The popular Madden videogame simulation is in, and it has the Panthers beating the Broncos 24-20. In the videogame simulation, Carolina jumps out to a 17-0 lead, which includes a big Ted Ginn kickoff return and a Cam Newton scoring pass to Greg Olsen. But Peyton Manning rallied Denver back to take a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter with a scoring pass to Demaryius Thomas.
Ultimately, Newton leads the Panthers to the championship, scoring the game-winning touchdown on a goal line run. Newton was the videogame MVP throwing for 216 yards and a touchdown. Manning threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns.
How accurate has the simulation been? It’s correctly picked the past 12 Super Bowl champions. Last year, the prediction correctly forecast the final score (New England 28, Seattle 24), but also accurately called that Tom Brady would win the Super Bowl MVP award, that New England would overcome a 10-point 3rd quarter deficit and that Julian Edelman would score the game-winning touchdown.
The prediction also called for Edelman to finish the game with eight catches for 106 yards. He had nine catches for 109.
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Joe Namath, a fan of Cam
Count “Broadway” Joe Namath among the growing legions of Cam Newton fans.
Way back in 1969, Namath became famous for his flamboyant dress, flamboyant quotes and flamboyant lifestyle -- and his prediction that his New York Jets would beat the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Namath backed up his bravado, throwing for 206 yards in a 16-7 Jets win. Namath will be in Santa Clara, Calif, Sunday to be honored with 42 other Super Bowl MVPs during an on-field tribute. In a recent interview with USA Today, Namath said that Carolina’s quarterback is similar to the player and person he once was.
“Cam, myself, guys like Neon Deion (Sanders), we were all part of a group,’’ Namath said. “The game has transitioned, the players have transitioned, the attitudes have transitioned, going back to Vince Lombardi’s quote, ‘If you score a touchdown, act like you’ve been there before.’ That’s changed.”
Namath said he enjoys Newton’s play -- including the first-down gestures and the end zone dances.
“Cam is purely joyful to watch. He’s certainly entitled to showing his pleasure,” Namath said. “The bottom line to this is, if you’re not winning, you can’t do it. … If you want shut Cam down of his exuberance and the spirit and the emotion and all that, you’ve got to beat him on the football field.’’
Are there 146 percent more Denver fans going to the Super Bowl than Panther fans?
Popular travel website orbitz.com has released data that says 146 percent more Denver fans are flying to the Super Bowl than Carolina fans. It also notes that airfare from Denver and Charlotte to the Bay Area rose 113 percent (Denver) and 64 percent (Charlotte) after the AFC and NFC Championship games. Hotel rates in the Bay Area are up 112 percent.
A quick check of the website Monday morning revealed that trying to leave Charlotte Thursday and returning from the Super Bowl Monday wasn’t cheap. The average hotel charge was about $1,600. The plane fare? Another $900 or so.
Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr