Bay Area Bowl

Anastasia Veal, Staff Reporter

The Super Bowl 50 is here!!! The Super Bowl is a huge event in America, and it is the most watched football game every year, whether it is for your favorite football team, the commercials or a great halftime performance. In fact Super Bowl XLVIII had an estimated 111,500,000 viewers. This year featured the Denver Broncos lead by the veteran quarterback, Peyton Manning, versus the Carolina Panthers lead by the Super Bowl newcomer, Cam Newton, and was played in the Santa Clara at the Levi’s stadium; this is the first time the Super Bowl has been in the Bay Area since 1985 in Palo Alto. So why did it come back? Well, the 49ers stadium is the newest in the NFL, only two years old, and it is tradition for the most recently built stadium to hold the upcoming Super Bowl.

This year, the Panthers were the media pick to win as they finished the post season 15-1 while the Broncos finished 12-4, however the game started in Denver’s favor as they received the ball first and ended the possession with a 34-yard field goal making the score 3-0 Broncos. The Panthers offensive team took the field and began their drive with run pass play. The first Panther drive ended in a punt that started an unwanted precedent as the next drive for both teams ended in punts as well. Later in the quarter, Denver outside linebacker, Von Miller, sacked Panther quarterback, Cam Newton, which caused a Carolina fumble that was recovered by defensive end, Malik Johnson, as he fell on the ball and scored a defensive touchdown. This unexpected play led the Panthers into the second quarter at a 10 point deficit.

The Panthers tried to make a comeback in the second quarter as they started out on offense. During their fourth drive of the quarter, Carolina slowly inched toward the endzone as running back, Jonathan Stewart, quite literally jumped for the first Carolina touchdown of the game. They still had a long way to go after an earlier Broncos field goal. The second quarter ended with Denver ahead 13-7, and the game took a pause as the much awaited half-time performance began.

The show kicked off with the popular group Coldplay performing their song “Viva la Vida” and then transitioned into “Paradise” as the flower-themed special effects, costumes and dancers combined effortlessly around the stage. Bruno Mars then took the spotlight performing “Uptown Funk” and showed his dancing skills with classics like the Running Man and the Cabbage Patch. But Beyoncé soon took over as she debuted her new song “Formation” as the dancers showed off their all black outfits completed with retro afros. Beyoncé and Bruno Mars then both collected their dancers and met on the stage for a mini dance battle as they both sung lyrics of “Uptown Funk.” Still, the real show stopper was the replay of all the greatest halftime performances which included Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Bono, James Brown and Whitney Houston as Coldplay belted out the song “Fix You” with revised lyrics.

After the show, the Panthers took the field to begin the second half. The Carolina drive looked promising as their kicker, Graham Gano, lined up for a 44-yard field goal that missed by veering to the right and ricocheting off field goal post. The Broncos offensive team took the field and their drive ended in the only points of the quarter as kicker, Brandon McManus, scored a 36-yard field goal. McManus was on a roll as the Broncos score another field goal with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. At this point the Broncos were in the lead 16-10. The Panther defense stopped the Broncos from scoring, but this ended when a fumble by Newton put the Broncos in great field position to score. The Broncos took full advantage, and C.J. Anderson scored a touchdown for Denver with less than four minutes left in the game. The fate of the game was sealed as Anderson’s touchdown was followed by Manning throwing a pass to wide receiver, Bennie Fowler, which scored the Broncos a two-point conversion. This brought the score to 24-10. The Denver Broncos were named Super Bowl 50 champions and outside linebacker, Von Miller, took the title of Super Bowl 50 MVP.

This Super Bowl not only proved to be a good game, but it also included a few interesting commercials. Nonetheless, one of the most unique parts of the Super Bowl was having a West High alumnus, Amini Silatolu, being a guard for the Carolina Panthers. Silatolu graduated from West in 2007 and went to college at Delta and Midwestern State University (MSU) where he studied criminal justice. In the 2012 NFL Draft Silatolu was a second round pick for the Panthers where he has played for the last four years. When at West, Amini played as a defensive lineman and helped the 2005 team go all the way to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 championship and also the section semifinals in 2006. After graduating high school, Silatolu went on to play as a defensive tackle and he gained the honor of the All-Valley Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year. Silatolu continued to dominate at Midwestern State where he won the award of Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman and was the first MSU player to be invited to the 2012 Senior Bowl. His great protection of his quarterback’s blindside and aggressive gameplay made Silatolu one of the top offensive lineman of the 2012 NFL draft. Silatolu is currently injured with a torn ACL, but we hope to see the West High grad back in action next preseason.