By Kenneth Cline
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched televised events every year. This year’s festive activities should be no exception with the main event being the battle between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.
But while many football fans at Baylor try to decide on whom to root for, there are a select few who are proud and excited that their team will have a chance to take home the NFL’s most coveted prize, the Lombardi Trophy.
Ft. Collins, Colo. senior Aspen Moore-Mann grew up just 65 miles from Denver. Yet her support as a Broncos fan has been strong for the past 16 years.
“I remember when I was in kindergarten, I would write my name as Elway and my mom would see this and I would say that John Elway was my dad and trying to convince people that John Elway was my dad,” Moore-Mann said.
Her favorite moment as a Broncos fan was the winning drive in Super Bowl XXXII when the Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-24. It was Broncos’ then-quarterback and current executive vice president of football operations John Elway’s first championship as a player, as well as the city of Denver’s first professional sports title. For this Sunday’s game, Moore-Mann said she feels all the work that has been done over the past two seasons will finally pay off for the Broncos.
“I think the hype around them has been really fun because it’s kind of been the expectation for two years with Peyton,” she explains. “So I think this year, it’s been really fun because they’ve actually been up to it.”
But while Moore-Mann and other Denver fans at Baylor are hoping to see a third Super Bowl title, diehard Seahawks fans at Baylor are hoping to see a first for their franchise. Among Seattle’s 12th Man at Baylor is Houston senior Sam Sotsuda. Although Sotsuda is proud to have a team to cheer for in the big game, he still knows a monumental task awaits the Seahawks.
“I’m pretty nervous,” Sotsuda said. “Peyton Manning is a really good quarterback. Defense-wise, I think we’re fine. But on offense, Russell Wilson has been a little shaky the last couple of times. I don’t know how much we’ll be able to rely on Marshawn Lynch against the Broncos run D.”
The Seahawks are known for their aggressive defense as well as their loud and boisterous fans at their home stadium CenturyLink Field. As a Seahawks fan, Sotsuda knows what it feels like to be inside the loudest stadium in the NFL.
“That stadium is awesome,” Sotsuda said. “It’s so loud. First game I ever went to, I actually wore headphones or earmuffs because it was so loud. There’s so much energy and it’s just like overwhelming almost. But once you get into it, it’s so fun and so awesome to be a part of something like that. You can’t even hear yourself half the time especially on defense.”
Sotsuda said his favorite memory occurred when Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made the game-winning play in the NFC Championship game by tipping a pass to fellow teammate Malcolm Smith against the San Francisco 49ers. Sotsuda was so excited that he admits to watching the replay at least 30 times.
Moore-Mann and Sotsuda also agree the cold weather will not have an effect on the game since they both play in cold environments at their respective home stadiums.
When asked to make a prediction for the game, Moore-Mann predicted an exciting double-digit victory for the Broncos.
“I think we’re going to score 27 and I think we can hold the Seahawks in the teens. I think they’ll score fourteen,” Moore-Mann said.
Sotsuda said he thinks the game will be a tight one.
“I like to say the Seahawks win,” Sotsuda said. “But I think it’s going to be close. It’ll probably be less then a field goal.”
While these two will be watching to see who comes away victorious, there are those who watch the game for other reasons. There are the funny commercials as well as the halftime show. This year’s halftime performer is Bruno Mars and for his fans, such as Lorena senior Aineta Dunn, it’s an opportunity to see him perform on the world’s biggest stage.
“I was excited,” Dunn said when she found out about Mars playing the halftime show. “I’ll be watching the Super Bowl anyways and the halftime performance had always been exciting.”
Dunn, who has been a fan of Bruno Mars since attending a concert last year, doesn’t believe the matchup between Seattle and Denver is taking away the hype for the show.
“I think the Super Bowl is made up of the commercials or mainly the game,” Dunn said. “But also made up of other hype things like the halftime shows. I think it all comes together and makes this one big.”