The Hudson Valley is lucky to have so many talented broadcasters available locally and in the New York City market. Many of these friends and acquaintances were kind enough to keep up a tradition and provide their Super Bowl predictions for my blog. I would like to thank all of these folks for participating.
Rich DeMarco, radio play-by-play voice of Army football, basketball and baseball
Denver 24, Carolina 18 – Peyton Manning wins his swan song, but the game is won by the Denver defense. Scoring 20 was enough versus New England, and I think the Broncos find a way to put up 24 points here. Denver will force three turnovers and come up with a defensive/special teams touchdown. Von Miller wins MVP honors.
Doug Sherman, sports anchor for WRGB-6 in Albany; MAAC basketball TV play-by-play
Denver 31, Carolina 14 – I am a sucker for a good storyline. Having Peyton Manning walk off the field for good as a Super Bowl champion would rival the retirement of his boss, John Elway.
Freddie Coleman, late-night host on ESPN Radio; former Hudson Valley sportscaster
Carolina 27, Denver 16 – I think Jonathan Stewart will be a huge complement to Cam Newton and keep that terrific Broncos ‘D’ honest. I also believe that the defense that can impose its will on the opposing offense will decide Super Bowl 50. I think that will be the Panthers, in Peyton Manning’s final game.
Rick Zolzer, Hudson Valley sports radio personality, Renegades public address announcer
Carolina 23, Denver 16 – Although my heart wants me to see Peyton ride off into the sunset with that trophy on his back, my brain says, based on the Panthers offense (despite going against the best defense in the NFL) the Broncos would have to score at least 21 points to win and I don’t think Manning has that in the gas tank. So I will predict with my head and not my heart and say Panthers 23, Broncos 16.
Jack George, Hudson Valley radio disc jockey, sports personality
Carolina 33, Denver 21 – Even though Peyton is the sentimental favorite, Carolina has been ripping through defenses this year. I don’t see it any differently this time.
Eric Frede, former Hudson Valley sportscaster; New England/UConn play-by-play voice
Carolina 27, Denver 13 – Luke Kuechly will be the MVP after intercepting Peyton Manning twice, once for a touchdown. Manning retires, prepares to be lead game analyst with Jim Nantz next season.
Rick Schultz, former Renegades radio voice
Carolina 31, Denver 20 – Youth over age at the quarterback position. I expect the Panthers defense to create a turnover or two early, forcing Peyton Manning to take second-half risks.
Geoff Brault, Marist football, women’s basketball play-by-play voice
Carolina 24, Denver 17 – Denver’s defense is great, but Cam Newton is better.
Bob DeFelice, WGNY radio voice, market manager
Carolina by 14 – I like the Panthers. I think the explosive combination of QB Cam Newton and the Panthers’ “shut ‘em down” defense will be too much for Denver to handle!
Mike Ferraro, Marist sports information director, fill-in radio play-by-play voice
Denver 20, Carolina 17 – Here’s my “completely unbiased” pick, my 29 years of being a Broncos fan notwithstanding: Broncos 20, Panthers 17. I’m a believer in the “kicking and screaming” mentality John Elway and Gary Kubiak have instilled with this Broncos team, which has thrived with guts over aesthetics. I think Denver needs to do two things to win this game: win the line of scrimmage defensively, and commit fewer than two turnovers. Carolina is talented in all facets, but this Denver team has thrived against tough competition all year, and I believe the Broncos will prevail.
Charlie Cornacchio, Hudson Valley News Network, former cable news sports anchor
Carolina 28, Denver 17 – Both teams have good defense, Carolina a little better offense. But what I really like is how the Panthers defense forces opposing offenses to play out of their game plan.
Chris Watson, Time Warner News sports anchor, play-by-play voice
Denver 19, Carolina 17 – The last time I picked against a great defense in the Super Bowl was when Seattle beat Denver a couple years ago. I learned my lesson, believing in a great defense in the big game.
Charles Davis, New Paltz native, Fox Sports and NFL Network football analyst
Carolina 30, Denver 21 – This Carolina team may not have many stars on offense, but their often-overlooked defense has plenty of big-time defenders that will make life difficult for the Broncos offense to sustain drives.
Big congratulations, win or lose, to Panthers GM Dave Gettleman. He was the head coach at Spackenkill High School when I played at New Paltz (we played twice, fortunate to win both times), so it’s really fun to see someone so involved in the game that has ties to my home region.
Kevin Devaney, MSG Varsity play-by-play voice
Carolina 19, Denver 17 – Cam Newton spoils the storybook ending for Peyton Manning with a fourth-quarter scoring drive. Panthers go down as one of the best seasons ever.
Dean Darling, Army football analyst, Marist basketball play-by-play
Carolina 31 Denver 25 – Close game decided late. I feel Carolina TE Greg Olsen might have a good game.
