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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Super Bowl 2016

Gabe Lehman

America’s favorite holiday is upon us again. Feb. 7 marks the 50th Super Bowl Sunday in league history and there are questions abound for the occasion with the Carolina Panthers (17-1) facing off against the Denver Broncos (14-4). Will Cam Newton continue his historic season? How will Peyton Manning fare in what is likely his swan song? Whose idea was it to have Coldplay do the half-time show?

Predictions and commentaries are currently being passed around on campuses and work places across the nation, and Grinnell College is no exception.

“Let’s go Panthers! I liked them as a little kid and I love Cam Newton,” said Anthony LaMacchia ’16.

LaMacchia expects a 21-17 victory for the Panthers, although he admits he is looking forward to the Super Bowl for reasons other than the game’s outcome.

“Love the wings, yeah, definitely the wings. Favorite food,” LaMacchia said.

Offensive lineman for the football team, Grant Koch ’17, agrees with LaMacchia’s assessment.

“If I had to give a score I’d say Carolina probably gets it 28-20. Something in that range,” Koch said. “At the end of the day, Cam Newton can flat out ball.He’s one-of-a-kind, the way he can be a passer and a runner.” 

It is not just students who are paying attention to the Super Bowl, or who expect a Panthers victory. Professor Patrick Inglis, Sociology, a well-known Seattle Seahawks fans, fully expects Carolina to run away with the title.

“Like the Seahawks a couple years back, I think the Panthers are just better prepared for this one. I expect them to win in a rout,” Inglis said.

It is not surprising that LaMacchia, Koch and Inglis all expect a Carolina victory. The Panthers rode a near-perfect regular season on the back of likely MVP Cam Newton. Newton had one of the better seasons in recent memory with 3,837 passing yards and 35 passing touchdowns. The versatile Newton added an additional 10 rushing touchdowns. With all of his success, the sometimes flashy Newton has drawn ire for celebrations, which some believe are excessive. Newton and the Panthers have made the “Dab” famous over the past season.

On the other side of the ball are the Broncos: the six-point underdogs, according to Odds Shark, took a more precarious route to the NFL’s final game. Peyton Manning, the future Hall-of-Famer and easily one of the top five quarterbacks to ever play the game, is not his former self. Two neck surgeries and an aging 39-year-old body have slowed the one time great to the point that he was benched for backup quarterback Brock Osweiler earlier this season. However, Manning reclaimed his starting title and guided the Broncos to a pair of tight playoff wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.

The San Francisco Bay area prepares to host the Super Bowl for the first time since 1985 and all eyes are on how Northern California will handle the honor. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara is in just its second season and the Super Bowl is sure to test the facility beyond anything it has seen previously. The stadium, which cost an estimated $2 billion to build is considered the most technologically advanced stadium of all time but it has come with a considerable amount of criticism in its short life—not the least of which is the immense pressure it adds to the already atrocious traffic situation in the area.

While the game will be the main focus for most fans, the half-time show is the major draw for some. LaMacchia, for one, is ecstatic to hear Coldplay play at the halftime show. When informed of the performance, LaMacchia exclaimed, “Oh, I didn’t even know it was Coldplay, but that’s awesome! I literally haven’t listened to Coldplay since high school so that will be a nice little throwback.”

On a slightly more somber note, this Super Bowl comes while the NFL is still mired in controversy. From domestic abuse cases such as those of Ray Rice and Greg Hardy to the ongoing concussion problems the league faces, the NFL is in the most precarious state it has been in recent memory. Koch said these concerns are well warranted.

“It is definitely going to become more of a concern. I think people are more conscious and more aware of [these issues]. I think [the NFL] is going to have to, in the next 5-10 years, really step up and take a more active stance especially against domestic violence,” Koch said.

That being said, Koch does not expect domestic abuse or concussions to have any noticeable effect on viewership of the Super Bowl on campus or in general.  Controversial or not, the Super Bowl will be showed in numerous locations around campus, including the Dining Hall and Lyle’s Pub, with kick-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening, Feb. 7.

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