Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Decisive Trump victory sends GOP establishment reeling

By  (@BYRONYORK)  2/10/16 1:38 AM
AP Photo/David Goldman
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- In late January, the New Hampshire Republican Party held a gathering that attracted GOP officials, volunteers, activists, and various other members of the party elite from across the state. At the time, Donald Trump led the Republican presidential race in New Hampshire by nearly 20 points, and had been on top of the polls since July.
What was extraordinary about the gathering was that I talked to a lot of people there, politically active Republicans, and most of them told me they personally didn't know anyone who supported Trump. Asked about the Trump lead, one very well-connected New Hampshire Republican told me, "I don't see it. I don't feel it. I don't hear it, and I spend part of every day with Republican voters."
Readers of the story came to one of two conclusions. Either New Hampshire Republican leaders were so out of touch that they couldn't tell something huge was happening right under their noses, or there really weren't very many Trump voters, and the Trump phenomenon was a mirage that would fade before election day.
Now, with Trump's smashing victory in the New Hampshire primary, we know the answer. There really were a lot of Trump voters out there, and party officials could not, or did not want, to see them.
And what an astonishingly varied group of voters Trump attracted. At his victory celebration in Manchester Tuesday night, I met a young woman, Alexis Chiparo, who four years ago was an Obama-voting member of Now she is the Merrimack County chair of the Trump campaign.
"We just delivered Concord!" Chiparo told me excitedly. "We were getting a really excellent response from a very interesting swath of voters -- veterans, disabled people, elderly people, women, blue-collar workers."
They were joined, it appears, by an even wider group of their fellow New Hampshirites. According to exit polls, Trump won among men, and he won among women. He won all age groups. All income groups. Urban, suburban, rural. Every issue group. Gun owners and non-gun owners. Voters who call themselves very conservative and those who call themselves moderates.
In short, Trump won everybody.
And he did it in a way that's hard to diminish. In the days before the primary, scores of out-of-town journalists and visiting politicos debated among themselves how to set the rules for the "expectations game." Say Trump won but underperformed his polling, as he did in Iowa; some observers thought he might fall to 25 or 26 percent. And then say some other candidate in second or third place did better than expected. What would the numbers have to be before the opinion makers would declare the other candidate the real winner of the New Hampshire primary? Conversely, how high Trump would have to score before the commentariat would concede that he really won?
In the end, it wasn't even a question. The last RealClearPolitics average of polls before election day had Trump at 31.2 percent, leading his closest rival by 17.2 points. With most of the votes counted, Trump will finish around 35 percent, with an 18-point lead over second-place John Kasich.
The Trump supporters who came to the election night party -- they waited outside for a long time in 22-degree weather -- saw something unique in his blend of personality and positions on issues.
"I haven't believed in the system in so long, and now it's time for a change," said Muriel Labrie, of Manchester, who is 51 and says she has never voted before Tuesday's primary. "I feel Trump is going to kick ass and take care of us the way our country should be taken care of."
"He speaks from the heart, and he keeps America very close to his heart," said Dan Barter, of Raymond, who described himself as a lifelong Democrat.
"He's outspoken, and he's not afraid to stand up to the establishment," said Dawn Petruzziello, of Manchester.
Dawn's husband Angelo cited the economy and immigration as his reasons for supporting Trump. Angelo is an immigrant himself, he explained; his parents came to the United States from Italy when he was two, after waiting seven years to come here legally. Looking at immigration now, Angelo said, "They've got to fix that, because it's so unfair and it's so wrong."
By the way, Dawn and Angelo told me they made their decision to vote for Trump just yesterday, after attending Trump's election-eve rally at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. Before that, they had been leaning toward Marco Rubio.
During that state GOP meeting a couple of weeks ago, I asked former Gov. John Sununu, a man with a lifetime of knowledge about New Hampshire politics, if he knew any Trump supporters. Sununu pondered the question for a minute and said he thought a man who lived down the street from him might be for Trump.
Immediately after the story was published, I got an email from a real estate executive and former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives named Lou Gargiulo, who happens to live down the street from Sununu. "I'm the guy!" Gargiulo told me. "Not only do I support Mr. Trump, I am the Rockingham County chairman of his campaign. The governor would be shocked to know that many of his other neighbors are Trump supporters as well."
I looked for Gargiulo at Trump's victory party Tuesday night. It turned out he was still working the polls in Rockingham County, so I asked him via email why he thought so many members of the state Republican power structure were unable to recognize the extent of Trump's support.
"I think like most establishment Republicans, they thought if they kept promoting the narrative that Trump was a passing fancy and he would collapse, it would happen," Gargiulo told me. "But this phenomena is the result of 25+ years of failed promises and lackluster leadership over multiple administrations from both parties. People have had it, and those in power don't want to accept the reality they can no longer maintain the status quo."

