Faraway fans fill bars for Super Bowl

bolduc superbowl
Kieran Söderqvist watches the big game at the Lion’s Head Tavern in the North End. (Photo: Jon Bolduc)

Although Halifax is over 5,000 km from the University of Phoenix Stadium, Haligonians flocked to bars Sunday night to watch the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots duke it out in Super Bowl XLIX.

Kieran Söderqvist, a third-year political science student at Dalhousie University, watched the game at the Lion’s Head Tavern on Young Street.

Although primarily a soccer and hockey fan, Söderqvist was rooting for the Patriots — and he was particularly pumped to see Bill Belichick, the Patriot’s coach, and Tom Brady, the quarterback, rock the house.

“This may be the last chance Belichick and Brady have to elevate themselves into the greatest coach and player deal ever,” Söderqvist said.

The final score of the game was 28-24, resulting in a win for New England. The game was Brady’s fourth Super Bowl win and he was named most valuable player of the game.

The halftime show was a display of extravagance; Katy Perry roared into the stadium on a gigantic animatronic tiger and was whisked away into the stars by a wired platform as she ended her concert with the hit song “Firework.”   

The show also had two guest appearances: rock star Lenny Kravitz and surprise guest, rap star Missy Elliott.

The game was intense and the fourth quarter was full of miraculous interceptions.

Jermaine Kearse, the Seahawks’ wide receiver, plucked the ball from the ground in what seemed at the time to be a game-changing move.

The Seahawks’ luck soured quickly. In a move that will be talked about for years to come, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s decision to throw the ball at the one-yard line, and the pass was promptly intercepted by a Patriots defender in the final seconds of the game.

If the Seahawks had managed to pull off the play, they would have won their second Super Bowl in a row.

They didn’t, and fans weren’t happy.

“People thought it was crazy to throw the ball and not use Marshawn Lynch,” Woody Menear said of final controversial decision to throw the ball rather than run it at the final push using the manpower of Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks’ running back.

Menear, the general manager of Bubba Ray’s on Spring Garden Road, said the sports bar was at capacity, with more than 500 spirited sports fans.

Although not packed, the Lion’s Head had plenty of fans cheering for one of the two teams; the bar section of the tavern was full  of fans staring up at  three large televisions. The dining room, walls lined with sport regalia, had three or four tables of people munching, yelling and rooting.

The tavern hosted many more people “than a normal Sunday,” said Colin Crawford, a server.

At Bubba Ray’s, the Super Bowl is consistently one of the busiest nights of the year.

“It’s always a big game,” said Menear.

Super Bowl XLIX was a big game — and for many sports fans in Halifax, the most exciting Super Bowl in history.