Listening to the 18-minute musical monologue has been a Thanksgiving tradition among folk music fans for decades.
The deluge of hype, buildup, beer and pizza ads will be over on Sunday, because either the Seattle Seahawks or the Denver Broncos will rise victorious out of the swamps of Jersey — raising high the trophy that goes to the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII. Back in the hometowns, the fans are gearing up.
Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson checks in with Andy Hurst in Seattle and Jay Keller in Denver. Hurst is a producer for The Record, the midday news magazine on KUOW, and Keller is digital editor for Colorado Public Radio — both Here & Now contributing stations.
On the mood right now in their hometowns
Jay: “I think the fans here like to be called Broncomaniacs, at least the true fans. And everything is orange, and we definitely believe in mile-high magic.”
Andy: “I think Seahawks fans right now are honestly about to explode. As you may know, Seattle has had years upon years of just absolute sports misery, and while I think everyone is just so excited about the Super Bowl and wanting to come out with a win, I think we’re also secretly terrified we’re gonna lose, and it’s gonna demoralize us a little bit.”
On what fans will be drinking
Jay: “I think most people would say that the banquet beer [Coors] is the beer of choice, but, you know, with all the craft beer that is made here in Colorado, most people kind of stick to their old favorites.”
Andy: “Plenty of microbreweries here, lots of craft beer, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I showed up to the Super Bowl party I’m going to on Sunday and everyone had a latte in their hand. Wouldn’t surprise me. Maybe spiked a little bit, but it could happen.”
Andy: “Here’s a little fun fact for you: In the 1980s, the Denver Broncos lost three Super Bowls in four years. In all those Super Bowls, the Broncos were wearing orange uniforms. Well, guess what they’re wearing on Sunday? They’re the home team, so they’ve chosen to wear orange. So as a uniform nerd, logic tells me that, for that reason alone, the Seahawks are gonna win.”
“The last time Peyton Manning played in the Super Bowl, he lost. People like to talk about Peyton as if he were a god and untouchable. But, you know, he’s been there before, he’s won; he’s been there before, he’s lost. So it could happen again.”
Jay: “I find it interesting hearing advice coming from a Seahawks fan, because what I hear Seahawks fans do when their team wins the Super Bowl is to turn off the Xbox. But anyway, I think that we’ve won a Super Bowl in blue, one in white, and now we need one in orange. But I think it’s pretty clear the one X factor that we have that nobody else has: we have PFM. Peyton Manning and his brain have done us pretty well this year.”
“The one thing that I know folks here in Denver would appreciate is we only need 11 people to win football games, and it seems that you guys need 12.”
A healthy wager
Andy: “So as we all know, orange is the worst color. And if the Seahawks lose, I will dress to the nines in orange and come to work the day after the Super Bowl. But if the Seahawks win, you have to wear, Jay, some awesome neon green to work all day.”
Jay: “I was gonna suggest something similar – maybe that we could prove it with some photos, and I thought of some iconic representations, you know, to have you dressed as a Broncos fan in the Space Needle would be so cool. But at the same time, we could also arrange that if things don’t go our way, to put on some neon green and go up to the state capitol or something like that as well.”
JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:
It's HERE AND NOW.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
HOBSON: Believe it or not, we are just three days away from the Super Bowl, which will pit the Seattle Seahawks against the Denver Broncos. And we're going to find out on Sunday who has the better team. But let's try and find out right now who has the better fans. We've called up our contributing stations KUOW in Seattle and Colorado Public Radio in Denver and asked for the biggest super fans at the stations. And we've got Andy Hurst in Seattle and Jay Keller in Denver. Guys, thanks for joining us.
ANDY HURST, BYLINE: Thank you for having me.
JAY KELLER, BYLINE: It's great to be here.
HOBSON: Well, let's start by having you describe the fans that embrace your respective teams. And I will start with you, first, Jay, in Denver.