An Alternative Black History Month

You won’t be hearing about the rising black middle class or intact two-parent families of the 1950s.

By Jason L. Riley
February 9, 2016
Black History Month, which began as Negro History Week some 90 Februarys ago, was meant to be temporary. Its founder, historian Carter G. Woodson, envisioned a time when black history would be incorporated with American history and no longer require separate recognition. Woodson’s optimism was warranted.
Americans today are led by a black president in the fourth year of his second term.Martin Luther King’s birthday is a national holiday. The likeness of Harriet Tubman orRosa Parks might soon grace U.S. currency, if the majority of people surveyed prevails. And it has been decades since school curricula excluded black perspectives and accomplishments. Black History Month’s sunset might seem long overdue, but the celebration is too useful politically for that to happen anytime soon.
Historian Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950).ENLARGE
Historian Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950).PHOTO: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES
Woodson died in 1950, a few years before the civil-rights movement found its stride. In the post-1960s era, black leaders turned that movement into a lucrative industry, and Black History Month helps keep them relevant. February is not simply about highlighting the achievements of people like voting-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer or the Buffalo Soldiers who served in the Spanish-American War.
It is also about using racial identity to advance groupthink and to discourage black individuality. It is about presenting the history of blacks as the history of their victimization by whites up to the present day—which explains racial disparities in areas ranging from school achievement and household income to rates of unemployment, incarceration and single-parent homes.
The irony is that black history in the first half of the 20th century is a history of tremendous progress despite overwhelming odds. During a period of legal discrimination and violent hostility to their advancement, blacks managed to make unprecedented gains that have never been repeated. Black poverty fell to 47% from 87% between 1940 and 1960—before the implementation of Great Society programs that receive so much credit for poverty reduction. The percentage of black white-collar workers quadrupled between 1940 and 1970—before the implementation of affirmative-action policies that supposedly produced today’s black middle class.
In New York City, the earnings of black workers tripled between 1940 and 1950, and over the next decade the city saw a 55% increase in the number of black lawyers, a 56% increase in the number of black doctors and a 125% increase in the number of black teachers, according to political scientist Michael Javen Fortner’s new book, “Black Silent Majority.” The number of black nurses, accountants and engineers grew at an even faster clip over the same period. “There are signs that the Negro has begun to develop a large, strong middle class,” wrote Time magazine in 1953.
You don’t hear much about this black history during Black History Month (or any other month, for that matter) because it undercuts the dominant narrative pushed by the political left and accepted uncritically by the media. The Rev. Al Sharpton and the NAACP have no use for empirical evidence of significant black socioeconomic gains during the Jim Crow era, because they have spent decades insisting that blacks can’t advance until racism has been eliminated. If racism is no longer a significant barrier to black upward mobility and doesn’t explain today’s racial disparities, then blacks may have no use for Mr. Sharpton and the NAACP. The main priority of civil-rights leaders today is self-preservation.
Many factors could plausibly explain black progress in the first part of the 20th century. The post-World War II economy was booming, and blacks were steadily increasing their years of education, which increased their levels of compensation. Mass migration from the South meant that more blacks had access to the higher-paying jobs in the North.
The black family was also more stable during this period. Every census from 1890 to 1940 shows the black marriage rate slightly higher than the white rate. In 1925 five out of six black children in New York City lived with both parents. Nationally, two out of three black children were being raised in two-parent homes as recently as the early 1960s. Today, more than 70% are not.
Black nuclear families used to be the norm. Now they are the exception. Jim Crow did less damage to the black family than well-intentioned Great Society programs that discouraged work and marriage and promised more government checks for having more children. But that black history is also kept largely under wraps by those who have a vested interest in blaming the decimation of the black family on slavery and discrimination.
Much of what ought to be studied, duplicated and celebrated in black history is often played down or willfully ignored. And so long as the media allow civil-rights activists and liberal politicians with their own agendas to speak for all blacks, that won’t change.
Mr. Riley, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Journal contributor, is the author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (Encounter Books, 2014).

Reflections On The Black Panthers

A look back at what the Black Panthers did to deserve Beyoncé's rousing tribute at the Super Bowl.

