Howard Herman: Super Bowl 50 rooting guide

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Depending on when you read this, the Super Bowl is hours away.

By now, we've all heard and read plenty about Super Bowl 50. That's right, it's 50, not any Roman Numeral. Denver and Carolina will kick if off at Levi's Stadium with the Lombardi Trophy on the line.

Thanks to newspapers like this one, TV networks like NFL and ESPN, and countless online sites, we have been inundated with information about the Broncos and Panthers. Statistics, old fashioned and advanced, highlights and coaches dissecting plays on TV have all been part of an effort to figure out which team will win.

If you have picked your team, good for you. If not, and you need help, our annual more-than-scientific analysis will help you.

Frankly, I'm exhausted from all the research, but it's done for you.

It's Unsinkable: If you saw "Titanic," you must remember the performance of Kathy Bates as the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown. After surviving Titanic, Brown moved to Denver. Nobody in Charlotte was on the Titanic. Advantage, Broncos.

Whites vs. Colors: The Broncos are the designated home team and as such, get the opportunity to choose their uniform color. Denver will wear its road white, which might just be a good thing. Ten of the last 11 Super Bowl champions wore white, including both New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers champions. Green Bay wore green. Advantage: Broncos.

It must be the shoes: Denver quarterback Peyton Manning had regular shoes during the week. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton bought a special pair of kicks from Nike that had a zipper on the tongue. When you zipped it down, the Superman logo appeared. That's not even including Newton's flip-flops with socks at Wednesday's press conference. Nice. Advantage: Panthers.

Just give me some of that Rock and Roll music: Phillip Bailey, the lead singer of the band Earth, Wind and Fire was born in Denver. Wilbert Harrison, who sang the old rock classic "Kansas City" was born in Charlotte. And while he wasn't born there, there was a famous folkie whose name was John Denver. Advantage: Broncos.

The Best Thing Going: Chauncey Billups grew up in Denver. Stephen Curry grew up in Charlotte. Need I say more? Advantage: Panthers.

Vroom, vroom: Furniture Row Racing is based in Denver and runs a NASCAR Sprint Cup team with Martin Truex Jr. driving. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is in Charlotte, as is Hendrick Motor Sports and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Advantage: Panthers.

Law enforcement division: The good news for Denver is that the legendary lawman and eventual sportswriter Bat Masterson is from Denver. The bad news, bounty hunter and reality TV star Duane "Dog" Chapman is also from there. Advantage: Push.

So, by my count, that's three votes for Denver, three for Carolina and a push for a 3-3-1 total.

The tiebreaker comes down to whether or not you want the happy ending.

Do you want Peyton Manning to go out with a championship as John Elway and Jerome Bettis did? Do you want Cam Newton and his upstart Panthers to spoil the fairy tale?

Yeah, I thought so. The Carolina Panthers will be Super Bowl 50 champions.

Enjoy Coldplay.

Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.


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