Super Bowl takes center stage … sort of

For the throngs of football fans munching on chips and sucking down beers in front of novelty-size TVs yesterday, Super Bowl XLI went down with a smooth familiarity, coupled with heart-felt, intermittent shouting.

But for some, like Leilani Puana and her child Tia, the sunny afternoon was replete with calmness, awash in sounds atypical of any local bar: Waves crashing, children playing.

“I’m not that interested in football,” Puana said. “Living in Hawai‘i means the beach is closer to the heart than TV.”

That frame of mind was put in stark contrast by football fans such as Larry Warren, a former Bears-fan-turned-Colts-enthusiast.

For Warren, enjoying a beautiful, Hawaiian day meant watching the game with a plate full of Nawiliwili Tavern pupu.

“Peyton (Manning) isn’t you’re typical pretty boy that people expect for a quarterback,” Warren said. “But he’s a gentleman.”

Warren, a former Chicago and Indianapolis resident, said he was pleased to see two Midwestern teams, the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts, battle for the title. He also said he felt connected to those on the Mainland, a tad smugly.

“I’m here in Hawai‘i, drinking Bud and eating free food,” Warren said. “And it’s a beautiful day.”

David Kahele, who was rooting for the Bears to collect on a $20 wager, sat alongside buddy Al Cordiero, who finagled getting off work to watch the game. Cordiero was rooting for the Colts.

Meanwhile, Chicago tourists like Phil Boardman smoked cigarettes outside the bar to talk story and obey the new smoking ban with locals like Bernie Olson.

“We’re not going to break the rules and try to smoke inside,” Olson said.

Across town, residents such as Michael Alonzo calmly watched and studied the game, albeit with a smidgen of biased analysis — Alonzo was rooting for the Colts.

“They deserve to win. It’s their turn,” Alonzo said.

The Colts won, 29-17.

• Amanda C. Gregg can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or agregg@kauaipubco.com.

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