John Perazzo
February 10, 2016

Beyonce performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Beyoncé Knowles. Everyone knows her simply as Beyoncé, the multi-talented superstar wife of music-industry legend Jay Z. She's also the glamorous and magnetic “Bey,” as President Barack Obama affectionately calls her. She's held fundraisers for the President, performed at the White House, and cultivated a warm friendship with both Mr. and Mrs. Obama. Beyoncé often turns up at NBA basketball games, where she and her hubby can typically be seen in their courtside seats, soaking up the love of starstruck fans, broadcasters, and ballplayers alike. This past Sunday, as part of the Super Bowl halftime show, Beyoncé put on a performance that served as an ode to the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. Her all-black female backup dancers proudly donned the Panthers' signature black berets atop their '60s Afro hairstyles, and emphatically raised their fists in the Panthers' famous Black Power salute. In light of the passion with which so many screaming youngsters in attendance rocked and gyrated orgasmically to Beyoncé's every move and word, it's worth taking a moment to consider exactly who the Black Panthers were, and what did they do to deserve such a tribute from the lovely Bey.

The Black Panther Party was born as an outgrowth of the Oakland, California street gang of Huey Newton, a 24-year-old man whose only prior discernible achievements had been as a vicious thug, thief, and pimp. To define the Panthers' mission, Newton in 1966 drafted a Ten-Point Program charging that because America's “racist government” had collaborated with “the capitalists” to “rob” the “Black Community” blind, that same government was now morally “obligated,” as a form of restitution, to give all blacks “employment or a guaranteed income” as well as taxpayer-funded “land, bread, housing, education, [and] clothing” until the end of time. Moreover, Newton argued that “all Black people should be released from … jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.” He also issued a call for blacks to “arm themselves for self-defense,” which was in fact an incitement to a race war. As Panther “minister of culture” Emory Douglas put it in 1970: “The only way to make this racist U.S. government administer justice to the people it is oppressing, is … by taking up arms against this government, killing the officials, until the reactionary forces … are dead, and those that are left turn their weapons on their superiors.”

In a similarly impassioned speech in the late Sixties, Panther member David Hilliard
 denounced “racist, fascist America” as a loathsome country “run by a slave oligarchy and brigandish criminals.” He condemned contemporary white people and their collective forefathers as “genocidal murderers,” “enslavers,” and “exploiters” of the lowest order. And for good measure, Hilliard dismissed “the whole damn” Constitution as a document that was “invalid in regards to Blacks in particular.”

Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton standing in the street, armed with a Colt .45 and a shotgun.

Portraying law-enforcement officers as the indisputably racist agents of a racist nation, the Panthers regularly tried to defy and provoke police—“pigs,” as they contemptuously called them—by appearing in public places carrying loaded firearms. On May 2, 1967, for instance, more than two-dozen Panthers brandishing guns famously walked into a meeting of the California State Assembly to protest a proposed piece of legislation. Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver acknowledged years later (in 1986): “We [Panthers] would go out and ambush cops, but if we got caught we would blame it on them and claim innocence.”

Of course, ambushing the police wasn't the only thing the Panthers knew how to do. They also perfected the fine arts of dealing drugs, pimping prostitutes, extorting money, stealing property, beating people senseless, and on at least a dozen occasions, committing homicide. In 1969 alone, Panther members were arrested 348 times for murder, armed robbery, rape, and burglary. How often did they commit these and other serious crimes without getting arrested? That's anybody's guess.

Because the Panthers hated America, they naturally detested capitalism and revered Communism. David Hilliard, for one, lauded the many graces of “Marxism-Leninism.” Eldridge Cleaver once wrote that “if you look around the world, you will see that the only countries which have liberated themselves and managed to withstand the tide of counter-revolution are precisely those countries that have strongly Marxist-Leninist parties.” The Panthers made Mao Zedong's iconic Red Book required reading for all their members, and sold copies of it to students at UC Berkeley to raise funds for the purchase of shotguns. And for guidance in how to establish revolutionary socialism in the United States, the Panthers studied the works of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, and Frantz Fanon. Historian John Patrick Diggins writes that the Panthers “adopted a 'Marxist-Leninist' amalgam that succeeded in combining nationalism with socialism, preaching self-determination along with class struggle.”

The Panthers maintained that blacks were little more than prisoners of an “internal colony” in America, a colony whose liberation could be effectuated only by armed revolution. Tom Hayden, the New Left radical who founded the Students for a Democratic Society and fully expected that a race war would soon engulf the United States, admiringly dubbed the Panthers as “America's Vietcong”—likening them to the Communist guerrillas who were killing U.S. forces in Southeast Asia. In September 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the Panthers as the single “greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” Much more recently, historian Ronald Radosh described them as “a group of Stalinist thugs who murdered and killed both police and their own internal dissenters.” And in a Sixty Minutes interview in 1997, none other than Eldridge Cleaver conceded: “If people had listened to Huey Newton and me in the 1960s, there would have been a holocaust in this country.”

