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The Daily Tar Heel
Town Talk

Chapel Hill Town Council members will celebrate Super Bowl at home

Chapel Hill Town Council member Maria Palmer is decidedly unaffected by the Super Bowl frenzy found across America this weekend. She said the game has proved a little too aggressive for her tastes.

“I heard an interview on NPR with a former Super Bowl quarterback and it sounded terrifying, having to decide in three seconds or less where to throw the ball while these enormous guys are rushing towards you, intent on taking you out of the game,” she said. “It’s a little too violent to be very enjoyable.”

But the millions of Americans paying dutiful attention to their televisions Sunday afternoon will be joined by some other members of the Chapel Hill Town Council.

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will be among those watching when the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks face off at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday.

Kleinschmidt has observed Super Bowl festivities since he was young.

“I’ve always watched the game, I don’t remember ever not watching,” he said.

Football was a significant source of entertainment in his household, where rivalry often played out between his mother, a native of Pennsylvania, and his father, born in Minnesota. The states’ flagship football teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings, were frequently pitted against each other while Kleinschmidt was growing up.

The mayor admits he would usually take his mother’s side and root for the Steelers.

“It was always kind of fun to pick on my dad,” Kleinschmidt said. “I even remember rooting for the Steelers in the ‘70s … I mean, I’m old.”

As far as how he’s planning to spend the special day, Kleinschmidt is sticking closely to casual tradition.

“I’m probably just going to be at home with a couple friends,” he said.

Kleinschmidt said if the Carolina Panthers, the Steelers or the Vikings were playing this weekend, he would be planning something a little more special.

This year, Kleinschmidt has no very strong feelings one way or the other as to who ends up taking the victory.

“I’m kind of just hoping it will be a really good game. The playoffs were some of the best we’ve seen this year,” he said.

Council member Lee Storrow, who said he’s not the biggest fan of professional football, supports a win for the Seahawks.

“I just think (Seahawks player) Derrick Coleman has a really inspirational story,” he said of the first deaf offensive player in the NFL.

Storrow, a former UNC student, said he prefers athletic games featuring the Tar Heels. He said in spite of his preference for college football, he consistently watches the Super Bowl.

“It’s pretty special,” Storrow said. “I watch every year for the commercials, the athletics and the halftime show. It’s just a nice time to pit two really great teams against each other and have an enjoyable evening watching football.”

Council member George Cianciolo is also looking forward to seeing the event’s signature commercials, but not before taking advantage of the beautiful weather predicted for Sunday.

“Given that the weatherman has predicted a high temperature of about 65, I’m going to take advantage of this break in the cold and take a nice 100 to 200 mile ride on my motorcycle,” he said.

Afterwards, Cianciolo will sit down with his wife and a bottle of wine to watch the game. He said he is more captivated by the stiff competition among advertisers than by what’s taking place on the field.

“I think both of us will be more interested in the commercials. I’ve only seen the Budweiser one so far but I think it’s going to be tough to beat.”

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