AP NEWS

Super Bowl grabs plenty of attention at BHC watch party

February 6, 2018 GMT

BULLHEAD CITY — A long table in the center of Bullhead City’s CoVeu Eatery and Drinkery had a group of people showing loyalty to a variety of NFL teams: Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and, of course, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.

The Eagles and Patriots faced off Sunday in Super Bowl LII.

And Peter Dinklage went up against Morgan Freeman in a commercial competition that pitted Doritos Blaze against Mountain Dew Ice. It garnered plenty of laughs during the restaurant’s watch party. So did the various Tide ads that spoofed other highly familiar TV commercials.

But feelings about the game were running high. Eyes were fixed on one of the big screens when Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks was knocked down in the second quarter and suffered a head injury that required he be taken out of the game.

A quick cut on the screen to a knock down of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took caused a little confusion and concern among people at the table, including the most vocal Patriots fan seated there: Braxton Perkins, age 8, the proud wearer of a Patriots T-shirt with Brady’s name and No. 12 on it.

“Was it Tom Brady?” he asked out loud before figuring out that the quarterback was OK.

But Braxton still had a look of worry on his face.

“Is he going to be able to get up?” he asked.

Cooks ultimately was able to walk himself off the field.

“He takes this very seriously,” said Debra Hesser, a family friend. Paul, Braxton’s father, is a co-owner of CoVeu.

At the other end was another Patriots fan. Janet Dunigan grew up in Maine but has lived out west for more than 30 years. Her NFL loyalty to the Patriots remains unshaken.

“I’ve been a Patriots fan all my life, 100 percent,” she said. “But I understand why people want to see an Eagles win. They are the underdogs.”

“It’s time to give somebody else a chance,” said Janice Roberts, also of Bullhead City.

One man who seemed to know people at the table walked by with a satisfied smile on his face. Brady had just dropped a pass, also in the second quarter.

“All that money they pay him and he can’t even catch the ball,” he snarked.

Dunigan just smiled blissfully in response. Before Super Bowl LII, Brady had already led the Patriots to five Super Bowl wins.

For people without ties to New England or the Northeast (except Braxton Perkins), it probably wasn’t a very emotional sports event. As a Vikings fan, Bob Steele, put it while enjoying a hamburger, fries and a beer at the bar: “I don’t care who wins. I have good food and $1 beer.”