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Food, fun and football
Fans prepare for Sundays big game
A-Superbowl pic
Football isnt the only thing to take center stage during the Super Bowl. Food, friends and fun are part of the annual festivities. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

A lifelong Washington Redskins fan, Jim Sheppard really doesn't care who wins Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday.

And since when is the Super Bowl about football anyway?

Everyone knows there are three real reasons people tune in to the game.

One, it gives them a chance to have a party on a Sunday. Food, friends and fun are part of the annual festivities.

Two, the commercials are often over the top--the best of the best.

And three, the NFL always promises a fabulous halftime show. This year it's Katy Perry with special guest Lenny Kravitz.

Still, Sheppard said he is looking forward to the game, if for nothing more than to see if Tom Brady and the controversial New England Patriots can overpower Russell Wilson's Seahawks with NFL regulation weight footballs.

Controversy is nothing new for football's biggest game, whether it be "wardrobe malfunctions," racy commercials or a part of the competition.

"I believe with the ‘Deflate-Gate' scandal that the Seahawks will be able to take advantage of the lower team morale on the Pats," he said. "Plus, if in fact those footballs were deflated, it'll be interesting to see how Tom Brady will be able to handle them."

As a Pittsburgh native who wears her gold and black proudly every chance she gets, Carol Tyger said she'll also be pulling for the Seahawks.

"As a die-hard Steeler fan, most of us are not fans of New England," she said. "I like Russell Wilson. The team has the drive to win. They play hard and play to win without the drama that has always surrounded New England."

Sheppard compared deflating footballs to the "creative aerodynamics in NASCAR before strict use of templates and inspections."

"I'm also a believer that this practice has been going on for some time, by lots of teams. It's just that New England was caught," he said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the NFL was investigating a Patriots' locker room attendant who reportedly is on video taking the footballs to another location before they arrived on the field.

Brady and head coach Bill Belichick have denied any involvement in the scandal.
Despite the scandal, many believe the Patriots still would have run over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game two weeks ago with or without deflated footballs. The Patriots won 45-7 over the Colts on Jan. 18 to seal the spot in Super Bowl XLIX.

Brian Dean is predicting that the Pats will win Sunday by two touchdowns.

Randy Wells thinks it'll be a bit closer, 24-21.

Chris Mendes, however, expects to see New England roll over the Seahawks with a 42-17 victory.

Whether the truth ever surfaces about who or what caused the footballs to weigh significantly less than NFL requirements, Tyger said it doesn't really matter one way or another.

"It's always great fun to have a little controversy. It will keep social media busy all through the game, I'm sure," she said.

The Super Bowl will be played Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.