The Peyton Manning storyline of Super Bowl 50 and his possible last game on the gridiron is a major emphasis of the big game Sunday as the Denver Broncos look for football supremacy. Then there is Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and speculation as to how many yards he will compile in a quest for the Lombardi Trophy.
And thousands of miles away at Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara California, there are many roots to a Bronx connection when kickoff takes place Sunday evening. Football historian Victor Mastro, a Bronx native who has published numerous works and conducts lectures about the game has offered some connections about the Broncos and Panthers when it comes to the Bronx.
Connections of the Broncos and the Bronx:
Linguistic: The Bronx is named after Jonas Bronck who is known for creating the first settlement as part of the New Netherland Colony in 1639 and the Broncos are a namesake of Bronck.
John Elway: Former quarterback of the Broncos is the current general manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Elway was an accomplished baseball player and drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 18th round of the 1979 Major League baseball draft. Elway almost signed with the New York Yankees but the Bronx Bombers believed the quarterback was eyeing a career on the gridiron.
Sam Garnes: A defensive secondary coach for the Chicago Bears, Barnes was also a defensive coach with the Broncos. He is a former all-city safety who played for the Governors of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.
Peyton Manning: The five-time NFL Most Valuable Player was drafted by Indianapolis Colts General Manager Bill Polian as a first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Polian a 2015 inductee into the NFL Hall of Fame is a Bronx native from the Fordham section and graduated from Mount St. Michael Academy in 1960.
Connections of the Panthers and the Bronx:
Bill Polian: First General Manager of the expansion Panthers in 1995.
Ricky Proehl: A Bronx native and former wide receiver who played 17 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Panthers and Colts. He played in four Super Bowls and was on two, Super Bowls XXXIV with the Rams and Super Bowl XLI with the Colts. He is currently the wide receivers coach for the Panthers.
And some Super Bowl trivia as it relates to the Bronx on the high school and college level: Mount St. Michael has NFL Hall of Fame representation with the names of Art Donovan and Bill Polian.
Fordham University with the Vince Lombardi history, Wellington Mara and Alex Wojciechowicz.
Prediction: Carolina 34- Denver 28
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