Super Bowl 50 is this Sunday, and of course one of the teams playing is division rival Carolina Panthers, and they will be facing off against the Denver Broncos, so the decision should be easy right? Well maybe not…
We Hate the Panthers?
The Panthers are arguably the Falcons biggest rival right now. Yes, the New Orleans Saints are the oldest rival, but the Panthers have won the division three years in a row; remember no team had ever won back-to-back division titles in the NFC South since it was created in 2002 (they also have the most division titles). The Panthers are also the team that embarrassed the Falcons (in Atlanta) the final week of the 2014 season for the division title. And then again in their first meeting this past season (38-0; yes the Falcons exacted some revenge in handing the Panthers the lone loss of the season).
So Go Broncos Right?
Well not so fast. Remember when the media was crucifying the NFC South last year? Yes, every year there seems to be one division that is embarrassingly bad (although the NFC East AND AFC South this year were pretty terrible for the most part). Wouldn’t it be great to hear the media praising the NFC South again? Yes it would only be for one team, but that is certainly better than whole conference getting crushed right?
So Go Panthers?
As a Falcon fan, I have a hard time personally convincing myself that I should cheer for the Panthers. Over the last seven head-to-head matches against each other (Falcons and Panthers that is) and the Panthers have won five of them. And it is always nice to see them lose right?
So Back to the Broncos???
Well, the Falcons are in the southeast, and many Falcons’ fans are SEC fans. There are 23 former SEC players that will be on active rosters for the Super Bowl, and the Panthers (12) do have one more than the Broncos (11). And all three of the University of Georgia players in this year’s Super Bowl are on the Panthers: Thomas Davis, Charles Johnson and Fernando Velasco.
Obviously cheering for the Panthers is never easy, but they do have more SEC players on their roster and respect for the NFC South is always nice. So I guess you can’t really go wrong…but I will be rooting for the Broncos.