By Scottie O’Bryan and Spencer Schultz
Millions of people will crowd around their TVs on Sunday, Feb. 1 to watch the most prominent event in American sports: the Super Bowl. The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will go head-to-head in this year’s game. The Seahawks return to the NFL’s championship game for the second year in the row, while Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick hopes to lead New England to a fourth Super Bowl win within the last 14 years. Jamesville-DeWitt High School students appear to be split on the team they are rooting for.
The breaking news of a possible ball deflation scandal by the Patriots leaves many J-DHS students feeling that the team doesn’t deserve to be in the Super Bowl. "I think there should definitely be some type of consequence for the Patriots, maybe losing a draft pick," says senior Ben Vahey, a Patriots fan. "I don't think the Patriots deserve to be in the Super Bowl, if the ball deflating allegations are true," says Vahey.
Freshman Nico Modesti also believes that the Patriots should be completely disqualified. “The Patriots are known to be cheaters; Belichick was already caught filming an opposing team’s plays,” says Modesti. Modesti feels the Buffalo Bills, the last team to defeat the Patriots, should replace the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Freshman Parker Wing, a Patriots fans, strongly believes that the allegations are false. “It’s the classic case of a jealous team trying to make the top dog look bad,” says Wing.
Despite the Patriot's potentially unscrupulous activity, many people are still rooting for the team to win. "The Patriots have been my favorite team, and they always will be, no matter what happens," says Wing.
Other students are hoping for a Patriot win because of Patriot ties to Syracuse and a preference of the East over the West. "Of course I'm going to want the Patriots to win because they have Chandler Jones, who played football for Syracuse," says freshman Abby Baumgartner. Freshman Sean Hlywa is very confident that the Patriots will walk away from the Super Bowl as champions. “I bet a friend of mine a lot of money that the Patriots will beat the Seahawks so I’m very confident that they’ll win,” says Hlywa. “I’d like to finally see an East Coast team win this year, because a West Coast team won the Super Bowl last year,“ says Vahey.
Many J-DHS students are hoping that the Seahawks will fly away with the game. Freshman Ben Fleet hopes that the Seahawks “destroy” the Patriots, although he feels it will still be a close competition. “The Seahawks have a really good defense, but the Patriots have a great offense, so both teams with really balance each other out,” says Fleet. Modesti is sure that the Seahawks will “crush” the Patriots. “The Seahawks are hungry for two Super Bowl wins a row,” says Modesti.
Freshman Joey Armenta disagrees, saying that the Patriots have an “all around better team” on offense and defense.
However, the Seahawks’ flight for victory may be struck down by a sudden family circumstance. Seahawk star cornerback Richard Sherman may miss out on the game to see the birth of his child, who is due on Super Bowl Sunday. Sherman is still unsure on the decision he might have to make. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Sherman told ESPN. According to Fleet, Sherman is a “vital piece of the puzzle” for a Seahawks win, because of his great field vision which gives him the ability to anticipate throws and get picks. “I just love how he plays. Sherman is an exciting player to watch and a very smart athlete,” says Fleet.
Fans feel that the outcome of the game will be the deciding factor on the player chosen as MVP. Armenta feels that Tom Brady is the top contender for this award, because quarterbacks typically receive MVP. Wing agrees saying Tom Brady is the “best quarterback in the league.” However, if the Seahawks win, Fleet believes that linebacker Kam Chancellor will collect the award
Aside from the football game, some Super Bowl watchers are also looking forward to the half-time show, featuring artist Katy Perry. Baumgartner, who saw Perry in concert, is excited to see how the show will turn out. Most students, however, would like to focus on the game, rather than the half-time show. “I heard Katy Perry is horrible, so I don’t think I’m even going to watch the show,” says Modesti. Fleet thinks that the only focus of the Superbowl should be football. “The Super Bowl is all about football, not some singer just lip syncing songs,” says Fleet.
Whatever the outcome, most J-DHS football fans agree that Super Bowl XLIX will be a great one. “It’s going to be an interesting game. I think it’s going to be very close and we’ll see if the Patriots can stop the Seahawks from their two year Super Bowl run,” says Vahey.