KELLER: Well, I think the fans here like to be called Broncomaniacs, at least the true fans. And everything is orange, and we definitely believe in mile-high magic.
HOBSON: Mile-high magic. And what about you, Andy? What about Seahawk fans?
HURST: I think Seahawks fans right now are honestly about to explode. As you may know, Seattle has had years upon years of just absolute sports misery. And while I think everyone is so excited about the Super Bowl and just wanting to come out with a win, I think we're also secretly terrified that we're going to lose, and it's going to demoralize us a little bit.
HOBSON: How are you guys both feeling, by the way, about playing this game in New Jersey? And it's going to be, what, in the 30s or something like that on Sunday. Jay, are people worried about that?
KELLER: No, I don't think so. You know, there's a lot of skeptics out there that think Peyton Manning can't play outside, and I think he's kind of silenced them over this season. And generally, we have...
HOBSON: I was at a game, by the way, where Peyton Manning played outside in Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts, and it was so cold. So I know that he can play outside.
KELLER: Yeah, it gets cold here sometimes. Sometimes it isn't. The weather is definitely not a factor for the Broncos, I think.
HOBSON: And what about you, Andy? Are you guys worried about the weather in New Jersey?
HURST: I got to tell you. I think Seahawks fans are hoping for some snow or some wind or some rain. The Broncos are a passing team. The Seahawks are a physical running team. And I think if it snows or if it's windy or if it rains, Marshawn Lynch is just going to beast mode all day. And so I kind of want a little weird weather to happen, to be honest with you.
HOBSON: All right. And what is the drink of choice because in Denver I'm assuming it's going to be something to do with Coors. Is that your take, Jay?
KELLER: Yeah. I think most of the people would say that the banquet beer is the beer of choice. But, you know, with all the craft beer that is made here in Colorado, most people kind of stick to their old favorites.
HOBSON: Well, I know you got competition on craft beer in Seattle. Although maybe you've got competition more from Starbucks. I don't know. Andy?
HURST: Yeah, I was just going to say plenty of microbreweries here, lots of craft beer, but it wouldn't surprise me if I showed up to the Super Bowl party I'm going to on Sunday and everyone had a latte in their hand.
HURST: Wouldn't surprise me. Maybe spiked a little bit, but it could happen.
HOBSON: Where are you going, by the way?
HURST: I'm just going to a friend's house, you know? Weirdly enough, last year, I watched the Super Bowl by myself in my apartment - first time I've ever done that - followed the Twitter feed of everybody, you know, tweeting about it. But this year, it's a small group, five or six friends. It's going to be tough. I'm already nervous for this game.
HOBSON: Jay, is it going to be house parties in Denver or is it going to be - are people going to be filling up the bars in LoDo and stuff like that?
KELLER: No. I think there will be a huge representation of Broncos fans out and about. I, myself, am suffering through being a Broncos fan my whole life. I'm probably going to lock myself away for about four hours and tell people not to bother me.
HOBSON: What about food, guys? Is there any agreement on what you should be eating this weekend for the Super Bowl in Denver and Seattle?
KELLER: I think one of the rituals that at least I have with my family is we like to go to IHOP before the games and load up on some good protein and...
HOBSON: Some carbs, I assume.
KELLER: ...and some carbs to kind of like line the stomach, you know, for the rest of the day because I don't think I'll be eating much until the game is over.
HURST: You know, Jeremy, I love to tell you that up here in Seattle, we're going to eat quinoa and...
HURST: ..and all kinds of other healthy, multigrain foods, but it's going to be chips and dip and salsa and pizza and, you know, all that normal stuff.
HOBSON: I'm surprised that neither of you has mentioned buffalo wings because that's what I would think of for the Super Bowl.
KELLER: I was more a fan of the mile high oyster but I think it makes my stomach sick.
HOBSON: I hope that it's not anything like rocky mountain oysters.
KELLER: They're similar.
