Before the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks took the field for the Super Bowl, football fans were busy Sunday planning their viewing parties.
In Essex Junction, Vermont, Seahawks fan Gerber Rodriguez decked out his home with Seattle colors and planned a feast for all his guests. He told New England Cable News he has been getting a lot of grief from friends and coworkers backing the Patriots.
"It’s always fun to watch; obviously, I would like to see the Seahawks come out with the win," Rodriguez said, acknowledging that is an unpopular opinion in many circles in New England. "We’ll see– I’m expecting a really good game."
At the Growler Garage in South Burlington, customers were lining up throughout the afternoon for jugs of fresh craft beer. Matt Prigge said he was bringing some to a party, and will be cheering for New England.
"I grew up in New England, so it's sort of hard not to," Prigge beamed. "You've got to go with the home team!"
On the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, the Church Street Tavern was getting ready for a business bump from the big game.
"Sunday and Monday nights are typically our slowest shifts of the entire week, so it’s going to help us out compared to our usual Sunday night crowd," said Buck Frisch of the Church Street Tavern.
Vermont State Police were urging fans to stay sober, pick a designated driver, or call a cab if they were watching the game away from home. Vermont State Police asked party hosts to stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter, and switch to coffee and dessert.
Vermont's newly-installed Roman Catholic Bishop, Christopher Coyne, told NECN he was so confident in the Patriots, he didn't need to pray for a win. Coyne, who was installed Thursday as the leader of Vermont's roughly 117,000 Catholics, said members of his family have been big Patriots fans since the team's founding. Bishop Coyne said his father's uncle was a well-known sports cartoonist for several Boston newspapers and got to know the team well in its early days.
Coyne said he expects many of the players have prayed for good performances and to stay safe on the field, but as for a Patriots win, he was not worried.
"The Patriots are going to be fine," Bishop Coyne said. "It’s a football game, it’s going to be fun to watch, and I think they’re going to win. So there’s no need to pray for a win, because it’s going to happen."
Coyne saved his prayers Sunday for the continued happiness of several dozen married couples in his diocese who are celebrating landmark wedding anniversaries in 2015, including Robert and Ruthmary Lizotte of Burlington, who are celebrating 70 years of marriage.