Joe Santoro: Super Bowl 50 a clash of old vs. new
This year’s Super Bowl, at least when looked at through the quarterback position, seems like a matchup of land lines versus smart phones, newspapers sitting in your driveway versus the world news coming to you on your watch, and e-mails and tweets versus hand-written letters. Peyton Manning is some old guy screaming at you to get off his lawn while Cam Newton always seems to be the coolest guy at the coolest party having the time of his life. Forget Super Bowl 50. This is Stereotype Bowl 50. But don’t be so sure about all those perceived differences between Manning and Newton. The game in Santa Clara next weekend will not be a NFL Combine of Manning vs. Newton. The position of quarterback is and always will be about getting the football to players who can make plays. Manning still has that ability. Newton has that ability. They are more similar than they appear.
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This Super Bowl is all about the defenses. It might be the best defensive matchup we’ve ever had in a Super Bowl, at least going into the game. Manning and Newton will get all the attention because that is the easy story. But this game will be won by the defense that plays the best. The Broncos destroyed Tom Brady last week. Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly might be the best football player in the NFL. Denver is likely hoping the game is as ugly as a Wolf Pack-San Diego State basketball game. But Carolina can also win a wrestling match. It could be a game of field goals and turnovers.
— Joe Santoro writes a weekly sports column for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.