The green jerseys are inescapable, especially today.
Rhino’s Sports Bar on M Street is accustomed to the football fanatics who religiously crowd the bar Sunday and Monday evenings during the professional season. The upper floor fills with the incandescent glare of oversized television screens and the odor of cigarette smoke lingering alongside chicken wings and beer.
For Jay Tedino (MSB ’05), it is a tradition. During the past four years he has spent much of the football season watching the bar’s television screens along with around 10 of his friends. The atmosphere is friendly and the $6 to $8 beer pitchers aren’t bad either, he says.
Tonight he’s one of the few Patriots fans in the crowd. He estimates that around two-thirds of the people at the bar are cheering for the Eagles. According to a bartender, Rhino’s is the official Eagles Sports Bar of Washington, D.C.
Tedino even met his current girlfriend, Lauryn Bernier (COL ’05), here. She has worked as a waitress at the bar since the beginning of the fall semester. Bernier is from the Philadelphia area and is one of the many sporting a green jersey with the name “McNabb,” the Eagles’ quarterback, printed across the back. Her loyalties are clear. She and Tedino try to keep the team rivalry to a minimum.
As Tom Brady, the Patriots’ quarterback, flashes across the big screen, jeers erupt from the audience. It is followed in quick succession by chants of “T-O,” the initials of recently injured Philadelphia receiver Terrell Owens, who started despite the advice of a doctor encouraging him not to play.
The opposition’s response is meager in comparison.
“People butt heads a lot, but in the end, we’re all friends,” Bernier says. “We [both Bernier and bartender Kenny Kempf (MSB ’05)] get paid to watch football with a bunch of our friends. It’s really great.”
Joe Suriani (MSB ’05) is a friend of Tedino’s and a fellow Patriots fan. Among his favorite pastimes is betting on the games. He has made a lot of money betting on the Patriots over the past few years, he says.
Tonight isn’t much different. History repeats itself, and the Patriots prevail for the third year out of four. Much of the crowd from the upper level of Rhino’s leaves disappointed, although a few like Dan Carroll (MSB ’05) and Mark Lovecchio (MSB ’05) are pleased, more because the Eagles lost than because the Patriots won.
While fans at Rhino’s cheer and jeer throughout the game, a similar scene plays out by another set of Georgetown students across town in a small Burleith townhouse.
Max McMahon (MSB ’06) and his housemates are hosting a group of about 20 semi-inebriated friends to watch the game. It is the stereotypical all-American Super Bowl party. There are chips, dip and lots and lots of beer.
“Basically people have been trickling in since 30 minutes before the game,” McMahon says. “We have three televisions set up, four trays of buffalo wings, chips and a ton of beer.”
According to McMahon about a third of his friends are Eagles fans, a third are Patriots fans and a third “have no clue what’s going on.”
“Hey, it was supposed to be smaller but word gets around fast,” he says. “I don’t care if people know anything about football, we’re just having fun.”
Lisa Trepper (NHS ’07) is watching the game intently.
“All I’ll say is I’m cheering for the Eagles,” she says. “I’ll only be having fun if we win.”
Trepper returns home dejected tonight.
Back on campus, however, Dominick Moreno (COL ’07) does not care who won or lost.
Moreno comes from Denver, Colo., and his loyalties lie with the Denver Broncos.
“I’m not really interested in the Super Bowl anymore,” he says. “Ever since the Broncos won back-to-back championships I haven’t watched it.”
Moreno says that the Super Bowl titles the team brought to Denver were “enough for me.”
“I’m just going to do lots of schoolwork tonight and catch up on the things I need to do,” he says. “Maybe I’ll do some laundry, too.”