The Super Bowl is upon us yet again (sans Roman numerals this time) and odds are your favorite team won’t be there. This Sunday you will sit amidst plates of soggy, microwaved nachos, bitter Patriots fans, and the inevitable corny election-themed Super Bowl commercials, thinking about all the what-ifs. What if only Andy Dalton hadn’t gotten hurt? What if only Green Bay had won the coin toss against Arizona? What if Blair Walsh hadn’t missed the 27 yard field goal that a fat mechanic could have made?
Well, what if you could just suck it up, realize that only two teams can make the Super Bowl every year, and enjoy the game? Here are some reasons to root for either team. Take your pick.
Reasons to Root for the Denver Broncos
Peyton would leave the league on top.
With a win, Peyton would have snagged as many Super Bowl rings as his decidedly worse brother, Eli–not to mention a 200th career win. Peyton Manning has had an incredible NFL career and most likely will retire after this season. What better way to cap off an era than walking out of the NFL with a victory in the 50th Super Bowl.
They’re the underdogs
When comparing the Bronco’s nail-biting victory over the Patriots in the AFC championship game with the Panther’s consecutive blowouts of the Seahawks and the Cardinals, it’s easy to see that the a victory won’t be easy. Some commentators are even talking about a repeat of Super Bowl 48, where Seattle pounded Denver 43-8 in the lowest-rated Super Bowl ever.
They beat the Patriots
Anyone who keeps Tom Brady and Bill Belichick from another Super Bowl ring deserves some love.
Cam Newton’s antics
Whether deserved or not, Cam Newton has received a lot hate for ego. From touchdown celebrations, to custom t-shirts, and naming his son chosen, this could give people another reason to cheer for Denver.
Reasons to Root for the Carolina Panthers
It’s Cam’s time
Cam Newton has always been a solid quarterback, but this has been a breakout year. He has a career high number of touchdowns (35) a career low number of interceptions (10), and leads the league in touchdown percentage per passing attempt (7.1%).
Coach Ron Rivera, a member of the Chicago Bears 1985-1986 Super Bowl shuffle team, joined the 2-11 Panthers as a head coach in 2011 and since then has made the team relevant. Rivera is the first Latinx coach in the NFL since Tom Flores in 1987 and could join just four other coaches in NFL history with a Super Bowl ring as a player and a coach.
The Panthers have never have won a Super Bowl
…and Janet Jackson stole the show at the only Panther’s Super Bowl appearance in 2003.
Cam Newton’s antics
Only a select few quarterbacks have even had as much success as Cam Newton in their first five seasons in the NFL. Yet with every achievement on the field, Newton has been slammed with criticism from being called “a poor leader” and “bad role model,” to being labelled as a “thug.” Despite this, Newton has brushed aside haters and performed better than ever this year, taking his team to 17-1 through the regular season and playoffs.
That is all.