Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Super Bowl rivalry hits Echuca-Moama

Bragging rights are up for grabs in the Wines household today as Harry’s Denver Broncos and Ollie’s Seattle Seahawks battle for the Super Bowl. The brothers join thousands of Australians who will tune in for today’s game.

LUKE MCMANUS February 3, 2014 4:01am

Harry and Ollie Wines.

As football fever grips the United States ahead of today’s Super Bowl, fanfare surrounding America’s biggest sporting event will spread far and wide.

A capacity crowd of 82,500 people will brave the freezing conditions and squeeze into New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to witness Super Bowl XLVIII, along with millions of viewers tuning in worldwide.

More than 16,000km away from the greater state of New York, the hullabaloo has reached Echuca-Moama and taken hold of its own batch of avid gridiron supporters.

Those fans include Echuca’s Harry and Ollie Wines.

As it so happens, Harry’s Denver Broncos and Ollie’s Seattle Seahawks will battle for the top prize, which means sibling rivalry will be at an all-time high within the Wines household.

Banter between the pair had already been rife throughout the five-month long National Football League season, according to Harry and would continue into its final day.

‘‘Oh yeah,’’ Harry said, emphasising the bragging rights which hinge on the result.

‘‘He (Ollie) is such a bandwagon supporter.

‘‘He likes to get around a few teams and one of them happens to be Seattle.

‘‘I think he has a thing for Russell Wilson (Seattle quarter-back).’’

The average Australian could be forgiven for not knowing who Russell Wilson was or the fact that Denver and Seattle even had NFL teams.

While most Australians are preoccupied with supporting their own football code, many follow the NFL just as passionately.

Some even prefer watching the NFL over AFL.

It is a trend which is not only surviving, but growing, despite the slower paced, stop-and-start nature of gridiron, which many use as an excuse to dismiss the sport.

‘‘I certainly don’t see it that way,’’ Harry said.

‘‘It’s exciting and the entertainment value is awesome.

‘‘Something can happen in every play, like a huge touchdown or a huge tackle.’’

Harry’s fixation with gridiron started in 2011 and has since developed into a more than just a pastime with the 16-year-old using the online medium to fuel the flames and connect with other Australian-based supporters.

‘‘I started to really get into it and I try watching most games, either on Foxtel or I will stream games over the internet through my Game Pass subscription,’’ Harry said.

‘‘I play fantasy football as well and joined the Port Adelaide (Football Club) league with Ollie’s teammates, which I ended up winning.

‘‘I went to America last year and went to a game. It was an amazing experience and the atmosphere was incredible...It’s so different to Aussie rules.

‘‘A few mates from school are really into it as well. We all support different teams which makes things interesting.’’

As it stands, Harry’s Broncos are vying for their third Super Bowl title today, while Ollie’s Seahawks, in only their second Super Bowl appearance, are hoping for their maiden victory.

Harry was confident of a Denver win and said he could not wait to rub it in his brother’s face, all the way from Echuca-Moama to Port Adelaide.

‘‘I reckon we’ll get up by seven points and then Ollie can expect a phone call,’’ Harry said.

Super Bowl XLVIII between Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will be played at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.

People interested can tune in today from 10.30am.

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