I’ve never been on the west coast for “The Big Game”. First time for everything and thanks to the Fire coaching staff, we’ll all have the afternoon off to watch the game beginning at 3:30pm out here on the west coast.
In advance of the “match”, I polled Fire players on who they wanted to see win the game. What ensued was a bit of an open conversation, interjections of soccer terminology and other hilarity…
Jeff Crandall: Hey Steven Kinney, who do you have in Wednesday’s “Big Game"?
Steven Kinney: I’d like to see the Ravens win. I’d like to see Ray Lewis go out on top. 1-0 Ravens.
JC: What about you Chris Rolfe?
Chris Rolfe: I have Coach Harbaugh.
JC: The Gaffer has already been joking about that... You can’t steal his thunder.
Chris Rolfe: Who’s playing? I like the 49ers. Tied: 1-1.
JC: Why do you think the 49ers?
Chris Rolfe: Because we’re in Northern California
JC: We’re in Southern California.
Logan Pause: We did drive an hour and a half north of LAX but we’re still in Southern California. California’s a big state.
JC: Who do you have winning the Super Bowl, el capitan?
Logan Pause: I have the Baltimore Ravens Football Club. 2-1 Ravens.
JC: When did they add FC to the title? Why do you have them?
Logan Pause: They’re on a great run right now, riding a lot of emotion. It’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon.
JC: Jalil Anibaba, you’re from NorCal… Who do you have winning the Big Game?
Jalil Anibaba: I’m a bit indifferent because I’m a Raiders fan. I like Ray Lewis a lot but I gotta stay with my Cali team and go with the 49ers. (2-2 tie).
JC: Hell freezing over? A Raiders fan cheering for the Niners?
Jalil Anibaba: I think they play good football. Their attack – I mean its not soccer – their offense is amazing and they’re exciting to watch so I’m going with them.
JC: Arne Friedrich, you’re a self-described “big Bears supporter”. Who do you have in Sunday’s match?
Arne Friedrich: I have no interest in either of these teams. For me it is always about the Bears.
JC: Arne, folks want to know what you think.
Arne Friedrich: If you’re forcing me to an answer, I’ll say Ravens but I don’t like it. (3-2 Ravens)
JC: Hey Gonzalo Segares, you’re from Costa Rica, I bet you’re a long-time 49ers fan.
Gonzalo Segares: Yes, the 49ers are actually my team. (3-3 tie).
JC: I was just joking. They’re your team? How so? Since when?
Gonzalo Segares: Since living in Costa Rica. In the early 90s my cousin was a 49ers fan so he had Steve Young and Jerry Rice posters – since then I’ve been following them.
JC: So you actually followed American football in Costa Rica?
Gonzalo Segares: Yes that’s where I learned how it was played by watching it on TV and then I became a bigger fan when I moved to the States in college
JC: So we’re tied at 3-3 (21-21 in American football). This is about as high scoring as soccer gets. To break the tie, I’ll ask Equipment Manager Charles Raycroft who he thinks will win.
Charles Raycroft: San Francisco 49ers. I like Colin Kaepernick and I do not like Ray Lewis.
JC: As always Charles, you're short and to the point.
There you have it, according to the Chicago Fire, the San Francisco 49ers will be crowned champions of “Big Game XLVII”.