Super Bowl XLVIII will be the center of attention in millions of households around the world Sunday night.
With the top-ranked scoring offense (Denver Broncos) pitted against the #1-ranked scoring defense (Seattle Seahawks) the stage is set for what could be an epic battle.
There’s plenty of interest locally. This writer used his Facebook account to solicit predictions and comments from football fans who have ties to Galion. Many responded, and the purpose of this article is to make public what the thoughts of some of those prognosticators are.
Ryan Roston was an All-Ohio basketball player at Galion High School in the mid 1990s. He went on to star collegiately at Otterbein College (now University) and his son, Logan, is a chip off the old block, having earned All-Ohio honors in football at Marysville High School in addition to being one of the leading scorers in basketball in the Columbus area.
“Denver wins 24 - 17 when Peyton Manning lobs one of his “ducks” over Richard Sherman’s head to Demariyous Thomas in the 4th quarter,” Ryan stated.
Scott Gifford — a 10-year Marine, successful businessman, and a 1992 GHS graduate who had the distinction of playing backup to Nate Reinking as a shooting guard — said, “Denver wins. Peyton (Manning) is the master of preparation. Two weeks to prepare and he will torch Seattle. He’s the Man(n).”
Nate Lovely is a 1996 GHS graduate. He was the starting quarterback for the Tigers in the mid-90s and starred in baseball for the Orange-and-Blue. A long-time assistant football coach at GHS, Nate stated, “Broncos 27, Seahawks 24.
Manning still the best QB in the league, and (Russell) Wilson is almost elite. Wilson makes a couple costly mistakes and the Broncos turn them in to points. P.S. I’m ready for high school football!”
Josh Humberson — a 2011 GHS graduate who started on the offensive line as a junior for the 2009 Northern Ohio League championship squad that posted a 10-1 record — has a differing opinion from Roston, Gifford and Lovely.
“I’m gonna predict Seahawks over the Broncos, 32-24,” Josh, who competes competitively in archery, noted. “Seahawks secondary will be too much for even Peyton to handle. Especially in the cold, which we all know Manning struggles in.”
John Lunsford — a 40-something, frustrated lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns — bitterly recalls the three times the Broncos defeated Cleveland in the AFC championship game. Those stinging losses weigh heavily in his prediction. “23-17 Seahawks will win,” Mr. Lunsford said. “I am a Browns’ fan, so I hate Denver … that’s my formula.”
At the other end of the spectrum is former Galion Inquirer sports editor and current elementary school teacher in Crestline, Cory Forshaw.
“Been a Broncos fan since the mere age of 8 when Denver played Dallas in the ‘78 Super Bowl and lost,” noted Cory. ” I spent that game with my grandma and grandpa and great grandma (last solid memory of all of us together). Lost four Super Bowls after that before Elway finally got it right… Manning makes it three in a row for the Broncos in an instant classic— makes 4shaw-nuts — 31-29 final-minute win.”
Galion councilman Eric Webber foresees a shootout with the Broncos prevailing. Webber predicts, “Denver’s number-one offense will be just a bit much for Seattle’s number-one defense in a battle where the new age of the NFL will be beaten by Peyton Manning’s traditional brilliance, showing fans that a great pocket-passer and a well-rounded team is the constant recipe for success. 38-31.”
And MY prediction??? (I don’t know why anybody would care).
I’m goin’ with Denver 31, Seattle 20.
I think Peyton Manning has too many weapons and options for the ‘hawks to handle. Five receivers and a solid tailback. He’s also got perhaps the quickest release in the NFL, meaning the Seahawks will struggle getting to him. If they decide to blitz him, they better disguise their packages or he’s gonna tear ‘em up.