Saipan fans join Super Bowl party

Good game (at least, defensively), good food, good company. What’s not to like in Super Bowl LIII party hosted by various hotels and restaurants on island yesterday?

At Joe’s Bar in Beach Road, around 40 enjoyed drinks, breakfast, and lunch for $25. Hyatt Regecy Saipan, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, Amari’s Tavern, and Pacific Islands Club Saipan also offered free-flowing food and drinks and raffle prizes. Spectators got freebies/Super Bowl merchandise, too from event sponsors plus some cash to New England Patriots fans who won in friendly bets against their friends who rooted for the underdogs Los Angeles Rams.

“I always go to Super Bowl Party, especially if my Patriots are the ones playing,” said Vince Terry, who came to watch the Pats historic feat wearing the team’s hat and shirt. “Six championship, one quarterback. Who would not watch history unfolds.”

Over at Amari’s Tavern, a mixed of Pats and Rams fans enjoyed the defense-oriented game.

“Both teams are doing well on defense, I just hope that the underdogs will win (the match was tied at 3-all by the end of the third when he was interviewed) . I always go for the underdogs every time I watched Super Bowl and I am tired of Brady,” said Ray Cepeda, who was seated next to his friend, Jason Fejeran—a Pats fan.

“It’s good to watch the Super Bowl with your buddies even though we support different teams. We have a friendly competition here,” Fejeran said.

Joyce Cabrera also enjoyed the company of her husband, Peter John, and their friends, and the festive atmosphere at Amari’s Tavern.

“I don’t have a particular team, but since my husband supports the Rams, I go for the Rams, too,” Cabrera said.

At Charley’s Cabaret of Pacific Islands Club Saipan, former House Speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero was with his golf buddies and since his Seattle Seahawks did not make it to Super Bowl, he rooted for the Rams—his son’s team.

“My son is an avid Rams fan and to support him, I am wearing the jersey of his favorite player—running back Todd Gurley,” Deleon Guerrero said.

The Rams are also close to Jay Santos’ heart so even though things were not looking good for his team, he is sticking with them.

“I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I always come here at PIC to watch Super Bowl because they always host a great party and this year, of course, I will not miss the show, as my Rams are in it,” Santos said.

Meanwhile, 150 packed Hyatt Regency Saipan’s ballroom with Patriots fans easily outnumbering Rams’ supporters at the Garapan landmark’s Super Bowl Watch Party.

Hyatt executive chef Gabrielle Colombo said he estimates that New England fans outnumber Los Angeles’ with 60 percent of them in the venue bleeding blue, red, and white.

One fan, Jason A. Lizama, said he’s been a New England follower ever since he remembers—or at least since Tom Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe under center.

He said the Patriots dynasty will surely continue with a win in Super Bowl LIII even though at the time of the interview they were just ahead, 3-0, in the third quarter.

Mary Anne Lizama and her husband rooted for the Rams because like most of those not supporting the Patriots, they just want another team to go home with the Lombardi Trophy.

At Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s The End Zone at the Chambre, former representative Absalon Waki and Rams supporters didn’t mind being outnumbered by Pats fans.

While really a Cowboys fan, Waki said he wants the Rams to win because it’s time for change in the NFL and for the younger generation to take the mantle from Brady and Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Waki shared the table with fellow Rams fans Carl Hocog and Guam native Benjie Pangelinan. Hocog jokingly said he wants Los Angeles to beat New England because LA is closer to Saipan than Boston.

Pangelinan, who is a baseball legend in Guam, said he was expecting a higher scoring game at 3-3 at the end of the three quarters, but was hopeful that the fireworks would happen in the fourth quarter.

“It was a defensive game that was played well by both teams. Bill Belichick knows how to prepare for defense. They dominated the defensive line and controlled the game,” he said, while adding that Brady just did enough to win and Rams quarterback Jared Goff showed his inexperience.

Fiesta’s Socorro Huliganga said more than 60 viewers showed up at their Super Bowl party with majority of them indeed rooting for the eventual Super Bowl champions New England Patriots.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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