Although baseball is considered to be America’s favorite pastime, (American) football is its favorite sport.

The National Football League (NFL) is comprised of 32 teams, and only 22 states have professional football teams (California is home to the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders); unfortunately, Hawaii is not one of them.

Favorite teams can be selected in many different manners. The picking process is boundless, and since Hawaii doesn’t have its own team, local football fans have ultimate freedom in choosing which teams to support. Often times, teams are passed down from one generation to the next like precious heirlooms. Most times though, the winningest teams are chosen.

[one_third]…since Hawaii doesn’t have its own team, local football fans have ultimate freedom in choosing which teams to support.[/one_third]

Junior Blaise Takushi said, “I like the Steelers. When I was really little, maybe first grade, someone gave me a Pittsburgh Steelers’ teddy bear. Ever since then, they’ve been my team.” Junior Kailee Liu has stuck with the Seattle Seahawks since she grew up in Seattle. “When I was little I did not follow them because I’m not athletic so sports didn’t really interest me,” she said. “[But] I started watching a football game with my dad at the beginning of last season…I immediately loved the amount of tackling and hurting each other… and just the whole idea of football I suppose, it’s very barbaric.”

History teacher Robert Fusato had this to say about his favorite team: “The 49ers are my team, but only because they’re the best intrinsically. Since they’re the best team in the world, it was an easy choice. I like to pick based on greatness, and the first game I watched happened to be the Superbowl and they won. Initially [my selection process] was to pick the best team, and they were the best team so I picked the 49ers.”

Despite having no current geographical connection to the teams, Hawaii football fans are no less fervent than their mainland counterparts. Junior Kayla Takemoto said, “I was dedicated to the Broncos from the time I was introduced to them. I’ll be a dedicated to them forever.”

This year, football fans were treated to a memorable Superbowl XLIX on February 1, when the Seattle Seahawks faced off against the New England Patriots. The Patriots won by a score of 28 to 24. After a scoreless first quarter, the teams traded touchdowns to tie the game at 14-14 going into halftime. The halftime show featured Katy Perry, who rode out on a gigantic robot lion to kick things off. The finale featured a dazzling display of fireworks as she sang her hit song, “Firework.” In the third quarter, the Seahawks scored 10 unanswered points as the Patriots struggled on both sides of the ball. Early in the fourth quarter, the Patriots scored off of a touchdown pass to narrow the deficit to a field goal. After an unsuccessful Seattle drive that ended in a punt, New England quarterback Tom Brady found receiver Julian Edelman in the endzone to pull the Patriots ahead. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch carried the team to the 1 yard. Instead of giving Lynch the chance to score, head coach Pete Carroll selected a pass play. With 26 seconds left in the game, Wilson’s pass was intercepted by undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler, who outmuscled Seattle receiver Ricardo Lockette for control of the ball. Butler’s interception sealed the game, and the Patriots celebrated their fourth Super Bowl victory.