Super Bowl Mania Hits!

SUPER Bowl Sunday is nearly upon us. Will the New York Giants have a bigger fan base than normal tuning in to see them play the New England Patriots this Sunday?

The Irish Voice asked members of the Irish community their plans for Sunday and who they will be supporting?

James Foley from Yonkers is an avid football supporter. Albeit a Jets fan, Foley admitted he will be rooting for the Giants.

"I like the improbable run they are on at the moment and I'll also be supporting them because I like to root for the underdogs," he said.

Foley, from Co. Kerry, said he is looking forward to the atmosphere of the day. "I'll be more than likely watching the game at a friend's house with some Jets and Giants fans. There won't be any Patriot fans with us," he said.

James O'Dwyer, who works at the strategic marketing department with Tourism Ireland, confessed he normally isn't a football fan but because the home team is playing this weekend he will naturally be rooting for the Giants.

O'Dwyer, like many football fans for the day, looks forward to finding a Manhattan bar where the atmosphere is good and the party will be lively.

Hoping that "there will be some Patriot fans there too for some great banter," O'Dwyer said it would make his day if the Giants "pulled off the win." Although O'Dwyer said he has been presently captivated by the football fever, he said he much prefers a good game of hurling or Gaelic football.

Not everyone in New York will be supporting the Giants. Shelia Barrett, who lives in Queens, will be among the minority in a Manhattan bar on Sunday.

Barrett lived in Boston for four years before moving to New York with her boyfriend. "I'm staying true to my Patriots. I might get some stick on Sunday but sure at the end of the day I'm fully confident that New England will go all the way," said Barrett, who is preparing for an all nighter.

"I've booked work off on Monday so I'm expecting a late night of celebrations, although I may have to celebrate alone," laughs Barrett, explaining that her boyfriend will be supporting the Giants.

Barrett won't be the only one supporting the Patriots. Noreen Moriarty, who lives in Beverly, Massachusetts will be at Kitty O'Shea's Irish Pub in the town of Beverly where she will spend the evening shouting on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

"The first game I ever properly watched was Tom Brady's first game where Drew Bledsoe got injured and Tom was brought on. I've loved the game (and Tom Brady) ever since," she said.

Richard Dormer, Police Commissioner of Suffolk County, Long Island has been a Giants fan since coming to New York in 1958. "I'm a huge Giants fan. I remember the great teams of the late 1950s and '60s with YA Tittle and Charlie Conley quarterbacking," he said.

For Dormer, he feels this year is extra special because the Giants are the underdogs. Dormer will revel in the excitement of the game surrounded by his family in their home in Long Island.

"It would be nice, however, to have New England supporters with us so we could see him/her cry as the Patriots lose," gleams Dormer.

Unlike most Giants fans, who rate Eli Manning as their favorite player, Dormer lists field kicker Lawrence Tynes as his favorite.

"The way he came back against Green Bay to hit the winning field goal after missing two chances was fantastic. I was a free taker when I played Gaelic football and I know all about the pre-ssure, especially in a close game," remembers Dormer.

Not all Irish people will be watching the Super Bowl, however. In fact, not all Irish people even know much about the Super Bowl.

Thomas Bonner, an accountant from Donegal now living in Boston, admits he doesn't know who is playing this Sunday. "You would think after four years in the U.S. I would have picked up an interest in the local sports, even a passive interest but no, I have to confess I don't know who is playing in the Super Bowl. Shame on me," he laughed.

Instead of going to a Super Bowl party on Sunday, Bonner plans to use his time effectively.

"I'm going to go for a drive somewhere nice because the highway should be fairly clear for a few hours if everyone is glued to the television," he feels.

Fiona Brennan from upstate New York said that although she is not normally a football supporter, she will be watching the game with her husband at her friend Rosie's house on Sunday.

Looking forward to the party, Brennan said, "I'm glad we'll be at a house party, lots of wings, beer and no one to step on us."

Brennan will also be supporting the New York Giants. "My husband is a native New Yorker so it's Giants all the way on Sunday," she says.

New Yorker Jerry Hess, who normally watches the Sunday football games in Rory Dolan's in Yonkers with his family and friends, will be at home this Sunday shouting on the Giants.

"I'm a big Cowboys fan, and although I admit it will be hard to root for the Giants, I will this week because they lost to the Cowboys, Packers and Pats in the regular season. It's pay back time now," said Hess.

Mark O'Connor, another Giants fan agrees it's only fair that the Giants get their turn at wining this year. "The Patriots have won enough of times in the last few years. Now it's our turn," he said.

Peter McGlynn looks forward to a great game of football on Sunday and will also lend his support to the Giants. "The game against Green Bay was brilliant. I hope they win too this Sunday," he says.

McGlynn is also looking forward to the commercials during the Super Bowl.

"I watch it alone to see the great ads they play during the game. They are so entertaining," he says.

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