An air base in Eastern Saudi Arabia - There might be a war on, but the men and women of the U.S. Air Force here are going to make time for the Super Bowl - if Saddam Hussein lets them.
"I'm sure there are a whole lot of people that are going to watch it. People are even trying to rearrange their schedules so they can watch it," said Lt. Col. Frank Waddell, 40, of San Diego, a doctor with the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing from Langley AFB, Va."You need something to take your mind off what the reality is around here," Waddell said. Waddell revealed that there is a "humongous pool" on the base for the game, but other Air Force personnel refused to discuss the pool, laughing and claiming the information was classified.
Capt. Steven Jacobson, 31, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., said only slackers in the war effort will miss the game. "If we didn't have the Super Bowl, it would be like Saddam Hussein won one. He'd be changing the American way of life."
The base has a number of televisions, and the men and women plan on stocking up on snacks for the game. In Saudi Arabia, there is no beer, so they'll be drinking sodas and near-beer.
Troops at the front will have to listen to the game on the radio. Because of the time change, U.S. forces will hear the kickoff shortly after 2 a.m. Monday. Some of them say they'll be awake at that time anyway because of Scud missile alarms.
The Super Bowl "is small compared to a war, definitely, but to get our minds off being bombed we need something like that," said Sgt. Navoy Frederick, 27, of Philadelphia.
Lt. Kate Mangion, 30, of Foxborough, Mass., says she'll be watching at kickoff time. "It's a little piece of home out here in Saudi Arabia. I haven't been following football that closely because my team is the New England Patriots."
Pressed for details about the classified base pool, Sgt. Glenn Castleberry, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., said, "Officially we couldn't tell you about that. Officially I couldn't tell you that I won $40 on the NFC Championship."
"Life goes on around here," Cas-tleberry said. "You wouldn't cancel Christmas, would you? The Super Bowl is a tradition, just like Christ-mas."