News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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February 3, 2014

Until it’s over

Manning fans hold out hope despite poor performance

TERRE HAUTE — “Oh my gosh!”

Heather Randall’s jaw dropped as she raised her hands in protest when a pass made by a Denver Broncos player was intercepted by Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter of the Super Bowl XLVIII.

Her friend, Ben Scott, put his head down on the table and said, “I’m so disappointed.”

Randall, who wore a blue Indianapolis Colts jersey, and Scott, who sported a Broncos hat, sat inside Buffalo Wild Wings Sunday night to watch the game, where former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning played for his second Super Bowl ring — this time, leading the Broncos in an orange uniform.

The restaurant,, at 3718 South U.S. 41, was filled with Super Bowl customers watching on more than a dozen big-screen TVs and consuming food and drinks.

Fans also eagerly watched the much-anticipated commercials and half-time show.

A few minutes into the game, when the Seahawks were leading 5-0, Scott was “a little upset,” but “it’s still early,” he said.

“Peyton works best under pressure,” he said.

Like many Hoosiers, Scott and Randall are both Colts fans, but because the team did not make it into the Super Bowl this year, they rooted for the Broncos because of Manning.

Randall, whose parents are also Colts fans, described herself as a “born and bred Colts fan.”

And she grew up watching Manning.

“I have a lot of respect for the man [Manning],” especially for what he does for charity, she said.

And as far as moving to the Broncos, “he did what he had to do. He’s a good man, and I’ll stand behind him all the way,” she said.

Scott, who has been a football fan since he was little, felt the same way.

“I love seeing him in the Super Bowl,” he said. “I don’t care what [color] he’s wearing.”

“He’s a genius as a quarterback.”

When asked before the game what they hope to see Manning do Sunday night, both said, “celebrating his victory.”

They have faith in his abilities.

“We’re gonna shred the Seahawks. Chew ’em up and spit them out,” Randall said.

But some inside the restaurant disagreed.

Every time the Seahawks scored or did something to their advantage, several fans loudly cheered and clapped their hands.

A couple sitting by the bar had fun teasing each other about their divided loyalties.

Polly Hendrix of Terre Haute wore a bright orange Manning Broncos jersey as she watched the game with her boyfriend, Tony Sampson, who on Sunday rooted for the Seahawks.

Hendrix was also a Colts fan who rooted for the Broncos because of Manning.

“I still wear my blue and white even though they’re not in it,” she said as she touched her Colts bracelet and necklace. “I still got to represent the Colts even though he’s [Manning] an ex-player.”

And she’s also loyal to Manning.

“He’s still family,” Hendrix said.

“I want him to pull off his second Super Bowl win because he deserves it.”

 Sampson, a Cincinnati Bengals fan, said he thinks Manning is a great football player, but he explained that Seattle was a stronger team.

“And I think the Broncos are a hungrier team,” Hendrix replied swiftly. When a team is hungry enough for the win, its players are going to work harder, she explained.

But Sampson argued that the Seahawks is a younger team.

“Experience and wisdom vs. youth,” Hendrix argued back. “Experience is gonna prevail.”

Even when the Broncos had not scored during the first quarter, she still stayed loyal.

“Peyton’s gonna pull through,”  Hendrix said. “I believe. I believe.”

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@tribstar.com.

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