Manning Should Take Cue From Elway And Walk Away
By John Ventola
Super Bowl 50 may not have proven as Golden as advertised, but the game’s 24-10 outcome did provide many story lines for football fans to enjoy, and one unpaid commercial holiday for a sponsor.
Future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was able to do just enough offensively to walk
away with his second Super Bowl trophy, and his defensive teammates hammered brash-talking Carolina quarterback Cam Newton into submission. Newton was strip-sacked of the football twice, turnovers that resulted in one Broncos’ touchdown, and led to another.
While multiple sponsors were ponying up $5 million for a thirty-second commercial spot, Miller Brewing Company officials were sitting back and enjoying the “free show”. Von Miller, the game’s MVP, saw to that. It was definitely “Miller Time”, and millions of viewers got to see it up close and personal. Miller and his defensive mates delivered a well-deserved comeuppance to Newton by sacking him seven times, forcing him into the two crucial fumbles, and one interception. The Broncos recovered one other fumble.
Manning allowed his defense to do the heavy lifting while managing the game, completing 13 of 23 passes for 141 yards with one interception. C.J. Anderson helped the Broncos’ cause by rushing for 90 tough yards in 23 carries. The Broncos only
gained 194 total yards in the game, with just eleven first downs. It was the eighth Super Bowl where a team failed to gain at least 200 yards during a game. The first seven all left the field on the short end of the scoreboard.
Newton, who in two weeks of media appearances before the game brazenly spouted that football was not ready for a “African-American” quarterback with his talent, slowly went from the beanie-wearing, towel wrapped, gum-chewing, cocky, self-proclaimed “Superman”, to a mediocre performer with no answers. Apparently, Newton never heard of Doug Williams, or forgot about Russell Wilson from two years ago. Those two “African-Americans” are Super Bowl winners.
Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Malik Jackson, and the rest of Denver’s defense gave Newton his kryptonite in heavy doses throughout the game. Newton completed only 18 of 41 passes for 265 yards, and he made “Black” quarterbacks everywhere wonder what he was doing when he flatly refused to join the scramble for the football after Miller’s second strip-sack. The game was still on the line with four minutes left in the game, trailing 16-10, and Superman backed away from the football. Next time he steps to the microphone with his bravado, television stations everywhere should show that play. As slow and frail as Manning is, given the same opportunity, No. 18 would have been diving in the pile for the football.
While the game was not filled with top-notch execution, there were outstanding plays by
certain players throughout the game. Miller, of course, was fantastic. The former Texas Aggie used his speed and agility to get through Carolina blocking schemes. Ware and Jackson played excellent, solid games. Jackson recovered Newton’s first fumble for a touchdown. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders, and defensive players T.J. Ward, Bradley Roby, and Ryan Harris all had key moments. Even defensive back Aqib Talib was able to overcome some silly penalties with his close coverage of Carolina receivers. Place-kicker Brandon McManus was accurate on his three short field goals, helping Denver grab and keep the upper hand in the game. Carolina missed one of their two field goal attempts when a kick hit the right upright.
Denver General Manager John Elway remodeled the Broncos defense after the team was dismantled by Seattle two years ago in Super Bowl XLVIII, 43-8. With the league’s best defense, he trusted in an aging, ailing Manning to do enough to bring Denver a title. Elway won consecutive Super Bowl in 1998 and 1999. After the last, he took a couple of months before announcing his retirement. Manning should do the same. The talented Hall of Famer also lost Super Bowls to the Giants and Redskins in 1987 and 1988. Just like Manning, his resolve was to continue playing the game until his physical ability waned. He retired on top, Manning should follow suit.
Not lost on Broncos fans everywhere was Elway’s hoisting of the Lombardi Trophy and proclaiming, “this one’s for Pat”, referring to long-time Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who
is suffering in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Eighteen years earlier, after Elway’s first title, Bowlen did the same and said, “this one’s for John,”
There is something beautiful about football, how it can be a teacher of life lessons, and it was no better explained in a statement by the legendary Lombardi. I have had a copy of “What it takes to be No. 1” framed on the wall in my sports memorabilia room for years. Lombardi talks about paying the price, that “good men really yearn for, need, discipline and the harsh reality of head-to-head combat.”
Lombardi ended his statement with, “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour—his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear—is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle—victorious.”
Oh, and by the way Newton, watch carefully what is going on around you. Elway and Manning are class acts, full of humility, despite their own awesome skill sets. You are immensely talented as an athlete. Just remember there is no “I” in team!Thanks For Visiting JV Sport Shots .Com’s Website And Viewing Our Latest Blog(s) / Page(s). We Would Really Appreciate It If You Would Leave Us A Comment Or Remark Below. This Helps Us Provide Great Sports Content; You Would Like To See In Future Posts.
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