February is a big month for relationships. However, the rivalry is at it’s highest for two teams and their fans. That’s right, it’s Super Bowl 50! Being from Kansas City, it would have been amazing to see the Chiefs play in another Super Bowl because it would mean Kansas City would have been part of the first and 50th Super Bowls. Oh well, just like the Royals, we have unfinished business in the post-season.
For all of you not interested in football, this is a big deal to football fanatics. I’m talking about the tailgaters, rain or shine, hot or cold, home or away fans and the fans who never miss a game all season. Football is a part of the United States as much as eating cheeseburgers and chicken wings; which are great foods to serve during a Super Bowl party. The food is always great (although unhealthy most of the time) and the drinks are cold, this is the party of the year–second to New Year’s Eve. GreenAcres Market offers great food that is definitely delicious and healthy alternatives to traditional Super Bowl snacks.
What to expect when you’re invited to the party:
The commercials can be a lot of entertainment during the game, but the last few years only a handful of commercials are outstanding and awesome. Budweiser clydesdale horses and puppy. Awe! One of the questions on a standard Super Bowl pool is what will the first commercial after kickoff be? Car. Alcohol. Soda (Pepsi). or Food. Some ask if there will be an animal or half naked lady in the commercial.
Half-time performance: who are the special appearances going to be? Is it entertaining or did “left shark” steal the show again? This year Coldplay is the main performer, after taking a long break from music, returning, first to the American Music Awards and now the biggest stage of all. Coldplay’s biggest hits are Paradise, Fix You, Viva La Vida, The Scientist, and Princess of China (with Rihanna). Likely to make an appearance will be by Rihanna to perform their song together. Prepare yourselves for gorillas instead of sharks as backup dancers this year. For reference, watch Coldplay’s performance on the AMA’s this year.
Not all the fun is just watching television, belly up to the food table for quite the delicious spread. If you are on a diet, do not have a single cheat (not a fan of ‘cheat’ so let’s call it ‘pleasure’) day between now and game day because you’ll want that day to be the best pleasure day. Seven layered bean dip, meatballs, chili-typically more than one, sweets, chips, you name it I’m sure you could find it.
Don’t worry about researching the two teams, here’s a quick look of the two teams fighting for the championship title and ring. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers go head-to-head with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos February 7, 2016 at 5:30 pm on CBS. This will Carolina’s second trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history, whereas Denver will be playing in their 8th in franchise history. The game is said to be “old school vs new school.”
Cam Newton is in his third year as Panthers’ quarterback. First round draft pick out of Auburn by Carolina, Newton looks to become a name amongst the elite to win a college national title and a Super Bowl. The list contains Joe Montana and Joe Namath, the only two to have ever accomplished such a feat. Panthers’ season started undefeated in the first 14 games of regular season, only having lost to the Atlanta Falcons by one touchdown. Newton is not the only threat on the Panther offense. Running back Jonathan Stewart has had more than 240 rushing attempts in the regular season going for nearly 1,000 yards. The second highest rusher by yards and attempts is Cam Newton. Newton’s ability to run and take hits other quarterbacks can’t makes him a major threat to Denver’s defense. Newton is a large quarterback standing at 6’5” and 250 lbs. Newton’s arm is strong and accurate, resulting in his longest completed pass of 74 yards. His favorite receiver is Greg Olsen. Olsen has 1,000 plus yards in regular season games and 7 touchdowns. Ted Ginn Jr. grabbed 10 touchdown receptions without having had a fumble this season.
Carolina has a strong defense, evident in their win against Arizona Cardinals in the National League Divisional Championship game. Leading the team in sacks, Kawann Short has 11 sacks during regular while teammate, Kurt Coleman has 7 interceptions. Thomas Davis has 4 forced fumbles helping the team’s total of 15 fumble recoveries. The single player with the highest total of points in the 2015 regular season is kicker Graham Gano with 30 field goals and 56 extra points.
Denver is the old in the discussion because of their leading man, Peyton Manning. Although Manning is back in the starting position, his backup quarterback has one more touchdowns, 11 less interceptions, and higher percentage of completed passes. Manning was sidelined for several weeks for a foot injury. Although the receivers don’t get the praise from the press, the Bronco’s have multiple “sure hands.” Demaryius Thomas has 6 touchdowns with 105 receptions for over 1,300 yards in the regular season. Tied with Thomas’s touchdown receptions is Emmanuel Sanders with76 reception totaling over 1,100 yards. Thomas and Sanders have had fumbles less than 3 in the regular season. With a strong offense comes an even stronger defense. Said to be the number one defense in the NFL, Denver relies heavily on Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, and DeMarcus Ware to stop the throws to not be a threat. Miller has a team high of 11 sacks while Ware has 7.5 sacks and Wolfe has 5.5 sacks. The secondary defense is led by Danny Trevathan, Brandon Marshall, and Chris Harris Jr.. Aqib Talib has 3 interceptions, while Shaquil Barrett has 5 forced fumbles.
Manning is a traditional pocket passer, meaning if Carolina can force him to run, he’s not as accurate. Manning is not a running quarterback and will take a sack before he tries to run the ball. He relies on his routine: snap, step back in the pocket, wait a few seconds for his receivers to get down field, and launch a pass on target. If Carolina is able to reach him before the couple seconds he needs to set and throw, Manning is more likely to throw interceptions or take sacks. Get to his feet and he’ll play safe, taking short passing instead of the long throws to avoid possible hits.
Newton, on the other hand, is a rushing quarterback. This allows him to run outside the pocket and get first downs, even in man coverage on his wide receivers. This makes Newton and the Panther’s offense a slightly larger threat to the Denver’s defense. This allows for pass option plays. Decieting the defensive line into a hand off run or a short pass in order for a clear field for Newton to run. The younger quarterbacks learn these option plays and that of “wildcat” plays to keep the defense guessing, making it harder to defend every play. Although Newton is a rushing quarterback, that does not mean he wouldn’t prefer to stand in the pocket and throw down field because he has the power and accuracy to make a slip in the secondary defense pay for a long yardage completion.
Who will win? Will old school Manning and the Denver Broncos beat the new school Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers? Will the rushing quarterback make a difference? Will experience exceed over young talent? Or will the collegiate champion show the old dog new tricks? Only time will tell but the game should be a fun and interesting contest…at least for the first few possessions. So, sit back and enjoy the time with friends, family and food.