Sunday, September 15, 2013

A pair of $10 Baltimore Colts-New York Jets tickets from the 1970s

I found these two Baltimore Colts ticket stubs, both for home games against the New York Jets, tucked away inside a copy of 1977's Road to Number One: A Personal Chronicle of Penn State Football by Ridge Riley.1

Both tickets — the fronts and backs are shown side-by-side — have a face value of $10. NFL prices have obviously gone up in the past three-and-a-half decades.

The top stub has an exact date. It's for the November 28, 1976, game between the Colts and Jets at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. The Colts, coached by Ted Marchibroda, defeated the Jets, coached by Lou Holtz, 33-16, to improve to 10-2. It was one of Joe Namath's final games with the New York Jets. He played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1977 before retiring.

I'm going to make an educated guess and say that the bottom stub is for the November 20, 1977, game between the Colts and Jets at Memorial Stadium. (The coupon on the back expires in January 1978.) The Colts also won that game, 33-12, as quarterback Bert Jones passed for 322 yards and three touchdowns.

These ticket stubs are also interesting because of the coupons on the back of them — one for Wendy's and one for Gino's.2 The Gino's coupon had a very short shelf life. You could only get 25¢ off a Heroburger or Heroburger with cheese during the week immediately following the football game. (The heroburger was a rectangular hamburger on a hoagie roll.)

Also inside Road to Number One, along with these ticket stubs, was a York, Pennsylvania, newspaper clipping of Rip Engle's obituary. Engle (1906-1983) was the head football coach at Penn State from 1950–1965, immediately preceding Joe Paterno. On the back of the clipping is an advertisement for WSBA 910's radio broadcast of a York Catholic vs. New Oxford boys' high school basketball game.

The book and these items tucked away inside combine to create an interesting snapshot of one sports fan's life a few decades ago.

1. Riley was the originator of The Football Letter, which began providing coverage of the Nittany Lions in 1938. He died in January 1976, while in the midst of completing Road to Number One.
2. My wife is a bit of an expert on Gino's and has written about the fast-food restaurant numerous times on her Only in York County blog. Here are some of those posts, in chronological order:

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