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Students cheer on NFL teams

Sam Stryker | Sunday, February 6, 2011

On a night featuring two prestigious teams in professional sports battling on the field, big budget commercials and a rocking half time show, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV.

Sophomore Packers fan Sam Mitchell said he felt pure ecstasy following the Packer’s victory.

“It is just exuberance,” Mitchell said. “It was a tremendous game, but the best team won, and congrats to Green Bay.”

Mitchell said the triumph was particularly sweet because of the low expectations for the No. 6 seeded Packers.

“We overcame so much adversity over the course of the season. Some injuries, a lot of people counted us out in the middle of the season,” he said. “We stayed focus and we knew could do it.”

Junior Steelers fan Nick Grasberger said while the game was fun to watch, the Pittsburgh loss was a tough pill to swallow.

“It was fun [to watch]. There was no one I would rather have then Ben [Roethlisberger] at the end of the game, but it wasn’t our year, I guess,” he said.

Despite the loss, Grasberger said he expects the Steelers to fair better next season. He also said Pittsburgh remains the top NFL franchise in terms of Super Bowl victories.

“We’re going to win next year,” he said. “We have six [Super Bowls]. [Green Bay] has four.”

Junior Sara Teising said watching the Packers, her favorite team, in the big game made for a special Super Bowl experience.

“It makes it super intense. I feel like I am part of it. I have been preparing for it all day,” she said. “I’m watching with friends at a house and eating food. We’ve been looking forward to this.”

Teising said being a Green Bay fan runs in her family’s blood.

“My grandpa was a Packers fan, so there is some sentimentality to watching. He taught me well.”

Sophomore Emily Hefferon said she enjoyed watching the Super Bowl for the social experience it entailed.

“The Super Bowl is such a weird tradition if you think about it. We eat a ton of food while we watch big dudes run around in spandex,” she said. “At the same time, it’s so great and classic American.”

Senior Ian Heraty said he enjoyed the competitive action on the field, despite not being a fan of either team.

“I’m glad it was a good game. It seemed like Pittsburgh was out of it but they did a good job of coming back.”

Sophomore Patty Walsh said she hoped for a Steelers win. As a Chicago Bears fan, she said she is not fond of either team.

“I loathe the Steelers slightly less, so I’m rooting against the Packers,” Walsh said. “The only way I’d really be happy is if they both lost.”

When it came to entertainment for the show, Walsh said she was surprised at how the commercials failed to entertain her.

“I think because [the game] is projected to have some of the highest viewership ever for anything on television, a lot is riding on the commercials and they have not been up to snuff,” she said. “Maybe they should have paid their creative teams more.”

Sophomore Margaret Bellon said while she was not a fan of either team, she was drawn to watch for other reasons.

“I always like watching football, but both of these teams aren’t my favorite, so I don’t really have that much of an interest in this game,” she said. “I am enjoying watching the commercials though.”

Junior John Rozema said he was also drawn to the game for the commercials. He said the off field conduct of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended earlier in the season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, drew him to root for Green Bay.

“Honestly, I’m really just watching for the commercials. I have no particular attachment to either team,” he said. “My only opinion is that I don’t care for Roethlisberger for obvious reasons, so I guess, go Packers.”

In addition to the commercials, students watching the game had mixed feelings about the halftime performers, the Black Eyed Peas. Bellon said she was surprised they performed at the game.

“I am usually excited for the halftime show but I don’t really know why they chose the Black Eyed Peas,” she said.

Heraty said while the music of the Black Eyed Peas did not hold much appeal to him, the group made up with their theatricality. He said their backup dancers with light-up costumes were especially entertaining.

“There were a lot of elements of the performance that were significantly better than the music,” he said. “Basically, I liked the glow-people.”

Hefferon said regardless of why one watched the game, the Super Bowl is a bonding event for students and America overall.

“Whether you are watching for the football or the commercials or because everyone else is, you’re still participating in an awesome and unique experience,” she said.