HOBSON: All right. OK. Well, now, I just want to give you both a chance to trash talk the other and tell us why your team is going to demolish the opponent. So, Andy, let's start with you.
HURST: Well, here's a little fun fact for you. In the 1980s, the Denver Broncos lost three Super Bowls in four years. In all those Super Bowls, the Broncos were wearing orange uniforms. Well, guess what they're wearing on Sunday? They're the home team, so they've chosen to wear orange. So as a uniform nerd, logic tells me that for that reason alone, the Seahawks are going to win.
HOBSON: Jay, your thoughts?
KELLER: Yeah. I find it interesting hearing advice coming from a Seahawks fan because, you know, what I hear Seahawks fans do when their team wins the Super Bowl is to turn off the Xbox. So - but anyway, I think that we've won a Super Bowl in blue, one in white, and now we need one in orange. But I think the - it's pretty clear the one X factor that we have that nobody else has is that we have PFM. Peyton Manning and his brain has done us pretty well this year.
HOBSON: Andy, would you care to respond to that before we move on?
HURST: Well, I just like to remind the folks listening that the last time Peyton Manning played in the Super Bowl, he lost. So it's - people like to talk about Peyton as if he were a god and untouchable. But, you know, he's been there before, he's won. He's been there before, he's lost. So it can happen again.
KELLER: I agree with that. And, you know, Peyton has his own records. But the one thing that I know folks here in Denver would appreciate is the fact that we only need 11 people to win football games, and it seems like you guys need 12.
HOBSON: OK. I want to stop you guys right there because I want to bring up one more thing, which is there's a wager going on between your mayors. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he would send the Denver Mayor Michael Hancock salmon, Dungeness crab and a bicycle made by Rodriguez Bicycles in Seattle. The Denver mayor says he would send a sampling of Denver's green chili and a hoodie, ball cap and skis handmade by Denver's locally grown Icelantic Skis. What about you guys? Any bets that you want to make right here on HERE AND NOW?
HURST: I got one for you.
HURST: So as we all know, orange is the worst color. And if the Seahawks lose, I will dress to the nines in orange and come to work the Monday after the Super Bowl. But if the Seahawks win, you have to wear, Jay, some awesome neon green to work all day.
KELLER: I think that's fair. I was going to suggest something similar, you know, maybe that we could prove it with some photos. And I thought of some iconic representations, you know, to have you dressed as a Broncos fan in the Space Needle would be so cool. But at the same time, you know, we could also arrange that if things don't go our way, to put on some neon green and go up to the state capitol or something like that as well.
HOBSON: We want pictures to get up to hereandnow.org as soon as either of these things happen. Andy Hurst is the producer for The Record. That's the midday news show on KUOW public radio in Seattle. And Jay Keller, digital editor for Colorado Public Radio, both HERE AND NOW contributing stations. Guys, thanks so much and good luck to both of you on Sunday.
HURST: Thanks for having me. Go Hawks.
KELLER: Thanks for having me. Go Broncos.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALONE YET NOT ALONE")
JONI EARECKSON TADA: (Singing) I'm alone, yet not alone.
HOBSON: Meghna, this has nothing to do with the Super Bowl. I just want you to know...
MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:
HOBSON: ...this is a completely different little note I want to make before we close out this hour. On another competition, the Oscars, they will be one fewer nominee in the best original song category. The title song for the film "Alone Yet Not Alone," that's this one, has been removed from the list because Bruce Broughton, who wrote the music and used to be a governor of the Academy, apparently emailed the Academy members to bring the song to their attention.
CHAKRABARTI: Oh, a shame.
HOBSON: That is a no, no. The president of the Academy said in a statement that no matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one's position to personally promote one's own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage. Which means, less competition for the other songs in the category, from "Despicable Me 2, "Frozen," "Her," and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."
CHAKRABARTI: I prefer the purity of the good (unintelligible).
HOBSON: From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Jeremy Hobson.
CHAKRABARTI: I'm Meghna Chakrabarti. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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