Saipan football fans watched the Seattle Seahawks’ fierce defense dismantle Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos’ touted offense in yesterday’s Super Bowl XLVIII at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Supporters of both teams trooped to the various bars and restaurants on Saipan with the Seahawks fans doing most of the celebration, as Seattle dominated Denver from start to finish en route to the most lopsided victory, 43-8, in Super Bowl history in 21 years.
“The Seahawks were the underdogs, but they also had the best defense in the league and that will win them this year’s Super Bowl,” said Francis Mendiola in a brief interview with Saipan Tribune at the Charley’s Cabaret of the Pacific Islands Club during the halftime break of the match with Seattle enjoying a 22-0 lead.
Mendiola and the more than 100 people packed at Charley’s Cabaret watched Super Bowl as part of their annual tradition and devotion to American football.
“I’ve been watching Super Bowl since seventh grade and also played the sport before. Every year I watch Super Bowl with my friends. It’s exciting to watch the game with your friends and with your team winning,” Mendiola added.
Margaret Muna was without company when she watched yesterday’s game at Charley’s Cabaret, as her family is now based in Seattle.
“But, I feel like I am with them because I know they are watching the game, too, back in Seattle. I grew up in a family that loves American football so whenever possible and wherever I am, I find time to watch the Super Bowl,” Muna said.
Another proud Seattle supporter was Celia Mercado, who was in a Seahawks jersey and stood up from her seat and raised her hands every time her team scored or made good plays.
“I am from Seattle and have been supporting the Super Bowl since the late 1970s. Seeing my team play great and winning makes me feel like I am home with them. The Seahawks have shown a lot of heart this season and they made the Emerald City proud,” said Mercado, who battled a Broncos fan wearing Manning’s jersey in a “quarterback throw” contest.
Besides holding fun games in between breaks of the Super Bowl, cash and in-kind prizes were also handed out to spectators. PIC raffled away Pacific Trading, Co. products and phones, while cash prizes to spectators who guessed right the last digit in the scores (in each quarter) of the opposing teams. At Naked Fish, which lured about 100 spectators, MARPAC also handed out NFL and Super Bowl merchandize and other prizes, including raffle tickets to its $10,000 giveaway promo. MARPAC’s Ray Alvarez said similar in-kind prizes were also given away at Wild Bill’s, 360 Revolving Restaurant, and VFW.
Winning raffle prizes like these and enjoying food and football encouraged spectators to go to Saipan’s watering holes to watch Super Bowl.
“You get to enjoy the game and the atmosphere and if you’re lucky, you will also go home with awesome prizes,” said Larry Lee, a Seahawks fun.
“I love to cheer for the underdogs and it couldn’t get any better as they are also winning,” he added.
Lori Serna rooted for the favored Broncos and was a bit disappointed in the Denver’s performance, but still enjoyed the game.
“I was expecting the opposite to happen, for the Broncos to lead the Seahawks because Denver has been consistent with their games this season, while Seattle almost did not make it to the Super Bowl. However, it’s still fun to be here and watched the game and the people celebrate and cheer for both teams. It’s a great way to start a week,” Serna said.