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A smoky Super Bowl

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

Ice and snow may have put a damper on Super Bowl Sunday celebrations, but the weather couldn't keep a few intrepid football fans - and a handful of people who just enjoy a good party - from coming out to watch the showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.

Smoke hung in the air Sunday at the recently-opened Paducah Cigar Company on Broadway, where members soaked in the feeling of camaraderie they say comes with enjoying a good game and a quality cigar.

"I'm here just as much for the brotherhood and cigar smoking as I am for the game," spectator Ed McManus said.

McManus couldn't be described as a rabid football fan - his dark red shirt didn't express a preference for either team - but said he was rooting for the Broncos, mostly because he considers quarterback Peyton Manning a class act.

"That takes nothing away from the Seahawks," he was quick to add.

But other spectators offered stronger opinions.

Darrin Miller made the icy trek from Benton to Paducah for the game, which he said he'd been looking forward to for weeks. He said when it comes to football, the Broncos are the only team worth rooting for.

Bradley Wurth, 21, of West Paducah wore a New England Patriots jersey to Sunday's gathering. When his preferred team isn't playing, he said he picks the lesser of two evils - in this case, what he described as a deep hatred for the Seahawks led him to root for Denver.

"I just have a love for the game, and I like to be around good people," he said.

A few blocks down the road, those watching the game at Elks Lodge No. 217 agreed that good company can make or break a Super Bowl party.

For president Carl Walker, the food is also a factor.

"We like to eat," Walker said.

An array of veggies, cheese, chips and dip, and beans welcomed members to the party. The lodge had considered canceling the event due to the weather, Walker said, but the food orders were already in place.

When asked what team he was rooting for, Walker responded, "Go, Cubs!"

"I'm just here for the food," he added.

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

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