Tony Morino, Army football sidelines reporter, longtime Hudson Valley play-by-play voice and anchor
Carolina 38, Denver 14 – The Panthers seem like they have been toying with opponents all year. Well-rounded and great on both sides of the ball, even dominant at times. Denver’s defense could keep them in this game but I am not sure their offense can do what they want to against the Panthers. While the sentimental pick is Peyton Manning and the Broncos, I think the Panthers win going away.
Ed Coleman, WFAN Mets beat reporter, Sunday NFL host
Denver 23, Carolina 20 – I don’t know how successful the Broncos run game will be against that Carolina front, but I know they’ll run it enough to both chew up time and keep it away from Cam Newton. The Denver ‘D’ led the NFL in both fewest yards per carry rushing and fewest yards allowed per throw – not many teams have done both in the same season. And the Panthers regularly score over 30 per game, but only one team went over 30 vs. Denver (Pittsburgh in Week 15).
Chris Spatola, West Point grad, sports talk show host, college basketball analyst
Carolina 30, Denver 13 – You are what your record says you are! Carolina’s been the best team in the league all year. They have the MVP. No reason to think any of that changes Sunday.
Howard Herman, former Army basketball voice
Carolina 31, Denver 20 – As good as the Denver defense has been, I think the Broncos haven’t faced anyone like Cam Newton. The key will be to keep him in the pocket.
Bob Picozzi, ESPN radio sportscaster, TV college basketball play-by-play
Carolina 20, Denver 16 – Carolina has better talent offensively and deserves to be favored. But I think Denver’s defense and Peyton Manning’s guile and experience can keep it close for 60 minutes. And I would not be shocked in the Broncos win.
Rob Adams, former Hudson Valley play-by-play voice, Connecticut talk show host
Carolina 30, Denver 20 – I want to see a happy farewell for Peyton Manning, but it’s not going to work out. It’s Cam Newton’s world now.
Kevin Connors, ESPN SportsCenter anchor, former Kingston TV sports anchor
Denver 23, Carolina 19 – I think it’s a close game. I think Denver’s defense finds a way to give Cam Newton problems (it’s already held both Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady under 20 points this postseason) and I think Peyton Manning rides off into the sunset with one final, magical performance.
Of course this all sets the stage for the beginning of the new Buffalo Bills dynasty, which begins next season. #RexInEffect!!
John Minko, WFAN update anchor, St. John’s basketball radio play-by-play, former Army football play-by-play voice
Carolina wins – Unfortunately, Panthers in a rout. There are too many reasons they are 17-1. Best team usually wins and they are the best team, with the best player.
Joe Ausanio, former Major League pitcher, Marist softball coach, former TV baseball analyst
Carolina 27, Denver 13 – I think Carolina’s defense will be the difference in the game.
Julianne Viani, college basketball TV analyst, former Marist standout
Denver 20, Carolina 17 – I’m picking Denver to win because everyone else is picking the Panthers. The Panthers might be the better offensive team but Peyton Manning is due for a title, and I used to live in Denver. Plus, I do believe the Broncos can win if they put enough pressure on Cam Newton and they can turn him over a few times. If anyone’s defense can do it, it’s the Broncos. Cam tends to take a lot of chances, and Peyton is more conservative on the offensive end. If they can do this, Peyton will come home with a trophy, unlike two years ago, and this one won’t be a blowout!!!
Bill Rogan, former Renegades and Army basketball radio play-by-play, Denver radio talk show host
Carolina 31, Denver 17 – Living here in Denver, what I am about to write could get me killed. Thanks. But, for you, here ya go. I believe Carolina is the better team and this is Cam’s year. People yap about Denver’s No. 1-rated defense but we’re not talking the 1985 Bears here or the Lawrence Taylor Giants ‘D.’ Cam is too much and wins the MVP.
Bob Beretta, Army associate AD, former basketball radio analyst
Denver 27, Carolina 24 – It would be nice to see Peyton Manning ride off into the sunset with a championship.
Ann Ligouri, longtime WFAN radio host
Carolina 28, Denver 14 – As much as I’d like Peyton to end his illustrious career with a second Super Bowl victory, and as tough as the Broncos defense is, Cam will lead Carolina to the win. He’s full of confidence from his stellar season and the Panthers are too strong, both offensively and defensively, to lose.
Chris Wragge, WCBS-2 news anchor, former sports and golf anchor
Carolina 27, Denver 23 – Cam too tough. Equally tough defenses. Slight edge to Denver, but I think Cam is the great variable. Causes major issues for opposing defenses.
Jay Reynolds, ESPN Radio SportsCenter anchor, former Hudson Valley radio news anchor
Carolina has edge – Full disclosure, I’m a Panthers fan … but there are great storylines for either outcome. Still, my gut has been telling me all along that Carolina will win. Peyton Manning has experience on this stage and I’m sure the Broncos will want to send him off with a ring if this is, indeed, his “last rodeo.” But for that to happen, the Broncos’ defense will have to carry them. When you consider how that defense absolutely stymied the Patriots in the AFC title game, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. That said, Cam Newton has the ability to beat a defense in multiple ways and Carolina’s defense isn’t too shabby either. So if the Carolina defense can keep Manning and the Denver offense in check, I think the Panthers have the edge.
