Tom Martin looks into this weekend’s Super Bowl 50 showdown…
This week, a single Sunday night will see multitudes of fair-weather fans descend on every late-night pub and sports bar in Britain. That’s right folks, the 7th of February is Super Bowl Sunday, and here’s how to enjoy the night in Wales’ best coastal city.
WHERE TO WATCH:
The Scene Club, 50 Plymouth Street – FREE ENTRY – one of Swansea’s leading music venues, The Scene provides the perfect prelude for a night of inebriation watching a sport that most of us don’t understand. With live music from Seven Stories High and Curious Orange before the match starts and reasonable drinks, you won’t be disappointed.
Walkabout, Wind Street – £5 – Swansea’s very own American Football team, the Titans, will be putting on a night with cheap drinks and with 500 tickets up for grabs, the atmosphere is set to be electric.
JC’s Bar, Singleton Campus – FREE ENTRY – Swansea University’s on campus bar will be showing the Super Bowl on the big screens according the tradition. If last year’s melange of the uninitiated, the beer-goggled and the jersey-wearing enthusiasts is anything to go by then choosing JC’s is a decision worth making. Standard drinks prices are a steal so you don’t have to shell out too much to have a good night.
The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are the two teams vying to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 50. The Panthers have only lost one match all season behind the enthusiastic leadership of quarterback (Super) Cam Newton and their rock-solid defence. With the ability to both plough through defenders and throw past them, Newton is one of the most controversial and exciting players in the league; look out for his much-maligned ‘dab’ celebration.
Their strong offence is built on the foundations of a defence that garnered the highest number of turnovers in the NFL this season (39) through the play of breakout cornerback Josh Norman, line-backer Luke ‘Captain America’ Kuechly and a host of other stars. Having confounded pre-season critics with their incredible run of form, don’t bet against them making it happen one last time against the Broncos on Sunday night.
The Denver Broncos are a different prospect altogether, with an aggressive defense intent on hitting the quarterback before he throws the ball. Anchored by Vonn Miller and DeMarcus Ware, two of the top pass-rushers in the league, Denver’s defence revolves around forcing the quarterback to throw the ball earlier than he wants to, at which point lockdown cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jnr step in to shut down the play.
On the offensive side, the Broncos are run by legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, all-time NFL leader in passing yards and touchdowns. However, at 39 years old his powers are waning and he threw a league-high 18 interceptions this season, being replaced by backup Brock Osweiler for the last few weeks of the regular season. Manning will be hoping to add to his solitary Super Bowl title (which he won with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006) to cement his reputation as the greatest quarterback of all time. He has only won one of the five Super Bowls he has appeared in, last appearing in a 43-8 defeat to Seattle two years ago.
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
The Carolina Panthers demolished an Arizona Cardinals team that had only lost twice all season, holding the league’s most prolific offence to only 15 points while forcing 6 turnovers and scoring 6 touchdowns. The single blow during their victory was an injury to veteran line-backer Thomas Davis Snr, who broke his arm but expects to play on Sunday. He is hard as nails.
Conversely, the Broncos squeaked past the New England Patriots, who had lost 4 of their previous 7 matches. Patriot’s kicker Steven Gostkowski missed his first extra point in 523 attempts, leaving them 1 point short of tying the game after their final touchdown and culminating in a 20-18 Broncos victory.
The Panthers do what Panthers do and go in for the kill, putting up 24 points in the first half and winning comfortably. Cam Newton throws for 2 touchdowns and runs for 1 more while Peyton Manning throws 2 interceptions.