I Can Learn, Dammit!

~Lorenzo Patrick (@smartspeak89)

I don’t know how many times mainstream media has to learn this lesson, but Super Bowl 50 taught it yet again: leadership can come from other places besides the quarterback position.

I get how easy this was this year. Cam Newton is a huge personality, with a huge arm and an equally big smile. He can throw the ball through a brick wall….and ultimately through his receivers hands. Peyton Manning has been in championship games three times before. Despite not being healthy, he’s done just enough to get another team to a championship game. Sunday was his opportunity to walk out into the sunset.

I get it, I really do. But the Broncos had the best overall defense in terms of yards allowed, 1st versus the pass, and 3rd against the run. The Panthers: 6th overall (yardage), 11th versus the pass, and 4th against the run. In the game, itself, neither Cam nor Peyton produced an offensive touchdown. The Broncos won with the fewest offensive yards ever by a Super Bowl champion (194). Both offenses combined to convert only 4 of 29 attempts on third down. The defenses combined for 12 sacks, the most in Super Bowl history.

Why the hell are we still talking about these two?? Even after the game!

Is Cam pouting really THAT interesting? Are you really THAT shocked Peyton likes Budweiser? He’s friends with Papa John, and that cardboard with sauce he calls pizza. So clearly the taste buds are off a smidge. Football isn’t so complicated that all that’s interesting about a team is how good their offense is. It’s about time the mainstream media stop babying people, and really delve into what makes these championship games interesting.

Did you hear anything about Panthers’ linebacker Thomas Davis playing with a broken arm and his struggles before this season to even make a roster? Jared Allen playing with a broken foot? Anything about Panthers’ safety Roman Harper playing in Super Bowls 10 years apart? Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall’s road to the league? What it means for Ron Rivera to come to a Super Bowl as a player, assistant, and coach? What it means for Gary Kubiak to coach the team he played for to a Super Bowl?

If you heard ANY of those stories, you didn’t hear them enough. It would’ve been more interesting than the manufactured controversy of Cam Newton being a black quarterback having fun in public. More importantly, these stories might’ve actually armed the fans with the tools needed to appreciate the defensive greatness they witnessed from both teams in that game. Because, if anything was clear, most people hated that game.

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