Neither Wargowski nor her father made the trip north for that game, although she was later given, via the bakery, a ball signed by several Colts. The ball, she was told, had been used during the championship game, and she has passed it on to her truck-driving son, David.

She listened to the 1958 game while working at the bakery, "with the radio up to my ear." She heard of the record-setting 12 receptions by Raymond Berry, "such a spindly little guy with the greatest pair of hands," and the rushing of Lenny Moore, who "come to mention it, didn't have too bad a pair of legs and feet either." She heard of Gino Marchetti's crucial third-down stop of Frank Gifford - a play on which the defensive end's leg was broken - and the MVP heroics of quarterback Johnny Unitas.

Among the 15,000 or so Baltimoreans who did make the trip to New York was Ray Marocco Sr. As his son recalls, he traveled with other Italian-American contractors who had season tickets in Section 9 at Memorial Stadium and who met for dinner after games at Velleggia's in Little Italy. Marocco Jr. was too young to accompany his father, but he did join him for home games in the 1960s - on game days when the weather was too crummy for his mother, who normally used the second ticket.

"I always prayed for cold weather on Sunday," says Marocco Jr., 50, who grew up in Homewood and now lives in Lutherville.

The Coopers were more fortunate - they had enough season tickets for the whole family, way up at the blustery top row of Memorial Stadium. The Coopers kept the tickets right up to 1984, and when the Ravens arrived, were ready for an upgrade. Today, they are "very spoiled," Joseph Cooper says, with six tickets in a luxury box and four in the club section.

Changing faces

The more comfortable seats aren't enough to keep Annette Cooper attending the games, though. More and more, she says, the crowd seems to be dominated by "rough" young men. This Sunday, she'll be at home playing host at a party while the men of the family are in Tampa.

"I guess I'm older. It's a young guy's thing now, as far as I'm concerned," she says.

Certainly, there are fewer left to share with among the eldest generation. Marocco Sr., who cheered on the Ravens for four seasons despite a lengthy battle with emphysema, died in October. James Bory died last April.

Not that Bory's daughter, Kay Wargowski, lacks for game-day companions in her father's absence. Her mother, who once was so harried by her eight daughters that she would accidentally cheer big plays by the Colts' opponents, has become a far more avid and informed fan.

"Then, I had no idea what was going on," Doris Bory says. "Now, I can sit and watch the game."

Then there are all the others: the brothers-in-law who have more than made up for the lack of sports interest among their wives, Wargowski's younger sisters; the many nephews and nieces who will gather at Doris Bory's house on Curley Street on Super Bowl Sunday - a day that just happens to be her 78th birthday.

Still, Wargowski will, once again, have her thoughts caught up partly in the city's football past, and on the father who lived it with her.

"I hope that if there's something up there, he can pull up a big chair and watch" the game, she says. "It would thrill him so."