Explaining to my wife why I had to watch the Super Bowl, even though my favorite team was humiliated in the last round… I tried to text her about the game. The auto-correct kept insisting I was planning to watch the Superb Owl on the big-screen TV.
Well, it was kind of a Superb Owl. I went in hating the Panthers for their treatment of my team. I have also always been a Broncos fan. I actually played for the Broncos in high school. I played outside linebacker for the Belmond Broncos in Belmond, Iowa.
Carolina was supposed to win because Cam Newton had been so dominant through the entire 2016 season.
A lot of people I know hate Cam Newton because of the dancing and celebrating. They seem to think he is inappropriately arrogant and somehow bad because of it. But I don’t agree. I kind of like him. He has that easy Magic Johnson sparkle in his eyes. Talent and ability roll off him and infect his whole team with confidence and swagger. I actually like the thing he started with giving touchdown footballs away to kids in the crowd. I think he’s a gifted athlete and a good role model. But, of course, I do not have that innate redneck ability to find fault in people of color.
Of course, this was probably Peyton Manning’s final game. It was nice for him to win a final Superb Owl to finish off such a monumental career. He is suffering from numerous injuries and eroding skills. He had to win the game with his brain instead of his arm. He is also under a cloud of suspicion about using human growth hormone to come back from injury. I am also not offended by athletes that want to take advantage of pharmacological science to prolong and enhance their careers. If it is actually cheating and not just something we are presumptuously trying to protect them from, then I don’t think the players themselves are primarily responsible. The clubs, the owners, and the media drive that problem and are enablers.
Despite all the ruffled owl feathers, the game was a classic good game. And the team that most deserved to win is the one that took home the Superb Owl trophy. Denver has a magnificent defense, and they were able to keep Newton and the Panthers from doing all the remarkable things they are capable of doing. I wish Arizona’s defense had played that well. The MVP Von Miller personally helped the Denver defense score a fumble-recovery touchdown that probably decided the game. He also stripped the ball from Newton late in the game to take away Carolina’s last shot at a come-from-behind victory. The Broncos earned that victory. Peyton didn’t actually win it, so much as he preserved it by not messing up so badly the Panthers could recover. It was not a showboat game like the Cardinals played against the Steelers in 2009. It was a good defensive game.
And I am not one of those people who want to make fun of Cam Newton for being upset at the loss. He has a right to disappointment, especially considering how drastic his personal change in fortunes really was in this game. My team was where he is now two weeks ago. So, this was an ugly, messy, hard-fought game, and I am really glad I got the wife to let me watch it with her on the big-screen TV she bought at Christmas time… Superb Owl 50!