So, another year and your team are not in it. So, everyone must pick a side as they say but you are torn. Okay maybe not torn as much as maybe you don’t really care as long as it is a good game. For instance, last year, the game came down to the last plays so most of the watching world put down the hot wing for a minute to see the crescendo ending. For those Seattle fans who took the brutal loss on the jaw, you got another year to recover and hopefully you find your way back. Last year also had two teams that didn’t have the beloved player that everyone roots for to succeed. Tom Brady and Richard Sherman are both polarizing characters that do not garnish a lot of love outside of their teams fan base so the game was more about the matchup of two good teams.
This year has the two big stories of Peyton Manning’s possibly swan song of a career and Cam Newton’s first appearance in the big show. Both of these guys have their detractors, but they are also the biggest stars of their teams. Manning comes into this game on his last legs and is in a position where he doesn’t have to do all of the heavy lifting as in prior years. Denver’s defense is really good and must be at the ultimate best to stop the Cam Newton express. Newton and his boys have been solid all year and present a daunting task for Denver to overtake.
I am sure the betting in Vegas will be siding with Carolina but how much the spread will end up is yet to be determined. As the game gets closer there will be some angst and nervousness about who to take. The Carolina defense has been crushing and putting a lot of heat on the quarterbacks and this is the biggest dilemma for Manning. We all saw the melt down when Denver played Seattle and I am sure he is very aware of having a good start. He will have to pull every Omaha and every audible trick up his sleeve to get one by the Carolina boys.
As for Cam Newton and his rise as a superstar and MVP, he can validate the season and career and with a victory. Every quarterback that plays in the big game knows the status a victory brings to a career. Manning won one Super Bowl after a storied career but if Newton does not win this one, he will discover how hard and desperate it can be to get back on top. Seattle made it twice in a row but will find it harder and harder to make it back with the same core squad. The change- over in personnel and parity in the NFL gives you a three window to make it with your current team make up. Newton has looked really good and will be a force to contend with but Denver who just survived the Tom Brady show will be up to the task.
I want Manning to win this one because he seems like he has done everything with class in his career. In a karma kind of way that should be rewarded. I didn’t root for him in his prior Super Bowl attempts when he was with Indy and when he was with Denver, he really let me down. I had plunked down some money on a Super Bowl pool like most of football fans and was delighted to see the number 0 and 0 come up. I was thinking that I had a good chance to win a prize. First play of the game, you saw it, a safety against Denver and the 2 to nothing score sent me straight to the beer keg. That was one of worst Super Bowls ever played and Manning was on my special list of all things repulsive. I have now forgiven him and hope wins one for all of the old guys with sore necks and want one more chance at glory.