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The best trick to ward off the January blahs? Football fever, of course. The Super Bowl has long been America’s favorite TV spectacle, and patriotic sentiment in the wake of Sept. 11 makes this year’s game more meaningful than ever. And why not? With so many fans decked out in war paint — and celebrities slated for the halftime show — the Super Bowl has always been a showcase for America’s stars and stripes. We spoke with three in-house counsel about their plans for Super Bowl season, including their predictions for this year’s matchup, slated for Feb. 3 in New Orleans. Since all three GCs hail from cities known to be hotbeds of football fever — Chicago; Green Bay, Wis.; and Cleveland — we also inquired about the antics of their cities’ most devout fans. RAYMOND BERENS Senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. The Legal Department Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co. is the world’s largest producer of racquets and team sporting goods, with annual sales exceeding $600 million and more than 3,000 employees worldwide. The company has produced all the balls used in the Super Bowl since 1941. The Game Plan While a delegation of Wilson employees will staff the company’s exhibit at the game, Berens and his family will watch the Super Bowl from their home base in Chicago. “It’s the only game all year that my wife will watch with me,” Berens laughs. “She doesn’t care about football, but she’s in advertising, so she can’t miss those commercials.” Anticipation of the big game is a bit more intense at work, where Wilson employees face off in an office pool for a top prize of bragging rights. “Everybody wants to outguess everyone else,” Berens says, “so they’re glued to the games all season.” As befits the GC of a sporting goods company, Berens has athletic aspirations for his family’s winter plans. “Skating, skiing and sledding with my two kids — ages 4 and 6. It’s the only way to get through a five-month-long Chicago winter!” The Matchup “I really want the Bears to make it this year. It’s been so long.” LAWRENCE SALIBRA II Senior counsel, Alcan Aluminum Corp. The Legal Department Mayfield, Ohio-based Alcan Aluminum Corp. is the world’s second-largest aluminum producer, with $3.4 billion in annual revenue. The company, which employs 10,000 people in seven countries, manufactures metal products for a variety of industries. The Game Plan In his hometown of Cleveland, Salibra says, football fever is hard to avoid. “You’ll see people at the symphony, at museums — and they’re all decked out in Cleveland Browns gear!” The Browns’ defection to Baltimore in 1996, he adds, only heightened Cleveland fans’ ardor. “Now that we’re building up a new Browns team, everybody’s waiting for revenge on the [Baltimore] Ravens!” In spite of his surroundings, Salibra himself is not much of a pigskin fan. He and his wife get enough sports action, he says, supporting his 17-year-old son’s swim team: He keeps score, she mans the computers. And in lieu of Super Bowl parties, they throw carbfests for the budding athletes, with plenty of pizza and pasta. As for office outbreaks of the football bug, Salibra has an easy fix. A couple of times a season, “when a victory warrants it,” Alcan employees can wear their Browns regalia to work. The Matchup “The Browns against the Ravens, of course!” DANIEL FERRIS Corporate attorney, Secura Insurance Companies. The Legal Department The Appleton-based Secura Insurance Companies has been a Wisconsin fixture since 1900. The company, which employs 400 associates and a two-man legal team, reported $204 million in revenues in 2000. The Game Plan No city takes the Super Bowl as seriously as Green Bay, where so-called Packer Parties are common, and the colors of choice are green and gold. Every year Ferris and friends from work view the Super Bowl at the attorney’s home, where his young children — all Packers fans in the making — root for hometown hero Brett Favre, the team’s star quarterback. The celebration carries over to the office, where Secura employees have been known to don Packers gear. Yet there are a few dissenters in the crowd, Ferris says: “Some people cheer for the Chicago Bears, so we’ve got a friendly rivalry going on.” Ferris also has a few tips for making it through a blustery Wisconsin winter: “Use the snow to your advantage! We’ve got four kids under the age of 7, so we just send them outside to let off steam.” The Matchup “So long as the Packers are in it, I don’t care who they end up playing!”

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