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An ape, a porcupine and some manatees give their Super Bowl predictions

Published: Friday, Jan. 31 2014 3:45 p.m. MST

Eli, the big male orangutan, has chosen the Seattle Seahawks as the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII champions. Eli entered his enclosure where he was faced with paper mache helmets of the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, and chose to knock over the Seahawks' helmet at Utah's Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. There's analysis, there are facts and there are statistics. But there are also these weird ways of predicting the Super Bowl.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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Facts and analysis predict so much of what will happen in the Super Bowl.

But before you make your prediction on who will win, make sure to get some insight from an ape, a porcupine and a pair of manatees.

Let’s start with the ape. His name is Eli, he’s from Utah and he’s predicted the Super Bowl winner correctly for the past seven years, having made the wrong choice in 2006, according to The Washington Post. This year he’s chosen the Seattle Seahawks to claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy this Sunday when the Seattle side clashes with the Denver Broncos, The Post reported.

“He made his pick without any hesitation,” said Erica Hansen of Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, where Eli lives. He chose the Seahawks by knocking down a papier-mâché helmet with Seattle’s logo. Many of the zookeepers, Hansen told The Washington Post, were displeased with Eli’s choice, being “avid Broncos fans.”

This might be one ape worth listening to, as Hansen told The Post that Eli is “better than the Vegas odds-makers.”

If an ape doesn't fit your fancy, you can always take the word of a porcupine. The Huffington Post recently reported that Teddy Bear the porcupine also chose the Seattle Seahawks to leave MetLife Stadium with Super Bowl rings in a quick decision. Teddy Bear has correctly chosen the winners of Super Bowl 46 (New York Giants) and Super Bowl 47 (Baltimore Ravens), the Huffington Post said.

But then there’s this pair of manatees, who made their predictions earlier this week, according to WTSP, a Florida news station. One manatee, Hugh, picked the Seahawks, while Buffett, who accurately chose the winning team in the last six Super Bowls, chose the Broncos.

But animals only know so much about football predictions, it would seem. What are the people thinking? Well, nonfans are judging the game in many odd ways, according to The Urban Daily.

“The casual sports fan has not been crunching stats and really isn’t as invested as the suits at ESPN, but that won’t stop them (us) from having an opinion on who will walk away with the Vince Lombardi trophy,” senior editor Jerry L. Barrow wrote for the Daily.

Casual sports fans are choosing the Super Bowl winner by considering uniforms, mascots and whoever has the most fans at the Super Bowl party, the site said.

“Ultimately, if you don’t watch football or have a vested interest in who wins you will cheer for whoever the room is cheering for,” Barrow wrote.

Speaking of social environments, The Washington Post published a map that showed who is the favorite on social media. It seems much of the nation is picking Peyton Manning and the Broncos to win the big game, as the team is the predicted winner by 60 percent of the nation. The map shows 16 percent of the country are in support of the Seahawks and 24 percent consider the game a “toss-up,” The Post reported.

“If this were an election, the Broncos would be walking away with 405 electoral votes, nearly the amount George Bush won by in 1988,” Niraj Chokshi wrote. “Fortunately for Seahawks fans, this map has no bearing on the game — it’s just something fun to look over during your lunch break. Back to work!”

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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