Greg "Slash" Cummings says he has been coming to Ozzie's at the Fountain Bowl every day for the last 17 years. He doesn't come for the bowling; he estimates having bowled there maybe 10 times in his life. Instead, he comes for the camaraderie, especially on Sundays during pro football season.
And for him, it doesn't get any better than Ozzie's on Super Bowl Sunday.
"I'm always here. Everybody here knows everybody," said Cummings, a die-hard Rams fan who was rooting for the Patriots after picking them in the second week of the season to go all the way to the Super Bowl. "You can come in here for the first time and feel welcomed right away and make new friends. This is the only place I would want to be."
That was the prevailing attitude for most people Sunday afternoon as they packed the sports bars in and around Fountain Valley to watch Super Bowl XLVI (that's 46) from Indianapolis.
Ozzie's was one of many sports bars offering reduced prices on drinks and food, as well as free giveaways from shirts and hats to a box of chocolate.
"That's what I had my eye on and I won it!" exclaimed Tammy Sides, who claimed a $150 box of gold-wrapped chocolates. "I feel like a winner."
For Patriots fans like "Boston" Eddie Ellard, who has been a regular at Silky Sullivan's since 1986, he came for the atmosphere and the fact that it's within walking distance of his home. Ellard thought the key to the game would be the Patriots defense, and although they played well it wasn't good enough for the win.
Greg Martin of Fountain Valley came to Silky's with Patty Monroe because he is Irish and Silky's "is a good Irish," he said. They also were rooting for the Pats, as was Angelica Guttierrez of Tustin, who wore a Tom Brady jersey. She came to see the game, the commercials, the atmosphere and the guys--in that order.
"I lived in New York, but (New Yorkers) are so arrogant I became a Patriots fan," she said. "They are a solid team and they've proved it every year for the last 10 years. It's great here because it's not too overcrowded."
George Najjar of Fountain Valley is originally from Rhode Island where he rooted for the Giants for 50 years. Christopher Aizard of Costa Mesa is a Giants fan who traveled to San Francisco two weeks ago to watch his team win the NFC championship. And John Corbett of Fountain Valley was pulling for the Giants because his team, the Washington Redskins, defeated the Giants twice this season so a win in the Super Bowl would make his team look much better.
Meanwhile, Steve Parsons of Fountain Valley says he came to Silky's because of the great giveaway prizes each time a team scores. With the teams combining to score eight different times, there were plenty of scoring opportunities for the fans so everybody felt like a winner.