With this weekend’s Super Bowl between the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens and the NFC Champion New York Giants approaching, GW students are getting ready. In a school made up of many New York and Baltimore residents, it is safe to say many students will have a particular interest in the game’s outcome.
“I don’t think the Giants will score a touchdown,” Baltimore native Jason Coburn said. “A lot of people are saying that it’s a bad Super Bowl, but the old saying is defense wins championships. I think it’s a battle between two big teams.”
“The Giants are going to win,” sophomore Josh Rothstein said. “If Kerry Collins plays with the confidence he played with in the (NFC) Championship game, then I think they have a really good shot.”
The two teams have proven to be masters of defense. Ray Lewis, middle linebacker for the Ravens, won the award for the AFC’s best defensive player. Baltimore has given up just 16 points in three playoff games. The team set a record for fewest points (165) allowed since the NFL went to its 16-game regular season schedule. The Ravens are favored by three points in the game.
“The Ravens are going to win,” freshman Josh Scharberg said. “They have the best defense in the NFL.”
But the Giants also have a formidable defense led by defensive end Michael Strahan and cornerback Jason Sehorn, who nearly shut out the NFL’s most dangerous wide receiver, Randy Moss, in a 41-0 NFC Championship defeat Jan. 14.
Many predict that it will inevitably be a low-scoring game because of superior defenses on both sides.
“Even though the Ravens have a superior defense, their offense is lacking,” sophomore Andrew Reiter said. “The Giants are coming off a 41-0 win over the Vikings which will carry them to a Super Bowl win.”
Many students will be attending Super Bowl parties or hosting their own. Other students said they would not partake in Sunday’s festivities.
“I gotta study,” graduate student Justin Lee said. “I have an exam the next day, so I really don’t care what happens on Sunday.”
But most students around campus will be glued to their TVs this weekend.
“I can’t wait to see the game,” sophomore Aaron Lewis said. “The Ravens will prevail. The Giants have always had problems with their tight ends. Shannon Sharpe is bound to break a play out for the Ravens and Ray Lewis will have 11 tackles.”
Many GW students have personal feelings about the game. Since this is only the Ravens’ fifth season in existence – owner Art Modell moved the team from Cleveland for the 1996 season – students from Baltimore said they feel enormous pride in their hometown team. Baltimore lost the Colts franchise in 1984 when owner Bob Irsay packed his things and moved the team to Indianapolis overnight, breaking hearts throughout the city.
“We’ve been following the team since they moved to our city and we never stopped watching the games,” Baltimore native David Schaffer said.
For some, it’s about sticking it to New York and classmates who undoubtedly carry Yankee pride into the football season – retribution, perhaps, for an anguishing Baltimore sports fan.
“Baltimore is a football town and now everyone knows it again,” Coburn said. “It’s a matter of pride and it’s about time. In the past, Baltimore has received little attention in the world of sports. I’ve been (at GW) for four years and to finally be the center of the sporting world and especially to stick it to New York is a great feeling.”