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Super Bowl 50's Quarterbacks: So Talented And So Different

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Super Bowl 50's Quarterbacks: So Talented And So Different

Super Bowl 50's Quarterbacks: So Talented And So Different

Super Bowl 50's Quarterbacks: So Talented And So Different

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/465273284/465387422" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning meets with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after an NFL game in Indianapolis in 2011. Manning and Newton will square off in the 50th Super Bowl, in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday. The two quarterbacks were No. 1 overall draft picks 13 years apart. AJ Mast/AP hide caption

toggle caption AJ Mast/AP

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning meets with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after an NFL game in Indianapolis in 2011. Manning and Newton will square off in the 50th Super Bowl, in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday. The two quarterbacks were No. 1 overall draft picks 13 years apart.

AJ Mast/AP

I firmly believe that football games are best when both the quarterbacks are stars, which is what we've definitely got Sunday.

Yeah, yeah, I know: Defense wins games and a football takes funny bounces, and, as every bad analyst regularly declares, man, those turnovers can kill you, but football absolutely needs quarterbacks. Otherwise, the sport only has all those faceless battalions of fungible gladiators.

But, ah, the quarterback. His position is unique in team sport, all the more so in today's passing game. And this Super Bowl looms as even more of a dandy because the two quarterbacks are so in contrast.

Click the audio to hear Frank Deford's take on quarterbacks, Cam Newton, Peyton Manning and the Super Bowl.

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