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Local football fans turn out for biggest game of the year

February 05, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - Years of football mediocrity made Chicago native Sheri Stewart an Indianapolis Colts fan.

On Sunday, Stewart basked in the glow of being in a no-lose situation.

"I grew up in Chicago, so I'm kind of split, but I'm a Colts fan," said Stewart, a 36-year-old Hagerstown woman who watched Super Bowl XLI with her family.

Football fans enjoyed food, beer and friendly competition as the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears faced off on television sets at Buffalo Wild Wings near Valley Mall.

The Colts won the game, 29-17.

Though the royal blue of the Colts was more evident, true-blue Bears fans seemed to cheer loudest during scrums for the ball in the game's soggy first half.

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"It's a good mix. It all depends on who's making the play," restaurant manager David Riley said.

Riley said his entire staff was working to take care of the restaurant's full house.

"It's one of our strongest nights of the year. It's been everything that we expected," Riley said.

At Hagerstown 10 Cineplex, the pregame show played to an empty theater. Rows away from each other, two football fans sat waiting for the game to begin.

Assistant manager Ed Taylor called the theater's first foray into big-screen sports "very disappointing."

A marquee above a hallway leading to one of theaters advertised "Super Bowl XLI." Several women and a family with children asked Taylor about the event, but they did not stay.

The theater planned to show the entire Super Bowl from the pregame analysis to the end, for free, as part of an agreement with C&J's Roadhouse Grill, which operates a snack bar in the lobby, Taylor said.

The Super Bowl always hurts business, Taylor said. With only a handful of people in the theater, which also was playing movies, Taylor expressed optimism.

"They may show up yet," Taylor said.

Fred Mongan, 70, of Keedysville, said he went to the theater to see a movie.

"I'm a Redskins fan myself, but I'm rooting for the Colts," he said.

At Buffalo Wild Wings, Darren Wolfe, 32, of Chambersburg, Pa., ridiculed the Colts' Peyton Manning, while his mother-in-law cheered.

"We like his commercials, but we don't like his in-game mannerisms. They annoy us, and we want to see him get leveled by (Bears linebacker) Brian Urlacher," said Wolfe, whose wife, Courtney Wolfe, also was cheering for the Bears.

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