There are a lot of reasons to not watch Super Bowl 50. Among them: the sensationalist ads with racist and discriminatory over- or undertones, the NFL’s inability to meaningfully confront the physical and psychological damage done to its players over time, the way that impoverished Bay Area residents of color are being pushed out as San Francisco bends over backwards and increases militarized policing for the big game, the possibility of Coldplay doing something stupid during their and Beyoncé’s halftime show, and the big structural problems of modern-day gladiators (predominantly men of color) taking hits for public entertainment while corporations get wealthy. Oh, and you might not like football.
But this Super Bowl marks the convergence of some interesting narratives that give us some solid reasons to actually tune in on Sunday. Here are the best ones:
1. It’s a rather poetic contest between two of the league’s best quarterbacks, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. The former is a young Black man aiming for his first massive title. The latter is a White veteran whose team absolutely screwed up their last shot at the Bowl.
2. Cam Newton is a hell of a quarterback, with stats showing that he’s one of the best to come around in a long time. Importantly, he ranks number seven in NFL history for most touchdowns (passing and running) by a quarterback in a single season. At number one? Peyton, of course.
3. The Panthers are a hell of a team that beat the odds against them to achieve an unreal 15-1 regular season record.
4. Cam Newton is unapologetic about his Blackness and greatness.
5. Cam Newton’s dabbing after touchdowns and in public is so dope.
6. People hate on Cam Newton in a way that they’d never hate on a White QB, yet he persists in his excellence despite them.
7. Cam Newton’s greatness has got people writing rap songs about him.
8. Also, Cam Newton raps (sort of)!
9. The Panthers are, as the The Huffington Post described the team, ”The Most Unapologetically Black Team In NFL History.”
10. Cam Newton, though.
Why are you watching (or not watching) the Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments.