North Texas Daily

Dueling views on Super Bowl 50 contenders

Dueling views on Super Bowl 50 contenders

Dueling views on Super Bowl 50 contenders
February 04
02:47 2016

The Panthers represent youth, a chance for history and the good guys

Scott Sidway | Sports Editor

@ScottyWK

In the last five years, Cam Newton has won the Heisman trophy, a college national championship, been the first overall pick in the NFL Draft and a (probable) NFL MVP.

So why root for him to win the Super Bowl? Because it’s never been done before.

No quarterback has ever run the gamut of accolades in the 50-year history of the Super Bowl.

One of the greatest feelings as a sports fan is to be able to say, “I was there when.” Being able to tell future generations that you witnessed the countless duels between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, or the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl, is a memory that can never be stripped away.

So when it comes to finding something to cheer for, pull for a new chapter in the history books, so you can tell future generations “I watched someone make history.” And that’s not even mentioning that Newton is a spry 26 years old with likely, barring injury, another eight to 10 years of good football left.

But the man they call “Super Cam” isn’t the only reason to rally behind the Carolina Panthers. Carolina is one of 13 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl. Their only trip to the big game, back in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, ended in heartbreak after the Panthers tied the game with 1:04 to go but ultimately lost after a last-minute field goal by the much-maligned Tom Brady-led New England Patriots.

This year’s Panthers team is also riddled with likable characters. You’ve got the blue-chip defensive stalwart, Luke Kuechly, who has a catchy crowd chant after his name.

They have another linebacker, Thomas Davis, who earned the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year award given for tremendous contribution to the community. He’s also fought back from multiple knee surgeries to keep his football career alive and will likely be playing the Super Bowl with a broken forearm.

Oh, and Carolina washed their hands of the controversy that is alleged woman-beater Greg Hardy.

So if you’re young at heart, enjoy witnessing history and appreciated the dab before it turned into an overworked gimmick, the Panthers are your team.

If not, your AARP magazine should be in the mail shortly.

Father Time is knocking, but hasn’t opened Peyton’s door yet

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

Go ahead, sing the Nationwide jingle. It’s probably the most vivid memory you have of Peyton Manning in 2015, as the future hall of famer missed nearly half the season with nagging injuries and produced some of the worst statistical numbers of his career.

Evidently, Manning did not care. After leading Denver past the Steelers in the Divisional Round and the favored Patriots in the AFC Championship game, Manning is in a position to capture his second Super Bowl.

There’s just one problem: the Carolina Panthers.

Manning is not the same quarterback that set the record for most touchdowns in a season. He is not the same quarterback who would run the hurry-up offense and spread the field on every down. But that does not mean Manning cannot topple Super Cam and his Panthers.

So why root for Peyton and his Broncos, even if they are 5.5 point underdogs?

Because this is likely Manning’s final time to lace ‘em up.

I am a sucker for fairy tale endings. It’s why I cried at the end of Remember the Titans and why I think Hoosiers is the best basketball movie ever made. And how fitting would it be for Manning to overcome all the obstacles, win a second Super Bowl and ride off into the sunset a champion?

Even if you are a fan of Cam Newton and the Panthers or don’t have a rooting interest in this game, consider cheering on Peyton. The guy has been a consummate professional his entire career and deserves, if nothing less, every football fan’s respect.

After he was released by the Colts following four neck surgeries, Manning could have thrown in the towel. Instead, he came back stronger than ever and revitalized his career in Denver. He never said a bad word about the Colts when they decided to go a different direction and drafted Andrew Luck. He knew it was just business.

Father Time is unstoppable and inevitable. People have tried, but no one has ever been able to avoid him. He’s knocking on Manning’s door but hasn’t opened it quite yet.

So, to the tune of the Nationwide jingle, I invite football fans everywhere to “cheer for Peyton in this game.”

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