Bills fan Matte sees no Jet-like surprises

The Inside Stuff

January 25, 1991|By Bill Tanton

Tom Matte, who played in the biggest upset in Super Bowl history (Jets 16, Colts, 7 in SB III), sees no upset forthcoming when the Giants play Buffalo in SB XXV.

Matte, who will fly to Tampa Sunday for the game with longtime friends Henry Rosenberg and Sig Hyman, is sticking with 6 1/2 -point favorite Buffalo. That's largely because Matte is such a big Jim Kelly booster.

"Kelly is the quarterback of the future," says the man who was once the Colts' instant quarterback.

"I watched him in the old USFL when I was broadcasting those games and since then I've gotten to know the kid. Paul Maguire is a real good friend of mine and I go to Buffalo for NFL Alumni golf outings with him. I always see Kelly at those.

"Kelly is a big guy. He's a linebacker playing quarterback. [If Kelly had gone to Penn State, Joe Paterno would have played him at linebacker.] Jim's like 6-3, 225 with great upper body strength. He has a Mike Curtis kind of body.

"I have allegiance to the two kids from Towson State with the Giants, Dave Meggett and Sean Landeta, but Buffalo's on a roll now. The job the Bills did on the Raiders Sunday was pretty convincing."

Matte has been named chairman of a charity golf tournament to be held June 3 by the Associated Roofing Contractors of Maryland at the Wakefield Valley Club in Westminster. ARCOM will donate at least $5,000 of the proceeds to the United Way.

Mel Tansill, of the United Way, says of Matte's work on behalf of charity: "This commitment to community -- not NFL records -- is what made 'our' Baltimore Colts great."

* The senior player in tomorrow's Loyola College Alumni basketball game at Reitz Arena (at 11 a.m., before Loyola's 2 o'clock game with Iona) will be the same man who's always the senior player -- Jim Gallagher. He's 70.

"Seventy and a half," says Gallagher. "I don't know whether what I do is actually playing, but I'll be participating."

Gallagher still officiates high school basketball games in Baltimore County. "I've done it for 36 years," he says. "I expect to keep doing it until I'm at least 75."

* The non-story of the week was the revelation that Wayne Gretzky is the highest-paid player in hockey. What is interesting is that Gretzky -- probably the greatest player in the game's history -- earns $3.3 million a year. In baseball, .250 hitters get that now. Shows you what a difference it makes to be on TV.

* Waad Hirmez will get a lot of media attention when he comes here tomorrow night to play for the San Diego Sockers against the Blast. Hirmez is from Baghdad.

The current Sports Illustrated has a story about Hirmez and his family, which fled Iraq 12 years ago. Waad, who still has relatives in Iraq, is a U.S. citizen and has been playing in the Major Soccer League since 1984. He's the top scorer for the Sockers and could make the All-Star team to be announced next week. Blast fans know that Hirmez has been a thorn in Baltimore's side for years.

* Former Orioles owner Jerry Hoffberger, a frequent visitor to Israel over the years, was on one of the last planes to get out of Israel before the outbreak of the Persian Gulf war.

* The Big Ten may not have fared all that great in the won-lost department (2-4) in this year's bowl games, but the conference was a runaway No. 1 in gross earnings with a record $11 million. The biggest check was Iowa's $6 million for losing the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl paycheck is cut into 11 shares and distributed to each Big Ten school and the conference headquarters. No wonder Joe Paterno is so hot to get into that league.

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