PARKERSBURG - Many football fans ventured outside their homes Sunday to cheer on the New York Giants and New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
The Giants defeated the Patriots 21-17.
Some watched for the love of the game or to support their favorite team, while others tuned in for the innovative commercials and entertainment of the half-time show. But one thing almost everyone could agree on is that the Super Bowl is more fun to watch while surrounded by friends, family and good food.
Football fans flocked to Buffalo Wild Wings in Parkersburg to enjoy hot wings and the company of friends. (Photo by Natalee Seely)
Super Bowl gatherings are popular at Buffalo Wild Wings, where some people reserve the party room weeks in advance. In the main dining area, football fans had a view of the game from every angle, with 46 televisions throughout the restaurant.
"We wanted to eat some hot wings and watch some football," said Marietta College student Zach Richards, who enjoyed the game Sunday with seven fellow students.
Two of his friends went to Buffalo Wild Wings at 3:30 p.m. Sunday to snag a big table before the crowds rolled in. Richards said he was not rooting for a particular team.
"We're all Cleveland Browns fans, so we're pretty indifferent about the outcome," he said. "I think we all agree, as long as something cool happens, we'll have fun."
Rebecca Green, of Charleston, watched the game with friends at the bar Sunday night.
"To be honest, I don't watch a whole lot of football, but I like watching people get really into the game. There's a lot of yelling and gesturing and laughing," said Green. "For me, it's all about the commercials and the half-time show. The commercials have been pretty good so far."
Justin Welch, a Patriots fan from Waterford, sported a Tom Brady jersey while watching the game with his brother.
"I like the atmosphere and being around a crowd who is rooting for different teams. It makes the game more exciting," said Welch. "It's just nice to get out of the house."
Around 100 congregation members and friends assembled at Fairlawn Baptist Church on Sunday for another lively gathering. The church's annual Super Bowl party is a hit with young and old alike.
Fred Morgan, event coordinator, said the event brings the congregation together.
"The oldest member we have here tonight is 93 years old, and our youngest is 2 years old," he said. "This is all about togetherness and fellowship."
The Senior Adult Ministry prepared three kinds of soup while other churchmembers brought an array of salads, side dishes, snacks and desserts.
"This is a very kid-friendly, fun atmosphere. We've got board games and card games going on at the different tables for people who aren't so into the game, and then there are front row seats up by the large screen television for those who want to see all the action."
Church member Kay Malcom attended the annual Super Bowl party for the past four years, and she helps set up the food before the big game.
"I don't watch much football, but I love coming to this. It's all about fun and fellowship," said Malcom. "It's just another way to show that Christians know how to have fun."