The chancellor and the former chancellor of New Mexico State University agree, and so does a New Mexico cabinet secretary, the mayor of Las Cruces and the president pro-tem of the New Mexico State Senate. But the county clerk, the county manager, the sheriff, the fire chief and the interim superintendent of schools have a different opinion.
The vital question is: Who will win Super Bowl LIV? It will be played Sunday, Feb. 2, in Miami between the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs and the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.
Here are the opinions of some local leaders (and me).
- Richard Parra, owner of the Hood and former owner of Spirit Winds: SF 34, KC 24; favorite team: New England Patriots.
- Mayor Ken Miyagishima: KC 21, SF 17; favorite team: Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders.
- Nicole Martinez, executive director of Mesilla Valley Community of Hope: SF 30, KC 13; favorite team: 49ers.
- City Councilor Yvonne Flores, either SF 13, KC 3 or SF 7 KC 6; favorite team: 49ers.
- City Councilor Johana Bencomo: KC 28, SF 24; favorite team: “To be honest, football is not my favorite sport, but I am competitive,” Bencomo said. “I'll say the Denver Broncos given my Colorado roots.”
- City Councilor Gabe Vasquez, SF 35, KC 28; favorite team: 49ers. “Six Super Bowls, here we go,” Vasquez said.
- Las Cruces Fire Chief Eric Enriquez: SF 45, KC 38; favorite team: Pittsburg Steelers.
- Henry Brutus, executive director of La Casa, Inc. domestic violence shelter: SF 35, KC 34; favorite team: Miami Dolphins.
- City Communications Director Udell Vigil: SF 31, KC 28; favorite team: Arizona Cardinals.
- Andy Hume, Las Cruces International Airport administrator: KC 31, SF 24; favorite team: Buffalo Bills.
- Mary Kay Papen, president pro-tem of the state Senate, KC 38, SF27; favorite team: Dallas Cowboys.
- Doña Ana County Commissioner Manuel Sanchez: SF 31, KC 27; favorite team: Raiders.
- County Commissioner Shannon Reynolds: KC 41, SF 28; favorite team: New Orleans Saints.
- Greg Smith, executive director of the Doña Ana Arts Council: SF 21, KC 14; favorite team: 49ers.
- Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda Lopez Askin: SF 37, KC 31. “The only football I watch is Aggie Football, and I’m more likely to be watching the Puppy Bowl than anything else,” Lopez Askin said. “Having said that, I’ll always root for the underdog. From what I research, there doesn't seem to be a clear underdog, so, because my friend, Roberto, loves the49ers, I’ll pick them. Seems like as good a reason as any!”
• New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary (and former Doña Ana County commissioner and state representative) Bill McCamley: KC 34, SF 27.
- NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu: KC 31, SF 27; favorite team: Cowboys, a team he has “followed since the 1960s,” Arvizu said. “I think it’ll be a good game,” he added, predicting a KC air attack win over SF’s ground game.
- Former New Mexico Governor and NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers: KC 31, SF 27; favorite team: Denver Broncos.
- Doña Ana Community College President Monica Torres: KC 35, SF 28; no favorite team but tend to favor smaller market teams like KC, Indianapolis, Buffalo;
- Karen Trujillo, interim superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools: SF 27, KC 24; favorite team: Dallas. “Don't count KC out,” Trujillo said. “They have proven they can come from behind. However, the 49ers are hard to stop. I think it will be a competitive, close game, but I think the 49ers will come out on top.”
- Doña Ana County Manager Fernando Macias: SF 37, KC 31; favorite team: Cowboys, “despite this last season, which he regarded as ‘quite depressing.’”
- Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart doesn’t follow the NFL but supports several of her deputies who are die-hard 49ers fans.”
- County Media and Public Communications Manager Kelly Jameson: SF 21, KC 17; favorite team: Cowboys.
- Mike Cook, Las Cruces Bulletin reporter: KC 41, SF 31. Favorite team: I have followed the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs for more than 50 years. I remember when KC won Super Bowl IV in January 1970 – Coach Hank Stram, quarterback Lyn Dawson, kicker Jan Stenerud (he scored the first nine points in the game), wide receiver Otis Taylor, punter Jerrel Wilson, tight end Morris Stroud and many other great players. I love the Chiefs with all my heart. And, since I wrote this, I get to, literally and figuratively, have the last word.