just sit back and enjoy it: Super Bowl 1995 (eventually) the secret how to go!


Image by supercolor from stock.xchng.com.

Image by supercolor from stock.xchng.com.

The 49ers had a great season in ’94 and were headed to the Super Bowl.

I had been to their previous appearance in Floria; I was working at Ticketmaster and had been staying in Orlando and then in Miami helping to establish TM in the two markets.

We were  in the skybox and saw San Francisco come from behind at the end of the game when not Jerry Rice but Taylor made the winning pass to edge the Bengals.  I was the only niner fan in the box and certainly it was removed from being in the stands.

Judi and I had no intention of going in 95.  I had left Ticketmaster in 93 and had no connections and was ready to watch it on TV (actually, generally a better way to see the Super Bowl if you don’t really have something going there).

About 2 weeks before the game I got a call from my friend Jeffrey Pollack.  Now Jeffrey is one of the great unknown music figures in the Bay Area.  He took over a Foster’s cafeteria, made the main room a 700 seat venue as a jazz club, with dinners at tables.  Of course I signed him up for BASS tickets as he had used us at the original Old Waldorf and we had developed a friendship.  The club wasn’t drawing so Jeffrey, who had friends at all the radio stations, especially KSAN, the seminal rock station that played albums asked everyone’s advice on which music acts to book. He found out which acts were hot and he booked them, and the club really took off.

You name the band or performer, and they played the Old Waldorf:  Van Morrison, the Eurythmics, Ian Hunter, and on and on.  Huey Lewis and manager Bob Brown chose the club to introduce Huey and the News and their new album.  And various groupings of the “Dead” played there…..and the smaller banquet room Jeffrey made into a comedy club – the punch line – where all the comics played :  Robin Williams, Mort Sahl, and Jeffrey’s cousin Kevin Pollak (note difference of spelling of last name).

And Bill Graham, who owned rock and roll in the Bay Area got more and more pissed at this interloper who was stealing acts from Winterland and paying them more.  And a one-way feud ensued.  Of course Bill was my biggest client, so that wasn’t all good.  And Jeffrey was spending day and night at the club using whatever he could to stay up, and he did not like the music usually.

And wonderful Polly, Jeffrey’s wife, saw him less and less.  Not a great situation.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Jeffrey offered the Rolling Stones $100,000 (30 years ago) to play one night at his club.  Bill vowed to get Jeffrey……now even a worse situation, so I asked Jeffrey if I could use my good offices.  He agreed, but thought nothing would come of it.

I talked to Dave Furano who ran things for Bill, and suggested that he talk to Jeffrey about selling to Bill.  He did, Bill bought it, and Jeffrey and Bill were best friends until the day Bill died in the helicopter crash.

Back to whatever story I was telling: Jeffrey and Polly were very good friends with Frank Jordan, mayor of San Francisco, and his fun, off-the-wall wife, Wendy Paskin.  Now Frank had been police chief, very respected and solid, well, you will learn about Wendy…..a great funny person.

So Jeffrey calls me:  “We are going to the Super Bowl.  I will arrange the travel, you get your tickets, we will be staying and hanging with Frank and Wendy”.  I called Judi, told her and Judi is amazing; tell her we are going somewhere (anywhere) and she is ready.  She said we have to invite your son Rick and our friend Jerry Nicol.

Rick had every piece of Niner memorabilia there was; Jerry Nicol,, an unbelievable person who had been Judi’s friend since childhood in Berkeley, lived and died (still does!) by the Giants and Niners. Ann Mooney at Ticketmaster got me two game tickets for the “boys”, I got air travel through LA to Palm Beach for them and we were ready for the great experience.

We all stayed at the hotel a bit away from Miami Beach with Frank and Wendy….not the official team hotel.  We spent time hanging out and  swimming……Wendy, a swimmer while at Stanford, and I cavorted in the pool, and she unnecessarily admired my Speedo bathing suit.  Rick and Nicol stayed at a Hyatt; I was able to get the rooms through the courtesy of John Pritzker.

A day later we planned to spend the evening with the Mayor.  A couple of official unmarked cars picked us up with Miami police captains not in uniform as drivers.  We were taken to Turnberry where the Gettys, prominent SF family, were staying and they had rented what I figured later was God’s yacht.  Most amazing and fully outfitted vessel.  Probably 200 people on it from Bill Walsh to Jack Kemp; definitely the uber party of the weekend.  Nicol and Rick talked to everyone as did we.  Judi knew many of the people there, and eventually we got a signal from Jeffrey we were leaving.

We were hustled off to South Beach and there were two tables reserved for us at the hottest place right along the sidewalk on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.  Guards around us, which didn’t keep the great characters from coming up and talking.  I looked at Frank and he was kind of red and half smiling.  Wendy, sitting opposite of him, had taken her shoe off and planted her foot right in his lap…..they had such a great relationship…..definitely yin and yang.

Well there were other events, sponsor parties and tents, etc.  The mayors of the two cities (I think the other one was San Diego) had a joint press conference and Frank wore one of the “49er” jerseys that I had bought for everyone in our group from a sporting goods store in Sonoma and had each of our party’s names on the back……It was kind of funny that the niners hadn’t given him a jersey, so he wore mine with F. Jordan on the back and the number 1, which is kind of weird now that I think about it because of the Roller Derby tragedy associated with it.

We went to the game, which was very one-sided, was actually kind of dull because all the good tickets do not go to the fans but to the sponsors, networks, etc associated with the NFL and they could care less.  The best fan groups were outside the stadium where our friend Greta and others from the Bay Area who couldn’t get tickets watched on the big screen, ate and drank and yelled.

We flew back with Jeffrey and Polly; Frank and Wendy left with the official party, and Rick  (“I’m just happy to be here”) and Nicol flew back together.

Judi and I actually went to the Super Bowl in Pasadena a few years later through the courtesy of John Buschhorn (with the Jets then) and Ann Mooney.  We saw the Giants beat up on somebody.  My sister and family got to  go also.  But of course it wasn’t like the other time.  I advise all of you not to go unless you go with Jeffrey and the Mayor.

One comment on “just sit back and enjoy it: Super Bowl 1995 (eventually) the secret how to go!

  1. Jerry,

    Can’t help it. I agree that football, in general is better on TV than in person. Only pro sport I feel that way about. BUT, I go to Lambeau Field, which is not the usual experience. But the SuperBowl is all that’s on my bucket list. Just once.

    Wasn’t that the second time the Niners/Bengals played? They played one hell of a SuperBowl against the Bengals in the late 80’s. I’ll never forget Forest Gregg coaching and losing, basically, on a four-down, goal-line stand. Tim Krumrie, Wisconsinite, and terrific lineman snapped his leg in that game.

    Of course, the Pack finally made their run just two years later. I think the Giants crushed the Chargers in one of the more ugly games of all time.

    Have to say last weekend wasn’t bad.

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