While there are some very appealing storylines to Super Bowl 50, mostly focusing on the quarterbacks of the Denver Broncos & Carolina Panthers, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton, there isn’t a gossipy edge or scandal brewing heading into the game, which might have something to do with the lack of hate towards these two teams compared to last year’s participants.
Successful teams always have haters, especially in the Internet age. The Panthers have cockiness to them. There’s the whole bandwagon fans angle, and Cam Newton himself pisses a lot of people off just for having fun, although he thinks (and he may be right) it has a little bit of something to do with the color of his skin.
Consider this: A few weeks before the Super Bowl last year, a story breaks out about Tom Brady using Performance Enhancing Drugs. How much would the media be all over it? There’s obviously the issue of the credentials of the one outlet breaking the story, Al Jazeera, but still, people love to make something big out of something small even without evidence. But Manning is involved, and we have barely heard anything remotely sounding like criticism or unbased accusations. Maybe it’s the media and fans growing up, or maybe it’s just an issue of who is involved.
There’s nothing remotely close to the Deflategate scandal which ruled the airwaves and broadband a year ago. Nothing came of it after the punishment to Tom Brady was erased (the NFL are still appealing) while the Patriots took their punishment and went on to have another 12-win season. This year both teams are heading into the Super Bowl without these kind of distractions, although media week provides interesting stories we might not know about.
There’s no one like Marshawn Lynch around, who refuses to talk to the media and kinda makes a fool out of them and himself with his “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” tagline. Lynch is close to retiring according to multiple rumors going around, maybe tired of the game and perhaps tired of the injuries. In any case, there won’t be any drama about someone refusing to talk this time around.
So what will we have? Perhaps a talk about football. How the Broncos pass rush intends to deal with the Panthers O-Line and a much more mobile quarterback. How the Panthers defense is going to handle Peyton Manning and the Broncos running game. How it’s Manning’s last rodeo, and about a new generation coming up, and about Gary Kubiak rising from an ill-fated 2012 season with the Texans to this, and how Ron Rivera played in the Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears and now leads a team to it as a head coach.
There’s plenty to talk about when it comes to the NFL, and even if there isn’t too much, the league will find a way to create some sort of interest. This is the Super Bowl after all. Only without drama and scandals. Some people won’t miss it. Others? They can’t handle the discussion being so controversy-free, and are crossing their fingers something comes up from now until Super Bowl Sunday.