Thursday, February 4, 2016

Which team do you think will win Super Bowl 50 - Carolina or Denver?

Evergreen's Wayne Frazier
Super Bowl 50 is set to be played this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Television coverage is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on CBS.

This year’s Super Bowl will feature the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers and the AFC Champion Denver Broncos. Carolina enters the game with a 17-1 overall record, and Denver enters the game with a 14-4 overall record.

Carolina’s only loss came on Dec. 27, in the next to the last game of the regular season, when the Panthers fell to the Atlanta Falcons, 20-13, in the Georgia Dome. What made this so bad for Carolina fans was the fact that Carolina blew out Atlanta, 38-0, two weeks before in Charlotte.

Denver dropped four games during the regular season at Indianapolis (three-point loss), to Kansas City (16-point loss), to Oakland (three-point loss) and at Pittsburgh (seven-point loss). Denver rebounded by beating Pittsburgh by a touchdown in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Lots of Alabama and Auburn fans will have reason to tune into this year’s Super Bowl. Former Alabama players on Carolina’s team include safety Roman Harper and wide receiver Kevin Norwood. Former Auburn players on their roster include quarterback Cam Newton and running back Cameron Artis-Payne. Their roster also includes former Troy defensive end Mario Addison and former UAB quarterback Joe Webb.

Denver’s roster includes former Alabama guard Evan Mathis and former Troy linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

When it comes to predictions, I tend to look at each team’s defense, and, compared to Carolina, Denver’s been giving up fewer points this season. Denver’s giving up 16.7 points per game this season, and Carolina’s been giving up 19.3 points per game. On the other side of the coin, Carolina’s scored more points, having scored an average of 32.2 points per game this season. Denver’s scored an average of 23.7 points per game.

Before I wrap this thing up this week, I feel that I should also point out that this year’s Super Bowl will mark 50 years since Evergreen’s Wayne Frazier appeared in the first Super Bowl. In fact, it’s said that Frazier was the first player in Super Bowl history to have his name announced to the crowd during pre-game introductions.

Many of you will remember that Frazier, who’d had a storied career at Evergreen High School and Auburn University, played center for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs faced the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and came up short, 35-10.

Other famous players that played in that game included Hall of Famers Len Dawson, Buck Buchanan, Bobby Bell, Forrest Gregg, Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, Dave Robinson, Ray Nitschke, Herb Adderley and Willie Wood. Former Alabama head coach Bill Curry also played center for the Packers.

I’ve also heard on and off over the years that actor Matthew McConaughey’s father played in the first Super Bowl for the Packers, but that turns out to be just an urban legend. His father, James, played football at Kentucky and the University of Houston and was drafted by the Packers in 1953. However, he got cut before the season started and never actually played in an official NFL game.

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