Fans Want To Make Super Bowl A National Holiday

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There will not be much agreement between fans of the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts fans for the next few days as these two teams will be squaring off Sunday in Miami in Super Bowl XLI for the ultimate prize.

Both teams have made and won the Super Bowl before.

In 1985, the Bears behind their vaunted 46 defense crushed the New England Patriots 46-10.

In Super Bowl V, the Colts, then in Baltimore, used a last-second field goal to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13.

In Payson, fans are certain their favorite teams will take home the Lombardi Trophy.

Mike McCannon, owner of the Buffalo Bar, was born and raised in Chicago, and therefore is a lifetime Bears' fan.

One big difference between the 1985 Bears and this year's team is that there was no Super Bowl Shuffle.

"What will win it for the Bears is that every time (the Colts) kick off, the Bears will run it back," McCannon said in reference to Devin Hester, Chicago's kickoff and punt returner who ran back six kicks for scores this season. "I was born a Bears' fan."

McCannon said this year's team does not have the offense the 1985 Bears had, but thinks their defense matches that popular team.

"If they win it, it will be in the special teams or Peyton Manning splits a fingernail," he said partly in jest. Manning is the Colts' Pro Bowl starting quarterback.

The Bears finished the regular season with a record of 13-3, and McCannon said the fact the team was winning is what made this football season enjoyable.

He said this Super Bowl takes on an added importance because the Bears are in it.

He added that he likes the fact the Colts are in the game because three of their starters played for the Iowa Hawkeyes, which is his favorite college football team.

His allegiance to the Bears goes back to the 1960s when Dick Butkus played linebacker and Gale Sayers was the star running back.

"So it has been a few years," he said.

The fact the Bears are in this year's Super Bowl is somewhat surprising to him, though.

"I thought they would beat Seattle, but last week was a shocker," he said, referring to the Bears defeating the Saints 39-14 for the right to advance to the Super Bowl.

One of the reasons the Bears only lost three games, according to the Buffalo Bar owner, is that no team in its division finished above .500.

Jeff Harris, a Colts fan for the past six years, thinks it is time for Manning to get a Super Bowl ring.

Harris conceded he was a Raiders fan in the 1960s and 70s, but said the losing got to him.

Harris also said he grew up 120 miles from Indianapolis so switching his favorite team was an easy thing to do.

As much of a Colts fan as Harris is, he is more of a Manning fan.

"I love to watch him play. To me, he is the best player to ever play quarterback," he said.

McCannon said Manning wants to get rid of the Dan Marino curse of being a great player but being unable to lead his team to a Super Bowl win.

Harris admitted that he did not expect his Colts to make it to the big game as the Colts struggled late in the regular season.

The American Football Conference championship between his Colts and the Patriots, he said, was one of the best games he has seen in years. The Colts came back from a 21-3 deficit to win 38-34 and advance to the Super Bowl.

"The last three (playoff) games has been all about the defense," he said. "I have made a lot of money off the Colts."

Michelle Pfister, a bartender at the Buffalo Bar, said she has been a Bears' fan her entire life as were her parents and grandparents.

She said she has no doubts of who will win Super Bowl XLI.

"They are kicking butt like they did in 1985," she said.

She said her confidence in her team never wavers, and thinks the Bears are going to the Super Bowl every year.

"I think that every year, but they really did it this year," she said, mentioning she will be working and cheering on the Bears at the same time on Feb. 4.

She said she likes the fact that the Bears proved everyone wrong this year as most pundits were picking the Saints to represent the National Football Conference in this game.

"They are my home team," she said. "The have just always been my team, and they are going to win on Sunday."

She said her favorite Bears' player of all time is William "The Refrigerator" Perry with that 1985 team. Part of that reason is a picture she has of her grandmother and Perry that was taken during the 1985 season.

Pfister said she does not have a favorite player on this year's team, and instead likes the entire team.

She said she dreams of attending a Bears' game in Chicago's Soldier Field someday.

While the Super Bowl means a little more to fans whose favorite teams are participating, more people watch the game than any other event or television show every year,

Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Director and avid football fan Tina Bruess, said she will be watching every minute of the pre-game, commercials and the actual game.

Bruess said she enjoyed any Super Bowl with the "old" Oakland Raiders, and added that any Green Bay Packers Super Bowl is fun, too.

Bruess said football has always been her favorite sport ever since she was a child.

"Super Bowl Sunday should be a holiday," she said, mentioning people get together for the game even if they have no clue of the two teams that are competing.

At a true Super Bowl party, Bruess said there should be a television in every room so no part of the game is missed.

The chamber of commerce director said she will be rooting for Da Bears, partly because they are in the same division that the Minnesota Vikings are in.

"I have got to go with the North Division," she said. "I already have a Bears' sweatshirt."

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. Feb. 4.

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