By MADDY VITALE
Ocean City is clearly Eagles territory when it comes to football fans who will be watching Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The Birds are the hands-down choice over the Kansas City Chiefs.
But that doesn’t bother diehard Chiefs fan, Ocean City Councilman Bob Barr, one bit. In fact, he will proudly don all of his Chiefs gear from the jersey down to his socks for the big game.
“So, I have Chiefs socks, whatever jersey the team wears that day I’ll have on, and I have Chiefs sweatpants and Patrick Mahomes socks. People have asked me to come by, but I will stay at my house because I’ll probably be shouting things and acting like a nut,” Barr said with a chuckle.
Barr, 41, has been a Chiefs fan since 1993, when Joe Montana was the quarterback. His prediction is for a Kansas City victory, with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading the way over the Eagles’ 24-year-old QB Jalen Hurts.
“He’s the best football player in the world,” Barr declared of the Chiefs 27-year-old superstar quarterback.
Another thing the Chiefs have to their advantage is Head Coach Andy Reid, Barr said.
“After 31 years as an NFL coach – 24 of them as a head coach – Reid is widely known as the master of bye-week preparation. Including regular-season weeks off, he has a 27-4 record after a bye,” he said.
The key to the game, according to Barr: “I mean the Chiefs have always been predicated on the offense, but depending on how functional Mahomes might be with his ankle, his defense might have step up.”
Barr has had some razzing by friends who are foes when it comes to their pick of the Birds in the Super Bowl – but he doesn’t mind.
Barr and City Council President Pete Madden, an Eagles fan, have a side bet that the loser will wear the other team’s jersey.
At Thursday’s City Council meeting, Barr showed up wearing his blazing red Chiefs jersey, while Madden sported a spiffy Eagles jacket.
Well, that makes one KC fan on the island, at least out of a solid sampling.
And as passionate as Barr is about the Chiefs, others in Ocean City are backing the Eagles all the way, including Ocean City Board of Education member Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes, who recalled growing up in South Philly.
Here are their predictions:
“It reminds me of my childhood home, family and friends, food, and great memories in always celebrating the Eagles wins — and the crazy parking. Anytime the Eagles played we never left our homes because we would not have a parking spot when we would come back home. It is ingrained in you when you grow up in Philadelphia and live the sports teams day by day. Go Birds! We love and stand by them with every drop of sweat, blood and tears shed.”
Ocean City High School Head Football Coach Kevin Smith:
“I like the Eagles. Everyone keeps doubting Philly. That’s great for them. They love that underdog role. I think their offensive and defensive lines are going to control the game. I’m thinking 27-24 Eagles.”
Assemblyman Antwan McClellan, of Ocean City:
“31-24 Eagles. I think the Eagles will win in the trenches, controlling the line of scrimmage with their offensive and defensive lines. Also, Councilman Barr thinks I’m his good luck charm because I was at his house when the Chiefs won last time, so I’m not sure if I should be over there again.”
Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian:
“Birds by 3! It’s the Eagles – more talent!”
Ocean City High School Girls Basketball Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley:
“Oh I am ALL in on the Eagles!!! Why? Philly Tough! My family is addicted to Eagles football!!!”
Ocean City Council President Pete Madden:
“Birds by 14. I’ve been a Birds fan all my life; this team has a great identity. They are full of guys that have character, they are focused and most importantly having fun.”
Ocean City Police Chief Jay Prettyman:
“I am rooting for the Eagles to support my hometown team!”
Jr. Raiders Pee Wee football team Head Coach Dominick Dougherty:
“Eagles 24-17. The defensive lines have played at a historic level this season. They will make it difficult for KC to run their offense. The offense has Pro-Bowl talent at every skill position and the best offensive line in the league. They will be hard to stop.”
Dougherty said there is another important factor when it comes to who would or should win the Super Bowl in his mind.
“It seems like the guys on the team truly enjoy playing with and for each other,” he said. “That brotherhood mentality is what separates good teams from great teams.”