Residents prepare for Super Bowl

Freedom New Mexico: Alisa Boswell Friday afternoon, Eastern New Mexico University Kappa Sigma members, from left to right, Juan Duran, Kyle Suadheier, Brian Campbell and Joe Wilson prepared the recreation room in the Kappa Sigma house for their upcoming Super Bowl party.

Alisa Boswell

Sunday marks the day football fans across the nation wait for each year.

Grab the chips and find a spot on the couch, because it’s time for the 45th annual Super Bowl.

For many local devoted fans, this means a time to gather with friends to watch the game and enjoy some sports banter.

Two very devoted Green Bay Packer and Super Bowl fans are Dr. Keith Barker, a local Clovis optometrist, and Joann Wentworth, his office assistant.

“Anyone not rooting for the Packers is fired,” Barker recently told his office assistants with a laugh and a wink. “True fans always stay true to their teams, in good times and bad.”

Wentworth spent this week plastering the inside of Dr. Barker’s practice with Packer colors, gold and green, and the Green Bay logo. Friday morning, she sat at her desk, covered from head to toe in Green Bay memorabilia, complete with earrings, jacket, scarf and more while the rest of her co-workers wore Green Bay items.

“They’re just a good team,” Wentworth said. “They play well and they have good sportsmanship. They’re just good ole’ hometown boys.”

Barker has been a Green Bay Packers fan since 1962 when he was 12-years-old and Wentworth has been a fan for the last six years. Both said they will watch the game at home with their spouses, because football games are something they both take seriously.

“I just love football,” Wentworth said. “We both love it. It’s gonna be a good game.”

Two Portales groups also devoted to their annual Super Bowl traditions are Eastern New Mexico University fraternities, Kappa Sigma and Sigma Chi.

Kappa Sigma President Olin Ellsworth said his fraternity has a Super Bowl gathering every football season in which the fraternity brothers, along with any girlfriends, grill hamburgers and hot dogs and watch the game. He also said one member’s parents would be joining in the festivities this year.

Ellsworth will be cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers since his team, the St. Louis Rams, did not make it to Super Sunday.

“I have a lot of family and friends who are Steelers fans, Ellsworth said. “So I guess I’ll jump on that bandwagon.”

Sigma Chi House Manager Spencer Orr said his fraternity also has an annual gathering for the Super Bowl. This year, fraternity members will be inviting friends and girlfriends and festivities include food and poker.

Orr said he will be rooting for the Green Bay Packers and he looks forward to having an excuse to spend time with his friends.

“I like the fact that we can all get together and do something together,” Orr said. “We don’t get to do that a whole lot. It’s like Christmas with the whole family together.”

The Super Bowl kicks off Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (MST).