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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Future vs. Past: Newton will overshadow Manning’s final Super Bowl

The six-month NFL season comes to a close this weekend in Super Bowl 50, when the greatness of the league’s past meets its young and talented future.

Peyton Manning, a five-time league MVP and 14-time pro bowl player, is looking to improve his Super Bowl record to .500 before he presumably retires as a Denver Bronco at the end of Sunday’s

He’ll take on flashy, confident and energetic Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, a team that embodies the new generation of the NFL.

Coming into the Super Bowl with a 12-4 regular season record, Manning owes a lot to the first-ranked Broncos’
defense, which helped the aging quarterback reach a potential he probably would not have in what is likely the final season of his career.

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Manning is the oldest quarterback to start in a Super Bowl, and his play has shown it all season. He’s only thrown nine touchdown passes in 10 games, and his interception total nearly doubles that at 17. His quarterback rating of 67.9 is the lowest of his career. He was even briefly benched, after returning from injury, for the young Brock
Osweiler. It was only when the young quarterback’s turnover issues started resembling
Manning’s that the team elected to turn back to their veteran option—a man who already has one Super Bowl victory under his belt—for a championship run.

And while the Broncos held off the Pittsburgh Steelers and defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in their first two playoff matches, Manning did not return to his classic form to lead his team to the victories. The Broncos’ defense scraped together two interceptions that were key for their tight 20-18 win over the Patriots. Tom Brady even had one last opportunity to send the game to overtime on a two-point conversion attempt proceeding a late touchdown, but Denver’s defense stood tall to ride Manning’s probable last season to Santa Clara, Calif. for the Super Bowl.

The Broncos’ defense
finished the regular season first in the league in average passing yards (283.1) and rushing yards (199.6) and certainly deserved the top overall seed in the conference they earned. With old man Peyton stumbling out on the field to lead their offense most weeks, the support he received from his defense has made them nearly unstoppable.

In steps Newton, the dancing quarterback whose cockiness and celebrations represent the future of the league. He also gets under the skin of those who aren’t used to seeing an outspoken and mobile quarterback produce such great success in the league. But he has certainly earned the achievements he’s reached as well this season. When the league’s MVP award is announced Saturday night, there is no doubt Cam will take home the hardware on the eve he’s favored to win his first Super Bowl.

Cam’s 35 touchdowns, 59.8 passing percentage and 99.4 quarterback percentage led most people to believe his Carolina Panthers would not lose a game this season. But a surprising upset in week 16 from the Atlanta Falcons made the Panthers settle for a 15-1 record.

The Panthers have the league’s top scoring offense, with Ted Ginn and Greg Olsen forming into explosive receivers catching passes from the league’s best quarterback this season.

Carolina’s defense has been no pushover either, finishing as the sixth overall defense in the league. When the ball kicks off Sunday night and the entire world is tuned in to see the biggest stage in sports, Manning’s age is going to show even worse than his last two playoff outings.

Manning is no doubt a first ballot hall of famer, but his 1-2 record in the Super Bowl isn’t as promising as his legacy. His play on the field this season has resembled the sad play of Muhammad Ali’s final fight against Trevor Berbick in 1981, when a legend’s legacy was ended with a sad and pathetic defeat that showed all great things come to an end.

Now, Newton will officially take the torch from Manning’s hands, as his first Super Bowl win will solidify his elite status, and the league should finally consider him one of, if not the best, quarterback in the league.
Prediction: Panthers 31,
Broncos 17

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