Sunday, February 10, 2008

Okinawa celebrates Super Bowl in big style 

Posted by Sasha at 2:52 PM ET

Lance Cpl. Daniel R. Todd
The Okinawa Marine

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa (February 8, 2008) -- As Americans gathered all over the country for traditional Super Bowl Sunday celebrations this year, service members on Okinawa staged early morning Super Bowl Monday celebrations.

The game is one of the most celebrated American entertainment rituals of the year, attracting close to 100 million television viewers. It's so big that Marine commands on Okinawa took the day off to watch the game, which aired Monday morning at 8.

While some watched from home or joined friends for small parties, hundreds attended Super Bowl bashes at clubs on installations all over Okinawa.

One of the larger parties, hosted by Marine Corps Community Services at the Camp Foster Globe and Anchor, drew a crowd of about 350. An appearance by the Denver Broncos cheerleaders highlighted the party, and MCCS gave out prizes during the game to punctuate the celebration.

The Broncos cheerleaders made their appearance at the Globe and Anchor before the game kicked off and then traveled to parties at other base clubs. They made a surprise visit to Thirsty's on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, performed at the Butler Officers Club on Camp Foster during halftime and finished their tour at the Palms on Camp Hansen.

"It couldn't have been better," said Javier Dominguez, a Giants fan who attended the Globe and Anchor party. "I had hot cheerleaders to look at, a chance to win prizes, and I had the day off just so I could watch the Super Bowl. What more could I ask for? It was an awesome party, and my team won."

The large crowd at the Globe was filled with fans from both teams, and throughout the game, they traded shots.

"Talking smack makes it more interesting and fun," Dominguez said. "There is nothing personal about it really. It's just part of being a fan and supporting your team."

The Globe and Anchor grew deafeningly loud when a team scored, and as the game stayed tight, fans stayed on the edge of their seats until the end.

The crowd erupted when Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to receiver Plaxico Burress to regain the lead in the last 35 seconds.

Giants fans went wild, giving each other high fives and yelling "Hell yeah! I knew they could do it." Patriots fan hung their heads and cursed in disgust, but some still believed in their team and shouted "They can still do it; there is still time left."

The entire crowd stood for the last Patriots drive, growing louder and louder as the clock ran down and the Giants drew closer to becoming Super Bowl champions. Patriots fans cringed, and Giants fans cheered with every unsuccessful Patriots attempt. When the Patriots finally failed on their last drive, the Giants fans wouldn't stop cheering and laughing.

"I couldn't stop grinning and laughing because who would've expected a wild card team to beat an undefeated team?" said Thomas Lew, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native and Giants fan. "It was awesome. I have been telling people all year that the Giants were a good team. I never lost faith, and now it is great to be able to say 'I told you so.'"
[hi-res photo]

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