Super Bowl 50 and beyond.


And just like that, it’s over. It is finished and no one expected the unexpected with exception of those who possibly expected some of it. Anyway… Super Bowl 50 is a history which I had been part of and somehow even survived the every bit of it, despite my back moaning and groaning because of being so “frozen” in the moment.
And what froze me, was the absolute lack of any spark from Denver’s offence. I mean they started OK but didn’t capitalise on the initial passing game success and it was only 3-0 but the D did its job and Denver was back to…it’s hard to say marching down the field, let’s say having the ball. And somehow there I started freezing because there was no sign of much life left in the Broncos passing or running game. Punt!
Panthers possession, critical(?) catch-no catch call, and then BOOM Von Miller comes around and rips the ball out of Newton’s grasp. Touchdown , we’re 10-0! Well by we I mean myself and my wish to send off Peyton into sweet retirement. I like the guy. I think his life turned out to be a great story, some of which I got to know in retrospect, watching events I had known the result off, but still, I wanted him to just grab one more and go into whatever happy football retirement he’d choose.
Punt! Punt! State of freezing. The Panthers are driving, then that ridiculous face mask grab by Aqib Tailb, dirty, dirty unnecessary move in an already brutal and dangerous sport. I was asking myself, why was he still allowed to play? It was nasty. Anyways, Stewart jumps over a human pile of flesh 7-10. “Is that it? Have the Painters woken up?”
Punt and another one! Too much punting for such bug game, way to often. We nearly witnessed first Super Bowl punt return! Broncos gotta punch it in for a touchdown! Disappointing field goal. More freezing.
Next drive and the Panthers give the ball back via another fumble. Man. “Is it really happening?”
Bang! Manning throws a silly interception. Ah… They were inside of McManus field goal range. It could have been two possession game. All of sudden, the field goals become a gold…
Punt. Panthers didn’t capitalise. Yet another punt after Denver’s offence produces 8 yards… A very strange ending of a first half where Panthers didn’t seem in rush to movie the ball in the last minute of the half? Why? I’m puzzled but at least I can unfreeze and potter about while some dumb show takes place.
Second half begins. I’ve change my seating arrangement but nearly instantly became frozen. Carolina drives but only manages field goal…no he missed. It is still 13-7. Unbelievable.
Few quick strikes to Sanders by Manning and another field goal, there’s no life in the offense tonight, both teams seem to play like they don’t want the trophy. McManus not misses and its a two possession game now with 16-7 in 3rd quarter.
Interception!! Ball back to Denver’s hands. Punt. And another punt. Denver’s trying to drive. Manning fumbles! Recovers! Phew, that was a close one and then he gets strip sacked again this time it’s Panther’s ball. Ultimate state of freeze. Carolina converts that turnover into 3 points. 16-10 and I am asking myself. Who will run out of the air first? Denver’s defence or Carolina’s offence. Its these 22 people game really. The others seem to be removed from the reality of what happens in front of us.
Peyton does not take risks, hands of on 3rd and long just to punt it away and let the defence do their job. Punt. Another punt! (How many has there been already?)
Five minutes or so left. Not that long away but yet only one touchdown for Carolina and the game is truly over. They only need one touchdown, with the game so advanced, everyone’s tired, everyone’s prone to mistakes and BOOM!!! Von Miller again! Strip sacks Newton, ball bounces around, Newton hesitate to jump towards it, then he does, so do Broncos players and it is Broncos ball! (First Von Miller’s strip sack was the 4th possession change of the game, the second one would be the fourth until the game’s end).
4 yards to go and they finally punch it for an ugly rushing touchdown but here we are 22-10. Broncos converts the two point and it is 24-10. I’m starting to unfreeze…. We should be fine now. And we are. Two more punts, three more plays from the Panthers and it is all orange Gatorade and confetti. I feel I can breath now and more importantly I can go to sleep….
Continue to watch the post game shenenigans and my attention switches to Colts as someone tweets about Colts efforts against Carolina and Denver in regular season and how poorly the Panthers offence performed in Super Bowl compared to what Colts and lacerated kidney of Luck’s did to Broncos in November. But it doesn’t matter as I realise that for Colts and Luck to reach Super Bowl it’ll take much more than great effort in regular season games. It’ll take much more than playing thru injuries (although hats off my head to Thomas Davis, two weeks after forearm fracture, records 7 tackles) or not playing as further injuries could prove fatal….
It’ll take a wisely assembled team around Luck and his few playmakers and that’s what I’ll be watching, unravelling in front of me in the coming months full of news, tweets and so on. The process never ends and let’s hope the ingredients are right when the 51st season begins.


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