Whenever the Super Bowl comes around, lines are drawn in the sand between the teams as well as the fans.
It can be nigh impossible to find fans of the opposing teams talking to each other in the days leading up to the event, let alone on the night itself.
But on Sunday night, Patriots and Eagles fans — National Guard soldiers all — watched the big game together in a warehouse at North Fort Hood.
“It’s pretty great being out here like this, side-by-side with Patriots fans,” said Capt. Charles Duncan, with the 28th Infantry Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. “You just couldn’t plan it like this.”
The 28th Infantry Division and the 151st Regional Support Group are two units currently stationed at North Fort Hood, training together while preparing to deploy to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
The 28th is from Pennsylvania and the 151st is from Massachusetts, and each unit brought a plethora of football fans, all rooting for their home team.
“You have Patriots fans on one side and Eagles fans on the other, so you have rivalry going on in here, but it is a great experience,” said Col. Matt Kennedy, the brigade commander of the 151st Regional Support Group. “In just the short time that we have been stationed at Fort Hood, our two units have really jelled.”
Many of the soldiers attending the event said they are life-long fans of their respective teams.
Some even make it a point to attend as many of the games as possible when they are at home.
“My husband and I actually went to the last playoff game together, the Patriots and the Jaguars,” said Spc. Emily Seco with the 151st Regional Support Group. “It was absolutely incredible getting to go to that game. We try to attend several games each season, and that was a great one to go to.”
Seco said while the rivalries were strong going into the game, she actually thought it helped the two units bond.
“I think it is absolutely great to be able to do something like this,” she said. “We all have our sports allegiances, but we are all out here wearing the same thing and standing for the same anthem, and that is a great thing.”
The event offered bleacher seating for the soldiers in attendance, and there was plenty of party food to be had, as well.
The city of Gatesville donated the dessert items for the event, and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation organization purchased 200 pizzas from different Gatesville businesses.
“I’m usually not involved with any particular team during the Super Bowl, but it is hard not to jump on the Eagles bandwagon out here,” said Lt. Col. Keith Hicox, with the 28th Infantry Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. “This is just a great event. When you are away from home during big events, it is nice to have somewhere to go and something to do.”