For many people, the teams playing in the Super Bowl usually aren't as important as the people with whom you watch the game. For Commack resident Scott Schneider, this has been the case for the past five years. Since arriving in Commack from Staten Island in 2003, Schneider has become a local legend, known for his big personality, love of poker and his annual Super Bowl bash.
This year was no exception. For Schneider's Fifth Annual Super Bowl Party, the regulars showed up all throughought the day Sunday. Starting the festivities in the early afternoon with snacks, beer and pizza, the night seemed promising, if for no other reason than the sheer diversity amongst the party's attendees: Dave Martino, a lifelong Cowboys fan, and Mark Whitney who was raised in Maine and is a steadfast Patriots fan. Jon Oehme, of Commack, heavily repped his Jets gear, while Schneider proudly wore his Giants cap.
When the game started, everyone who was left settled in to watch and play poker.
“It’s a great game between gunslingers” said Whitney, of Kings Park, during the first half. “It's still very disappointing that the Pats are out, they were the regular season champs who should have won.”
While Green Bay was looking strong at the end of the first half, all in the room agreed that the halftime show was very weak. Questions existed such as why hasn’t Metallica done this yet and why didn’t they get Springsteen again. Also, what seemed to be lacking were the commercials. The only time anyone seemed to pay attention was for movie trailers such as Transformers 3, which got a grunt from Oehme, and The Avengers, which received unanimous praise from the crowd.
“Im not scared Pittsburgh is losing by 11,” said, Mike Renzulli, of Selden, seeming confident after the first half. “Big Ben in the second will be messing everyone up.”
As the game rolled on, the pizza boxes emptied and the cheese and crackers wore out their welcome, but beer, as always was still in demand. The game was starting to get close, with Pittsburgh scoring a touchdown to make it 21-17 and talk of a comeback filled the room. The poker game seemed to feed off the energy of the game, with all players acting as competitive as the men on the field in Arlington.
As the third quarter wound down, one commercial caught the attention of all in the room: an advertisement of football spirit carried on by characters Homer Simpson, Steve Urkel and the Fonz from Happy Days. This brief retribution for a night of boring commercials seemed to come just in time for the game to get really exciting.
In the fourth quarter, Renzulli and Whitney were stoked when Pittsburgh got within three after a Wallace touchdown with 7:40 to go. The game remained close throughout the rest of the quarter, as did the poker tournament, with Schneider and Whitney yelling at eachother in the heat of the moment.
Despite Pittsburgh making for an exciting match, Green Bay held up to win it all and bring the trophy home. As the game ended, the party wound down and all guests parted ways, knowing they'll be back next year to do it all over again.