The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Local fans gear up for Super Bowl


February 3, 2019

Jamie Cushman

From left, Los Angeles Rams fan Dennis Maes and New England Patriots fan Zac Harmon show off their team colors.

Most of eastern New Mexico's NFL rooting interest was eliminated a few weeks ago in the second round of the playoffs when the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Los Angeles Rams.

But when the Super Bowl between the Rams and the New England Patriots kicks off tonight, Dennis Maes of Clovis and Zac Harmon of Portales will be rooting for their favorite football team since childhood.

Maes, 28, is a Rams fan. Born and raised in Clovis, Maes told The News on Friday that he probably would have grown up to be a Cowboys fan like his father had his dad not passed away when he was 5.

Instead Maes spent more time with his grandfather, a Los Angeles native and Rams fan, and that fandom carried over.

Harmon, 26, is a Patriots fan who grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota, before moving to Portales in 2016.

Harmon said he was drawn to the team when he was 5 or 6 years old and star quarterback Tom Brady, then a relatively unknown player, took the team to the Super Bowl during his second season in the league in 2001.

"My cousin went to school up in Michigan (Brady's alma mater) so when I found that out, I was like 'I'm a Tom Brady fan.' And I was little at the time," Harmon said.

The Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams, 20-17, in 2001, the first in a series of five Super Bowl wins for the Brady-led squad. Maes will be hoping for a different result tonight.

"Going against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (again), we kind of started their dynasty. Maybe we can start ours (tonight) is what I'm hoping for," he said.

Brady and Belichick will now be making their ninth Super Bowl appearance together tonight, while it will be the Rams' first time back in the title game since 2001 and their first Super Bowl appearance representing LA.

The LA Rams did win a title in 1951 before the AFL-NFL merger.

Despite the long gap in title game appearances, Maes had a good feeling about this Rams team at the beginning of the season.

"Honestly on my Facebook post in week one I put that we were going to the Super Bowl; week one I was calling it," Maes said. "After we won that first week I was like, 'Yeah, this team's looking special.'"

Harmon said his pre-season thoughts on the Patriots mainly revolved around the 41-year-old quarterback who first got him interested in the team.

"I was hoping Brady still had it in him," he said.

Of course when it comes to the Super Bowl, what's on the menu is almost as important as what's on the TV screen. Maes said he plans to make pozole to go along with some sandwiches, barbecue weenies and chips.

Harmon said he and his family will be having brisket nachos, jalapeno poppers, chips and dip and other appetizers.

Both fans predicted almost the exact same final score for tonight's game but disagreed on the winner.

Maes said he thinks the Rams will win by a score of 31-27, while Harmon has the Patriots beating the Rams 31-28.


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