I’m not necessarily big into predicting scores, but I see where the good folks in Las Vegas have set the over/under at 45. If you were to force me to wager my kids’ school lunch money, I’d point to the two elite defenses and take the ‘under’.
Dave Sims, Westwood One Radio NFL announcer, Seattle Mariners TV/radio play-by-play, former WFAN host and WCBS-2 sports anchor
Carolina 27, Denver 17 – Sentimentally, I’d like to see “The Sheriff” go out on top, but Carolina is too ornery on both sides of the ball. Newton is on fire, his receivers are better than we thought. If Denver’s pass rush forces Cam to run, the Broncos tackling game better be at its best.
Jiggs McDonald, long-time Islanders TV play-by-play voice
Denver 31, Carolina 27 (via his heart) – My head says Carolina wins by 10 points or more. The storybook ending of course belongs to Peyton Manning. Heck, Cam Newton has a lot of years ahead to win the Super Bowl. If the Broncos are to write the story, their defense is going to be responsible and play their best game of their individual careers. “OMAHA !!”
Marc Kestecher, ESPN Radio anchor, NBA voice
Carolina 31, Denver 17 – I had a chance to see both teams “live” this season. And while I respect that Denver defense, I’ve just been so impressed with the Panthers Newton, Olsen and Stewart. And I really like Carolina’s front 7 on defense.
Howie Karpin, New York City radio sportscaster, book author
Denver 26, Carolina 24 – Peyton Manning is not being expected to carry his team this time. I think Denver has the linebackers and a defensive front that can “deal” with Cam Newton. It’s very important for the Broncos to take a lead and not let Carolina get off to another fast start as they did in their two post-season games.
Kevin Halpenny, longtime Hudson Valley football radio voice
Denver 26, Carolina 21 – I think the Denver defense puts Cam & Company in some situations they haven’t seen and takes advantage. Peyton will rely heavily on the running game and Owen Daniels to keep the Broncos moving, but I think he will hook up with his deep threats for a couple of big plays late. Denver’s special teams will make a difference in this game, too.
Dan Reinhard, longtime Kingston football radio play-by-play voice
Carolina 31, Denver 17 – I have followed the career of GM Dave Gettleman since his days as the head football coach at Kingston High School. Panther offense will be too much for the Broncos defense. It’s been a great ride for Dave since his days in Kingston and as one of the oldest GM’s in the NFL he will be holding the Lombardi trophy on Sunday night.
Jason Barrett, former Hudson Valley radio talk show host
Denver 27, Carolina 24 – I’m picking with my heart rather than my head – Peyton Manning and the Broncos emerge victorious. Denver’s defense comes up big in crunch time, and Peyton rides off into the sunset, capping the perfect end to a Hall of Fame career.
Now watch, it’ll be Seattle-Denver all over again.
John Tobin, WPDH host, longtime Jets fan
Carolina 23, Denver 20 – Is the Denver defense special or merely excellent? If “special,” they can carry the day.
This game’s narrative has a duality to it. They’ve hyped the Manning Sunset and they’ve hyped the “Cam as rocket ship” metaphor. The league wins either way.
Ok, prediction time. I think the over/under at 44.5 is just about dead-on. In a perfect world, Carolina gets the majority of those. (BTW, 23-20 is the most-common final score in NFL football).
Maybe I’m being too generous to Peyton. The 2014 Broncos blew up the scoreboard all season yet were reduced to a befuddled mess vs. Seattle. The same thing could happen here.
Then again, if the Denver defense is “special” they can take Newton’s unit down a few notches and maybe Peyton’s production can hold up. Those edge rushers are talented and hungry.
Boy, do I love to equivocate.
Brandon Tierney, former Marist baseball player, CBS Sports Network NFL talk show host, St. John’s basketball analyst
Denver 23, Carolina 20 – The Sheriff has one more bullet in his arsenal.
Casey Kahler, former Army football and basketball announcer
Carolina 17, Denver 10 – I like both the Denver and Carolina defenses and for that reason I am picking a low-scoring game. I think Carolina with Cam has the better offense. I think Carolina wins the game in one of the lowest-scoring Super Bowls of recent vintage.
Don LaGreca, ESPN New York radio co-host, Rangers radio voice
Carolina 30, Denver 17 – Carolina scored versus the Cardinals and Seahawks and can do it versus Denver. Also the Broncos need to score north of 24 points. Tough to do versus the Panther ‘D’ without turnovers.
Lindsay (Liquori) Quackenbush, former Time Warner sports anchor, current Florida sports anchor
Carolina 20, Denver 14 – Top defenses will square off but the NFL’s MVP Cam Newton will be the difference. “Superman” will lead the Panthers to their first franchise Super Bowl.
Tim Capstraw, Nets radio analyst, former Marist basketball radio analyst
Carolina 28, Denver 21