ARABIAN SEA (NNS) -- Don't blame Sailors assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) if they start to believe the Super Bowl starts at 3:00 a.m. every season. For the second consecutive year, they watched the National Football League's championship game at sea, in the 5th Fleet area of operations, Feb. 6th.
Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are currently deployed supporting maritime security and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 5th fleet area of responsibility.
Sailors woke early and found their way to the ship's common areas for an early Monday morning version of an American tradition, nine hours ahead of those watching in the Eastern Time Zone where the game started at 6:18 p.m Sunday.
The command's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Division, Second Class Petty Officer Association (SCPOA), and the carrier's Supply Department provided a festive way for Sailors to enjoy the Super Bowl even at the early morning hours.
Members of the SCPOA set up tables, shuttled fresh food from the galleys to the mess decks and helped decorate.
"We are trying to bring that overall spirit of the Super Bowl to the mess decks by increasing morale, bringing everyone together, and enjoying the little things that we're missing while away from home," said Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class (SW/AW) Joshua Aziz, the SCPOA vice president.
Festivities kicked-off with more than 500 Sailors ready to watch the game on the mess decks, Chief's mess and in the wardroom. Supply Department, S-2 Division served football favorites like pizza, nachos, and hot wings. The mess decks were also decorated with Patriots and Giants streamers and paper team helmets to support both teams.
"I've been a Patriot fan since I was eight," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Vincent Cardente of Air Department while wearing a Patriots sweatshirt over his uniform. "This is a big event for our country and even though we're not with our family, it's great to have an event on the mess decks like this."
MWR displayed the Super Bowl on a big screen and on four TVs throughout the mess decks. Sailors were also encouraged to show their team spirit and wear a jersey or ball cap.
"Having the Super Bowl on the mess decks really boosts my morale and it was something to look forward to," said Aviation Boatswain Mate (Handling) 3rd Class (AW) Steven Greene of Air Department while sporting a Giant jersey with the name of the game's eventual Most Valuable Player, Eli Manning, on the back. "I'm from New Jersey and grew up a Giant fan."
MWR also hosted a paper football field goal kicking contest at half-time and gave out water bottles and T-shirts.
"Having a Super Bowl party is important because it signifies home for many crewmembers," said Therese Guinane, Vinson's Fun Boss. "During an event like this, many Sailors would be home with their families because it's a national pastime, so no matter where we are, we still bring Sailors these kinds of events."
"This takes the mind off every day stress," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Travis Stephens, SCPOA president. "Everyone can come down to the mess decks and not have to worry about anything, get together with their Shipmates, have good food and watch a good football game."
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