Football fans decked out in the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks signature colors, Denver fans outnumbering Seattle, settled in for Super Bowl XLVIII at Fort Hood's Palmer Theater on Sunday afternoon.
Private Dartanian Pina, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, sat in the front row of the theater. He arrived at the showing at 3 p.m., ready for a lengthy game.
A New Mexico native, Pina was a fan of the Broncos “for today.”
He came to the theater with no real options for watching it elsewhere, finding good deals on the nachos and soda. Pina predicted a final score of 24-21, giving the Broncos their third Super Bowl win.
Families and soldiers of all ages spread out across the theater to enjoy the view of the 35-foot screen.
Shortly before kickoff, the Budweiser girls arrived to hand out koozies and the Army and Air Force Exchange gave out a gift card to a lucky fan who choose the right team for the coin toss.
The crowd stood for the national anthem before cheering on their teams at kickoff.
Specialist John Logan, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, and his wife, Erika, brought their nearly 8-month-old baby to the theater. The space allowed them to enjoy the game in a low-key environment suited for a family.
John Logan was rooting for the Seahawks.
“They’re the underdogs, and I always want the underdogs to win,” he said. “I just hope it’s a good, close game.”
Door prizes were given out throughout the game, including memorabilia from Budweiser and Jack Daniels, as well as Blimpies and the AAFES gift cards.
“We try to just do a little extra,” said Ted Pennington, Army and Air Force Exchange Services food and business manager. “Keep the theater a part of the community.”
He emphasized the benefit of soldiers watching the game on post where they won’t have to drive home.
“There’s no cover charge and I guarantee our beer is cheaper than what you find (off-post),” he said.
Pennington expected about 200 people to attend the viewing.
Die-hard Broncos fan Spc. Sarah Walker, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, has been following the team “since birth,” she said.
She is a Denver native and joined Spc. Cole Ruzsck, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, to watch the Super Bowl in the theater.
“The seats are comfortable ... and we can do our own thing,” Ruzsck said. He is a Wyoming native, so supporting the Broncos is natural for him.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Ruzsck said of a potential Broncos win. “Since ’98.”