And The Winner Is ...

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My totally unscientific and seat-of-the-pants poll of Payson Roundup employees reveals that most here predict the San Francisco 49ers will beat the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

In compiling the poll, however, there were some surprising predictions that reveal the newspaper doesn’t discriminate against those with limited football expertise.

The picks:

• Editor Pete Aleshire — 49ers will win by a score of 21-14. Qualifying his choice for a final score, he commented, “It depends on how many free throws are made.”

• Reporter Teresa McQuerrey — 49ers, 21-10.

• Operations Manager Julie Wantland — Falcons. When told the Falcons weren’t playing she replied, “Oh, those other birds (Ravens), 28-14.”

• Reporter Michele Nelson — “Who’s playing?” After being told the Super Bowl opponents, her prediction was, 49ers, 21-7.

• Publisher John Naughton — Ravens, 27-21. The publisher then flexed his considerable knowledge of gridiron trivia declaring, “Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis’ first sack of his NFL career was on (49ers coach) Jim Harbaugh.”

That gridiron tidbit required a bit of online checking and John was right on — the sack occurred 17 years ago when Harbaugh quarterbacked the Indianapolis Colts and Lewis was a rookie for the Ravens.

• Production Manager Sherrie McQuerrey — Ravens, 21-6.

• Reporter Alexis Bechman — Once again, “Who’s playing?” followed by, “How do they score in football?” Finally she settled on 49ers, 32-27, deadpanning the obvious, “I don’t know much about football.”

• Photo Technician Dave Rawsthorne — 49ers, 44-17.

• Pressman Donnie Severs — 49ers, 21-17.

• Circulation Manager Patty Behm — Ravens, 21-17.

• Receptionist Paula Van Buskirk — 49ers, 44-27.

• This sports reporter’s prediction — The team coached by Harbaugh.

Senior hardwood tournament

Eric Pendleton and a group of senior basketball players at the Tonto Apache Gym are scheming to host an inaugural basketball tournament open only to players 50-years-and-older.

In brainstorming the fray, the group has come up with the name “Wiseman Basketball Tournament.”

Pendleton says Wiseman was chosen because it refers to elders, who the players certainly are, “They are 62-, 65- and 70-year-olds who play pickup games here.”

The 3-on-3 tournament tips off at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Tonto Apache Gym and will feature 20-minute half court games. Halftimes will be 10 minutes and the tournament format will be double elimination.

The entry fee is $10 per person, cash only. Players must sign a liability waiver to enter.

Pendleton says there will be limited officiating done, mostly by tribal employees, but a “Call Your Own Fouls” honor system will also be in effect.

The registration deadline is Thursday, Feb. 14 at the TAT gym.

For more information, call Pendleton at (928) 474-7093.

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