Football fans across Marietta cheer for favorites
MARIETTTA – Super Bowl XLVII was showing on all six screens Sunday night as football fans at the Boathouse BBQ restaurant in Marietta watched the championship contest between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.
The score was 21-3 in favor of the Ravens as halftime approached, but that wasn’t a problem for 49ers fan and San Francisco-area native Shawn McCloskey.
“We lived about 45 minutes away, and my dad used to take us to 49ers games,” he said. “They’re off to a slow start, but they’ll get with it in the end. After all, it’s only halftime.”
Fellow Californian Alyse Hoeksema, from the San Francisco Bay area, said she loves the Harbaugh brothers- John, head coach of the Ravens, and younger brother Jim, who’s coaching the 49ers.
“But I’m pulling for the Ravens,” she said. “This is (linebacker) Ray Lewis’ last year, and I really want to see them pull through.”
A few blocks north of the Boathouse BBQ, patrons lined the bar and tables to watch the game at the Harmar Tavern on Maple Street.
Mark Fleming, of Marietta, was rooting for San Francisco.
“But I’m surprised that the Ravens are ahead by this much,” he said at halftime. “I still think San Francisco will take it back during the second half.”
Across the room Brent Casto, of Marietta, and Melissa Digioia, of Williamstown, took opposite sides on the game.
“I’m for the 49ers – I just like the city of San Francisco,” Casto said. “I really wanted Denver to be in the Super Bowl, but that didn’t happen.”
Digioia was backing the Ravens.
“They beat the Patriots a couple of weeks ago, so I’m pulling for them,” she said.
A small crowd also gathered at Marietta’s First Presbyterian Church to watch the game Sunday night.
“It’s our first Super Bowl party here,” said Pastor George Spransy, who recalled watching the very first Super Bowl while he was in seminary.
“We watched the game, between Kansas City and Green Bay, from Richmond, Va.,” he said. “It was January 1967 and the Packers won 35-10. Little did I realize we’d still be watching a Super Bowl game 47 years later.”
Spransy wasn’t a fan of either team Sunday night.
“I’m just a fan of football,” he said.
Ali Neff, of Marietta, was also watching the game at First Presbyterian.
“I just like the commercials – they’re so funny,” she said. “I’m not really for either team, although it is interesting that the coaches for both teams are brothers.”
Libby Rogers, of Marietta, said she had to take the middle ground when it came to the Super Bowl rivalry.
“I really love football,” she said. “But neither team is my favorite. I have three daughters living in Baltimore who are Ravens fans, and my son is in Stockton, Calif., so he’s for the 49ers.”