What is the difference between playing and playin’. Denotatively, nothing at all. Connotatively, the two are black and white. As we enter Super Bowl week, the first focus looks directly to the quarterback matchup. Two players who play the same position, couldn’t do it any more differently from one another. One has spent his whole life playing, the other is just playin’ the game and having fun.
Peyton Manning is already being argued for as the greatest quarterback of all time. Manning has thrown 539 career touchdown passes, thrown for 71,940 yards and has averaged 270.5 passing yards per game. Manning gets it done in a way that is methodical. Home stadiums sit in silence as the 18 year veteran decides what his offense will do after seeing the opposing defense. He is cerebral in his attack. Manning has been as good with his mind, as he has been with his arm. Late in his career, the mind has out done the body. Manning will compete in Super Bowl 50, after being bench during the 2015 regular season. He has experience career lows in passing yards, (2,249) yard per pass (6.8) and touchdowns (9). His body has deteriorated, yet Peyton Manning’s football wisdom has taken him further than his body. Throughout his career, Manning has perfected the art of playing football.
Cam Newton has played at an MVP caliber during the 2015 regular season. Through his first five seasons, Newton has thrown 117 touchdowns, 18,263 yards, averaging 234.1 per game. Cam Newton has the ability to get away from defenses with his legs. Newton stands in at 6 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs 245 pounds and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. Newton has rushed for more than 3,000 yards in his NFL career, scoring 43 touchdowns on the ground. Plays are not designed for a quarterback’s to evade tacklers. Newton creates plays on the fly. Cam Newton competes at an NFL level, like he is with the kids, playin’ football.
Two quarterbacks enter the 50th Super Bowl with two different perspectives on what an NFL career is like. On February 7, Manning will be competing in the big game for the fourth time in his career. The Broncos quarterback is taking a business as usual approach to what could be his last NFL Game. For Newton, this Super Bowl will be his first. Cam Newton won a national championship with the Auburn Tiger in 2011. The stage will not be too big for the Panthers quarterback.
From a personality perspective, these two players couldn’t be more different. Manning comes off as the next door neighbor. His ‘awe shucks’ sense of humor has landed him endorsements with Gatorade, Nationwide Insurance and Papa Johns Pizza. His lovable character has earned the respect of both fans and peers alike. Newton is brought a new attitude on what’s excepted from a quarterback. Newton “Dab’s” as often has he steps in the end zone. Most critics aren’t accepting of Newton’s end zone antics. Newton’s rebuttal to this critics did not earn any new fans.
“I’m a firm believe that if you don’t like it, keep me out (of the end zone),” Newton said.
The way these two players dress, talk, behave and play do not match each other. The similarities between the two stop at the quarterback position. Peyton Manning has been cerebral in his approach to playing football. Cam Newton has been playin’ at a MVP clip in 2015. Two different playing styles, personalities and people have proven successful in the same sport. Super Bowl 5o will be a match up of two different players, competing for one championship.