CUMBERLAND — The Super Bowl is more of an event than a sporting contest, not that true fans always see it that way. But put true fans of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers together with food and drink and friends, and you’ve got a super party.
Just make sure the two sets of fans don’t get too close together. While many fans host parties at home, others headed to venues like Uncle Jacks’s Pizzeria and Pub. That’s where Michelle DeHaven, born and bred in Cumberland and wearing a Ravens jersey, was planning to watch the game.
“I’m looking forward to Ray Lewis going out with a Super Bowl win. That would make my day and year,” DeHaven said.
DeHaven said she had a wager of sorts on the game with the owner of the restaurant, Brian Dillon. Dillon has a small replica of the Lombardi trophy displayed near the front of the restaurant. Tied to the trophy and floating above it was a ballon decorated with the 49ers logo.
DeHaven said Dillon has promised her the trophy if the Ravens win. Dillon is a Steelers fan, DeHaven said.
As game time approached, there were no 49ers jerseys to be seen at Uncle Jack’s. Several televisions, including a big wide screen, featured the game.
The restaurant offered a number of pizza and drink specials to fans on Sunday night.
The approach of the game drew vibrant enthusiasm from some fans.
“Baltimore! Baltimore! Baltimore! Baltimore! I am counting on them to win. Born in Baltimore 47 years ago, I ... consider it a belated birthday present,” said Sherree Casper Grebenstein of Williamsport, who planned a party at her and her husband’s home.
And the food?
“We are having lump crab cakes at our party. What else would we serve?” said Grebenstein.
Several fans responded to a Times-News question on Facebook asking for comments and predictions.
There are plenty of Steelers fans around, and Marty O'Toole, of Cumberland, is one of them.
“I'm a Steeler fan; but today I'll be rooting for the “home” team, which of course is the Baltimore Ravens,” O’Toole said.
Big families make for big celebrations, and Glenda Mill of Cumberland was hosting.
“We will be having the grandkids and parents so at least 10 crab cakes, spinach dip, buffalo dip, wings of course ... chips and lots and lots of cheering.
Mill and her husband are longstanding Chicago Bears fans but, along with Steelers fans in the family, rooted for the Ravens on Sunday.
There’s more to the day than just football, though, Mill said.
“Really for our family it is just an excuse to be together, be silly and play with the grands and tease them ... life, love and laughter rules at this house,” said Mill.
Sharon Derlan of Cumberland put in a prediction: “Ravens win 24-13,” Derlan said.
Of course, there are a few non-football fans out there.
“I only watch for the commercials. I just don’t understand football,” said Charlene Hipp-Syx of Cumberland.
And even non-fans can have a favorite team.
“I have no interest in football, but hope the Ravens win, since they are from our state,” said Donald Edward Rice of Mount Savage.
Contact Matthew Bieniek at firstname.lastname@example.org.