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Snow can't stop 'Super Sunday'

January 31, 2000|By BRUCE HAMILTON

Snow didn't stop several football fans, wayward travelers and revelers from watching the Super Bowl in bars and taverns Sunday night.

Hagerstown's sidewalks were almost empty and the streets saw very little traffic, but crowds collected as kickoff drew near. Patrons inside the Stadium Tavern warmed up in the glow of a big-screen television.

"This is our regular hangout. We're football fans," said Doug Hornbecker, standing amid a group of about eight friends. "We didn't want them in our house," he joked.

Wearing a blue-and-gold jersey, Hornbecker looked like a Rams fan. But the shirt was more about NASCAR than NFL. It said "Gordon" on the back, referring to the stock car racer.

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Hornbecker said he was rooting for the Rams, "because the Browns beat the Titans and I like the colors." The Super Bowl is "the ultimate of the whole season," he said. "It's a good time to get together with friends and party."

Fans also gathered inside Corner Pub, despite the weather. Jim Suddith said he had no problem getting around in his four-wheel-drive vehicle. "It's better than sitting at home," said the Hagerstown resident.

Free food also lured him out, Suddith said. He was wearing an NFL cap and rooting for the Titans, not because they are his favorite team but because they were the underdog. He was hoping the game wasn't a blowout.

Outside, pedestrians were making their way toward a television. "We're going to sleep at the pub tonight," said one man as he entered. "I'm freaking freezing," said a woman walking beside him.

The storm and the Super Bowl brought many drivers to Replays, a sports bar inside the Four Points Sheraton. Bill Sublett and Lowell Faith of Fredericksburg, Va., were on their way home from Pennsylvania when they decided to stop.

Drinking beer from football-shaped cups and eating "stadium food" served buffet-style, they watched the game on a mammoth screen. But for Sublett, the Super Bowl wasn't a must-see event.

"This will be the first one I've ever seen," he said.

John and Maryanne Hossick have spent the last six Super Bowl weekends at Deep Creek Lake. They were on their way home to Ellicott City, Md., Sunday when their 11-year-old son, Ryan, persuaded them to stop so they could see the game.

The boy said he is a Titans fan, but the father was not. "Unless the Redskins are in it, I don't really care," said Hossick. "I like to see a close game."

Hoots and hollers filled the air as waitresses in blue "Super Bowl 2000" T-shirts gave tickets to every patron for a giveaway. Joe and Rita Marocco also found Replays a beacon in the snow.

The couple were on their way home to Newark, Del., from Detroit, Mich. The husband said he was prepared to continue driving, but it was difficult. "We were getting hammered," said Marocco.

The Lions fan was rooting for the Rams. He was glad to gaze at the gridiron instead of a buried road. "I thought I was going to miss it," he said. "It's definitely a lot of hype, no question about it, but it's a championship. I like it."

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