Miguel Ponce shows his Los Angeles pride with a Rams jersey and helmet at Vincenzo's Newhall Pizza. Matt Fernandez/The Signal

Santa Clarita residents hit the town to cheer on the Rams

Football is an American institution and with the Los Angeles Rams playing against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, not even the rain could keep Santa Clarita residents from celebrating the game throughout town.

Agua Dulce Winery

Guests mingle and enjoy a potluck at the Agua Dulce Winery’s Super Bowl party. Matt Fernandez/The Signal

Agua Dulce Winery held its eighth annual Super Bowl party, which featured games, prizes and a potluck.

Steve Wizan said the first time he held the party, it was a way to engage members of the wine club. The event drew 150 guests and Wizan has held the event every year since.

“We’re all about having a memorable, family-friendly experience and that’s what the Super Bowl and Super Bowl parties are all about,” he said. “You can see highlights of a certain Super Bowl and remember exactly where you were that day.”

Dwayne Wilson is a member of the Agua Dulce Wine club and attended the Super Bowl party for his second time.

“Even though we don’t really know anyone when we come here, at the end of the day we’re all cheering with each other and having a good time, so this is a great way to come and make new friends,” Wilson said. “House parties are fun because it’s just your friends and family but it’s a whole new dynamic when you don’t know the other people and are bonding with them through the game. I want to make coming here an annual tradition.”

Deanna Rodriguez came with her friend to tour the winery and have a picnic and was scared that the rain had ruined her chance to eat with her friend, but was encouraged by Wizan to stay for the Super Bowl party.

“We actually came here on Super Bowl Sunday because we thought there would not be as many people so the party was actually a nice surprise,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez participated in the football throwing contest and won a bottle of wine. Though she does not watch the football, she was impressed by the friendly atmosphere and energy of the other attendees and said she is encouraged to come again next year.

Vincenzo’s Newhall Pizza

Rep. Katie Hill stopped by Vincenzo’s Newhall Pizza to meet with old friends and celebrate Los Angeles’ football team. Matt Fernandez/ The Signal

Pizza and football lovers like Miguel Ponce and his family flocked to Vincenzo’s pizzeria on Sunday to cheer on the Rams.

Ponce said that though he originally planned to celebrate the game at his house, the rain cancelled those plans.

“Luckily we know the owner of VIncenzo’s and he invited us to enjoy the game here,” Ponce said. “There’s a really good turnout here and we all like football so it’s a good time.”

Rep. Katie Hill also swung by Vincenzo’s for some pizza, to watch the game and to reconnect with friends. She said she wanted to do something casual around the Super Bowl that would let her talk with people she has not seen since before the election.

She said she was excited to watch the Rams play and that after seeing the L.A. Dodgers lose the World Series recently, a Rams win would provide a huge local morale boost.

“Our regional team is playing on such a national stage and even people who don’t watch football feel a sense of unity right now,”  Hill said. “If you live in this area, unless you’re a Boston transplant you’re going to be rooting for the Rams. I love how sports help unify us and remind us that we are all Santa Claritans and Americans.”

Schooners Patio Grille

Tina and Tom Moran visited Schooners Patio Grille, one of their favorite restaurants to cheer on the Rams. Matt Fernandez/ The Signal

Tom Moran, his wife Tina and their children decided to show their support for the Rams at Schooners Patio Grille because they said it is one of their favorite restaurants.

“It so much fun to be here with the atmosphere and now it feels like home to us,” Tina said. “As Santa Clarita residents it’s so much fun to watch our team play in the Super Bowl. Win, loss or draw we’re still happy.”

Tom has been a Rams fan for 45 years and though his team has won the Super Bowl before, he said that this game day is extra special.

“It’s so great that the Rams have finally returned to the L.A. area, and especially to see them play against the Patriots who we don’t like at all,” he said. “You don’t have to be a fan of football to come to a place like this and watch the Super Bowl, but it’s the biggest game of the year so it’s just a great way to get together and have fun.”

Angie Anaya lives in Ventura but decided to come to Schooners to watch the game after a friend recommended it for the energy and atmosphere.

“I’m a Chargers fan and though I was hoping they made it to the Super Bowl, it’s amazing to have an L.A. team playing today,” she said.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings employees Guynella Key, Spencer Mossor, and Michael Zimes help keep the energy up as they serve restaurant patrons. Matt Fernandez/ The Signal

Buffalo Wild Wings opened at 10 a.m. and after a brief lull, was soon flooded with takeout orders and guests who wanted to celebrate game day at the restaurant.

Spencer Mossor is usually a server but took on emcee duties to help engage the guests and announce different prize giveaways, including jerseys, coolers, gift cards and fire pits.

“I’m having a great time here just trying to entertain myself and everyone else in the process,” Mossor said. “I love this job because I get to hang around people who are enjoying watching the same things I’m watching, while I get to help serve them beer and food. We just got the Rams back and they took us to the Super Bowl so that’s extra special.”

Jack Walls said he chose Buffalo Wild Wings as his game day spot because he enjoys the atmosphere and friendly service he always receives.

“Football is such a great sport because it helps bring people together,” he said. “The Super Bowl is especially an American tradition that both encourages competition and camaraderie among people. We own four of the seats at the Rams’ stadium so we’re excited to see them play and the only thing better than being here would be to actually see the game live.”

Though a majority of the patrons energetically voiced their support for the Rams, a few people like Andrew Akhkashian cheered for the Patriots.

“After I saw the Patriots first play in the Super Bowl against the Giants, I really liked how Tom Brady played so I’ve been a fan of the team ever since,” Akhkashian said. “I already know that the Patriots are going to win so I’m not worried and it’s fun being a Patriots fan because even though everyone is rooting against my team, once they win I’ll be happy,”  

Buffalo Wild Wings patrons cheer on the Los Angeles Rams. Matt Fernandez/ The Signal

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