BANGOR, Maine — The 50-inch TV was tuned in. Chili was simmering in the crockpot, Italian sausage was in the refrigerator, and the guests — mostly family members — were definitely going to be there.
Frank Booker was ready for Super Bowl XLVI.
“I have actually cleaned the house,” the 73-year-old weatherization tech and writer said. “My wife usually has a hand in this but she is in Scarborough. She will be back up here today.”
People such as Booker, a Wiley Street resident, were preparing the chips and dip all over New England Sunday afternoon in preparation for the New England Patriots’ rematch against the New York Giants. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
That the Super Bowl would be a New England-wide party was evident long before both teams would hit the field. Boston police said they expect to have more than 2,000 officers on the streets of Boston by the game’s halftime, focusing on areas near college campuses and sports bars, places where previous sports celebrations have turned wild.
Nothing quite so wild seemed expected in Maine. Twenty-nine-year-old Michealene Spencer of Eddington planned on spending Super Bowl Sunday with her parents in Baileyville in Washington County. Booker was expecting close to a dozen relatives, but Spencer and her family were keeping it small — just the four of them, she said.
“I am not a huge football fan, but a very big fan of any New England sports team. I look forward to the Super Bowl mainly for those who are big fans of the sport,” Spencer said. “I’d rather be watching the Celtics any day of the week.”
For Booker, the game wasn’t quite as important as the chance to get together with family.
“For some of us, the game means a lot. I am very interested in the rematch, but I am not so much an avid fan. I am not as much into sports,” Booker said.
Nick Lust is almost a polar opposite. The 24-year-old Bangor resident is a big Patriots fan who planned on having 10 or so family members over to his house for pizza, shrimp, spare ribs and football.
“I live in Maine so I have to be a Patriots fan,” Lust said. “I am hoping the Pats pull a win off. I am hoping it is a close game, an historical one where the Pats win by three points. You hope that this is one of the ones you remember for all time between the Giants and the Pats.”
The last time the teams met in the big game in 2008, the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots 17-14 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls played.
A Giants fan, 39-year-old Lincoln resident Eric Dubay found himself alone in “an absolute minority” at the Super Bowl party at his wife’s family’s house in East Winn. He relished it, spending time on Facebook and sending text messages talking smack and making predictions about what he hoped would be the Patriots ugly demise.
“We are waiting for things to get rolling. I am almost ready to hit a beverage,” Dubay said at about 1:30 p.m. “I want the Giants all the way. I am an avid Steelers fan and obviously, I like anybody but the Patriots.”
His prediction: New York 27, New England 20.
“Eli in a late charge … Gronk’s health is the key … Cruz with a big day for NYG,” was one of Dubay’s Facebook declarations.
“Truthfully I am hoping for a good game,” he said. “It should be a holiday so I am trying to just enjoy the day.”
Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.