February 02, 2016

Super Bowl 50 could be shaping up as one last big Peyday

The Super Bowl is supposed to be one of those classic offense-versus-defense matchups with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers trying to escape the Denver Broncos defense.

But the stage is set for Peyton Manning to steal the show.

The irony here is that Manning is at the end of his career and you can make a pretty good case that the Broncos’ backup – Brock Osweiler – is a better quarterback. It might turn out that Osweiler has to come off the bench to take over for Manning.

Or that Manning steals the show.

It is certainly a longshot that Manning will overcome what has been one of the least impressive seasons in what will be a Hall of Fame career. The best that can be said of Manning this playoff season is that he has managed the offense, not turned the ball over, allowed the defense to control the game and provided enough field position to have Temple’s Brandon McManus win the game with field goals.

This Super Bowl will provide a final platform for a brilliant career, and there is just that outside chance he seizes that challenge and dances away from the game on the same winning exit cloud that John Elway once rode.

The more likely case is that Newton is dancing from beginning to end and he is crowned the new king of quarterbacks but there is no denying that one of the biggest draws of this Super Bowl is that Manning can overcome the odds and write a brilliant final chapter.

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It’s nice to see that Temple has enough confidence in its football program that plans are in motion to build a 35,000 capacity football stadium at its Philadelphia campus.

The fact that the football team only draws when the opponent is a national powerhouse doesn’t seem to matter. The simple equation is that a new stadium might draw better recruits and a football team that can share in conference money can fuel an entire athletic program.

Here is the mistake.

If Temple is going to throw money at upgrading its athletic facilities the school should seriously consider funding an ice rink that holds about 12,000.

It would be a lock that within less than two years, the school could ice a Div. 1 team and could draw at least what the basketball team draws -- if not more. At some point, a college will recognize that Philadelphia is a spectacular hockey town and there is a blossoming pool of local talent.

Temple should be the school that recognizes the potential and be the school that drives Philadelphia back into Div. 1 college hockey.

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The NHL has a real treasure in Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

Subban put on a great show at the NHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition and he is everything a fan could want in a player -- a great talent who loves the public and spreads around his wealth and overpowering personality to drive charities.

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The Phillies have revealed a new red jersey they will wear a half-dozen times this season, but the problem is going to be the players inside those jerseys.

It appears the Phillies are in the midst of a rebuild that will border on tanking – as evidenced by the trade of closer Ken Giles. On that subject and the struggles of the Phillies, there is a chance that Major League Baseball is going to address the threat of teams tanking to get better.

The spotlight will be on the Houston Astros, who were horrendous for years in an effort to accumulate draft picks, dump salaries … and get better.

The problem with the Houston scenario is the baseball’s revenue sharing procedures, which result in big-market teams picking up the tab while smaller-market teams tank. That allows the lesser team to accumulate talent via the draft and then turn around and beat the bigger teams that had just bankrolled them.

It will be interesting to see what sort of rules MLB will attempt to put in place at the end of this year. And doesn’t it figure the Phillies will be in their rebuilding mode just when it happens.

The problem of tanking has become an issue with many teams across all sports. It’s a charge, in fact, that’s led by our very own Sixers.

The solution, of course, is simple. Each team, no matter where it finished in the standings, gets an equal chance at the top draft pick. Each of the respective league’s teams' name goes into a hat, and you simply go from there.

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