The oddsmakers have pretty well established Green Bay as a 13-point betting favorite for the Super Bowl—which seems logical enough—but no one has yet determined who will be the sentimental favorite, which is not at all the same thing and quite frequently is not very logical. Last week, to find out whether Americans would maintain their traditional role as underdog fanciers by cheering for the Chiefs while backing the Packers, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED conducted an informal poll. The result: another lost tradition.
In 14 cities (three with NFL franchises, three with AFL franchises, two with double franchises and six nonaffiliates) the Packers led in the sympathy vote with 50.7%, an indication that you are not really alone if you begin each day with a short cheer for General Motors. There seemed to be only Packer rooters in Philadelphia, and most hoped that Kansas City would get clobbered. City of Brotherly Love, indeed. In contrast, Dallas supported the Packers with only a 40% vote, remembering that the Chiefs were once the Texans. The third NFL city, Los Angeles, also voted for Kansas City, by 70%, a tribute to the appeal of two ex-USC stars, Mike Garrett and Pete Beathard.
The AFL championship-game loser, Buffalo, loyally backed the Chiefs with 94%, while Houston voted 80% and San Diego 70% for Kansas City. New York and San Francisco- Oakland, the two cities with teams in each league, disagreed, as they do in most things. With its longtime NFL associations, New York voted 75% for the Packers, while the sympathies of San Francisco- Oakland were 70% with Kansas City.
Among the cities with no pro football connections, Seattle was for the Chiefs by 77%, obviously irked at having failed to receive an NFL franchise, and Springfield, Mass. offered up a 50-50 vote. But the other four independents ( Columbus, O., Des Moines, Memphis and Salt Lake City) were solidly for the Packers.
A long locomotive for General Motors.