Super Bowl fuels family feud

Steelers, Packers fans ready for Super Bowl face-off
By: Matt Long
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Melvin Banning has been a Green Bay Packers fan for as long as he can remember. What the 79-year-old Sacramento resident can’t figure out is why the rest of his family is fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. All he knows is it will be a long day for them on Sunday. “They’re going to be eating a lot of crow,” Banning said. “I think the Packers will win by at least 14 points because they’re playing against a lousy team.” Banning’s son, Elmo, became a Steelers fan in 1974. “I moved away for college and the guy I was living with told me I could live with him only if I was a Steelers fan,” Elmo said. “I didn’t really have a favorite football team, if anything I leaned toward the Packers, but I’ve been a Steelers fan ever since.” “I disowned him,” Banning said with a laugh when he found out his son was a Steelers fan. Grandson Jordan joked, “They just started talking again.” Elmo’s wife, Sheila, became a Steelers fan when she met her husband. The couple has lived in Folsom since 1990 and have two sons, Evan, 28, and Jordan, 27, both graduates of Folsom High. Both are Steelers fans and Jordan’s fiancée, Brittany Gregory, is also a Steelers fan. “I didn’t really have a team, but I’ve been converted to the Steelers since meeting Jordan,” Gregory said. Like the eldest Banning is loyal to the Packers, the Steelers’ fans feel their team will be victorious. Elmo said the Steelers would win by eight. Jordan says Steelers by 10. Sheila thinks the game will be closer, predicting the Steelers by three. “They give me a hard time for liking the Packers,” Banning said, “but my grandsons broke down and bought me this Green Bay Packer sweatshirt for Christmas.” While being a Packers fan has Banning in the minority in his own family, there are other Packers fans out there. Folsom resident Kevin Totushek, 47, grew up in Wisconsin and is a diehard fan of the Packers. “Growing up my aunt and uncle lived a block and a half from Lambeau Field so I would go up during the summer and be there through training camp,” Totushek said. “I got to meet all the players.” As a life-long Packers fan, Totushek has a lot of Packers gear which he wears proudly. He attended the Super Bowl the last two times Green Bay played in the game in 1997 and 1998 and he said he might go to this year’s game as well. Either way he expects a good game. “Even when the Packers were lousy I never picked them to lose,” Totushek said. “I think it’s a pretty evenly-matched game, but I expect the local boy, Aaron Rodgers from Cal, to have success and I think the Packers will win.” A Packers win would keep peace in the Totushek family, that’s for sure. “My kids are Packers fans, probably because they know when the Packers win dad’s happy and in a good mood,” Totushek said. El Dorado Hills’ resident Bob Yeadon is also a Wisconsin transplant that’s pulling for the Packers. The 56-year-old grew up in Manitowoc, a town 30 miles south of Green Bay. “When you’re that close the local team is a part of you,” Yeadon said. “I have a number of autographed pictures of Packers in the 1960s. I try to watch all their games. I guess you could say I’m a diehard. They probably own more of me than I’d like to admit.” Yeadon knows a win Sunday over the Steelers will be tough to come by. “I hope the Packers win,” Yeadon said. “They’ve made it difficult to watch this year as a lot of their games have come down to the end. They seem to always make it exciting.”