. We have lost $306, 306 D Magazine dollars, in one weekend. Oh darkness, oh despair.

Funny story, eh? The Publisherdoesn’t seem to catch the humor. Poorsport.

Sweepstakes Winners

D Magazine celebrated its second anniversary by giving away more than $10,000 in prizes. There were almost 20,000 entries in our Celebration Sweep-stakes. Here are the lucky 17 winners.

Grand Prize: Ann Mihal will receive the His and Her 14 K gold Omega bracelet watches, valued at $2,400. The watches are currently on display at Richard D. Eiseman Fine Jewels, Titche’s, NorthPark.

First Prize: Jan Hester will receive the $1,200 full length Alaskan Seal fur coat.

Second Prize: Mary Bird Gowdey and Stephen Peak won His and Hers fall wardrobe shopping sprees, valued at $1,000.

Third Prize: Richard Martin and R. W. Wilkinson won $995 Magnavox home entertainment centers.

Fourth Prize: G.S. McKearin III, Barbara L. Patrick, Mrs. Jim Key, and Wesley A. Boots will receive Litton Min-utemaster microwave ovens, valued at $429.

Fifth Prize: R.L. Wade, Penny P. Mc-Guire, M.H. Lindeman, Dorothy Lundy, Calvin R. Miller, Robert N. Brost, and J. Donald Brown will receive Murray Seville 10-speed bicycles, valued at $100.

All prizes were provided by Titche’s.


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