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Who is winning the battle of the fandom

NEW YORK -- Seahawks 61, Broncos 46.

That's not my prediction for the score of Super Bowl XLVIII. It's my count of the number of people in team apparel that passed by me in New York's Times Square during a 20-minute period Saturday.

For days, it has appeared to our Seattle eyes that there are more blue-clad Seahawks fans in town that orange-clad Broncos fans. The discrepancy seemed sharpest early in the week, with the gap narrowing by Saturday.

But I've also noticed that people tend to see what they're looking for.

Seahawks fan Ted Macomber of Port Orchard told me at times it seems like Seattle fans outnumber Denver fans 10-to-1.

But Brooklyn's Shweta Tripathi, born and raised in Denver, said she is seeing "way more Bronco fans." At one attraction along Super Bowl Boulevard, she said she saw a cluster of Broncos fans and hardly a Seahawks fan in sight.

That's why I planted myself in the heart of Super Bowl madness at 1:30 p.m. Saturday to take a snapshot of situation.

I stood right behind a lamp post, so I wouldn't get swept away by the tide of humanity coursing through the intersection of West 43rd Street and Super Bowl Boulevard. (That's the name that a pedestrian-only stretch of Broadway has been assigned this week.)

From here, I could see everyone passing by on my side of the street, and I tallied the numbers of people wearing gear for the two Super Bowl teams.

I needed to see some sort of team logo. A plain blue jacket didn't count. Nor did the orange cap one guy wore, which I saw as he grew close was from Syracuse University, where they call their teams the Orange.

I had hoped to record each particular jersey name or number, but many people were wearing coats that covered up some of their jerseys, and some just wore hats or scarves with team emblems.

The great majority of people walking by wore no discernible team gear. And there was a smattering of fans wearing stuff from teams not in Sunday's game: Giants, Jets, Steelers, Packers, Raiders and 49ers.

For the Seattle and Denver fans, I recorded not just team but gender. The results:

Seahawks gear: 44 men, 17 women, 61 total. Broncos gear: 34 men, 12 women, 46 total.

That might not mesh with the observations of either team's loyal followers, and it will be interesting to see whether one camp can outshout the other in MetLife Stadium. But after what has seemed like an interminable buildup, this much is good to know:

Within hours, we'll know the only score that counts.

(c)2014 The Seattle Times

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