EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday feels like a 'holiday'

NORTH ANDOVER — Some people have likened Super Bowl Sunday to a national holiday on the strength of its ability to bring together family and friends — even if it’s just to camp out in front of the big screen TV — to watch the game and have a large chow down.

In recent years, NFL executives have even called for a three-day weekend to allow fans to celebrate the event. Some NFL fans find Super Bowl Sunday depressing, however, if their favorite team was eliminated from the NFL Playoffs.

But, how much celebrating or interest will there be around here now that the Patriots are out of the picture?

“For most sports fans, yes,” it is a national holiday said Steve Rigione, 50, of North Andover. He said he’ll be watching the game at his girlfriend’s place, because “I hate watching it in big crowds,” he said adding he is more interested in watching the game than socializing.

“As a matter of fact, I’m working up at Rockingham Park, we’re closing early so everyone can get home and watch the game,” Rigone said.

Since the Patriots aren’t playing, he’s rooting for the Seahawks. “I’m not from Seattle, I just can’t stand Peyton Manning,” Rigone. “I’d guess if you interviewed most people around here they’d say Seattle as well. It’s not so much picking a team that you think is going to win, for me it’s more about rooting against the player you don’t want to see win.”

Local Andover photographer Joe Frio agreed.

“I’m not rooting for anyone. But I’m rooting against Denver,” Frio said. “They beat us out for it.”

Frio does, however, think the Broncos will be the new champions.

“They have the second best quarterback in the league,” Frio said.

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