Super Bowl fans fly their colors for big game
In the hours before the Super Bowl, pre-game excitement reached a fever pitch in Cape Coral, as sports bars across the city were awash in a sea of yellow and black.
As is the case with most successful teams, Pittsburgh Steelers apparel was ubiquitous Sunday as life-long fans and bandwagon-jumpers alike rooted for the team’s sixth NFL championship.
Count Sadie, a 5-year-old golden retriever and a weekly staple at Ralph’s Place in downtown Cape Coral, is one of the life-long fans.
Jim Foote, Sadie’s owner and a 35-year Cape resident, is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, but donned a Steelers T-shirt Sunday to support his friends’ team.
“I’m confident,” Foote said before the game of the prospects of a Steelers victory. “I just don’t think it’s going to be a blowout like some of the Steelers fans,” he added.
Jamie Bayne, a 26-year Cape resident and Pittsburgh transplant, said watching the game at Ralph’s has become a tradition.
“We’re here every Sunday. It’s our lucky spot. Pittsburgh Steelers fans are very superstitious,” Bayne said.
Another recent Steelers convert, Rick Emmel, began rooting for the black and yellow after his favored New York Giants crashed out of the playoffs.
“I am today,” Emmel said when asked if he was a Steelers fan. “I’m showing support for my friends,” he added.
Emmel doubted this year’s Super Bowl could match the drama of last year’s championship game, in which David Tyree of the Giants pulled off a miracle catch — with the aid of his helmet — during a last-minute drive to defeat the previously undefeated New England Patriots.
“It’s going to be hard-pressed to beat that game,” he said.
The veracity of fans of the Steelers’ opponents, the Arizona Cardinals, also was called into question.
“The people with Cardinals jerseys, they really just don’t like the Steelers,” Foote said. “You aren’t going to find a lot of Cardinals fans around here.”
Win or lose, Sadie planned on being back at Ralph’s next year with her Steelers bandanna, ready to cheer on her team.
The Steelers beat the Cardinals 27-23, giving Pittsburgh its sixth Super Bowl win.