These, then, were the Black Panthers. These were the anarchic, murderous barbarians whom Beyoncé chose to honor as voices of “justice” during her insipid Super Bowl halftime performance. It was nothing more, and nothing less, than the grotesque glorification of racism—a politically correct brand.

Tags: Black PanthersRacismsuper bowl

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Republicans fail to scream at the lunacy of drafting women

By Rich Lowry
February 8, 2016

In the blink of an eye, we’ve gone from opening combat jobs to women to Republican presidential candidates endorsing registering women for a draft.
Hide your daughters — our deluded and cowardly political elites are a clear and present danger to common sense.
A proposal from the chief of staff of the Army and the commandment of the Marine Corps to require that women register with the Selective Service seemed at first like an effort to highlight the absurd end point of the rush to put women in combat, but top Republicans duly saluted and fell in line.
Asked about the proposal at the recent Republican debate, Marco Rubio said that “Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted.” He makes it sound as though women would completely miss out should a large-scale conventional war break out and they not be compelled to fight in it through the coercive power of the state.
Chris Christie agreed. So did Jeb Bush, who gamely — and cluelessly — added that “we should not impose any kind of political agenda on the military.”
Of course, a political agenda — namely the insistence there is no meaningful difference between men and women, even when it comes to military combat — is the entire point.
The same people who tend to think that college girls need safe spaces to protect them from unwelcome speech profess to believe that their ranks are bristling with the likes of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the legendary Soviet World War II sniper.
They are indulged in this illusion by men with ribbons on their chests who should know better. The US military doesn’t exist to satisfy the whims of the board of directors of the Ms. Foundation. Its job is to field a force that is most effective at winning the nation’s wars.
In an extensive study, the US Marine Corps concluded that mixed-gender units fail by that test, although no one is inclined to take note.
The Marine study compared all-male and mixed-gender units and concluded that women in mixed-gender units “were injured twice as often as men, less accurate with infantry weapons, and not as good at removing wounded troops from the battlefield.”
The physical capacity of the sexes is different, and top-end females tend to be only as capable of the lower-end males. The males in the Marine study averaged 178 pounds, with 20 percent body fat, whereas females were 142 pounds with 24 percent body fat.
The top 25 percent of females in anaerobic power overlapped with the bottom 25 percent of males; the top 10 percent of females in anaerobic capacity overlapped with the bottom 50 percent of males.
The physical disadvantage meant that women were more likely to be fatigued and suffer stress fractures. Women were six times more likely to be injured in entry-level training than males.
The rejoinder to such inconvenient facts is always that the Russians and the Israelis deployed or deploy women in combat. But this is much too simplistic.
Lyudmila the sniper was an exception. According to a study for the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, even under the extreme pressure of the Nazi invasion, women were only 8 percent of the Red Army, and largely served as medics or otherwise in medical care.
As for the Israelis, women initially fought with the Haganah guerrilla force prior to the creation of the Jewish state. But they were pulled back over time.
“Generally,” the Fort Leavenworth study notes, “because of their comparative lack of physical strength, commanders employed women in defensive operations whenever possible.”
Today, as The New York Times notes in a report on gender integration of the Israel Defense Forces, “it remains rare for women to kill or be killed.”
It is evidently too much to ask that reality intrude on the polite fictions of this country’s policy-makers.
FILED UNDER          
EDITORIAL: Only a Barbaric Nation Drafts Its Mothers and Daughters into Combat

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EDITORIAL: The Obama Administration’s Disastrous Decision on Women in Combat

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Monday, February 08, 2016

A Super Bowl Sunset

In the twilight of his career, Peyton Manning wasn't the man in Denver’s Super Bowl 50 win, but he didn't need to be. The defense dismantled the Panthers, which left the Broncos QB ‘at peace’ as he weighs retirement. 

by Peter King
February 8, 2016

Manning is the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams.

Manning is the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — On Thursday, three days before the winningest quarterback in NFL history would play The Last Game (or at least the game we’re sure is the last one), he lined up his offense around the defensive 20-yard line and barked out signals. This would be the last full series of plays in the Super Bowl 50 practice week for Denver at Stanford Stadium, their home for the week … and maybe the last full series of practice plays in Peyton Manning’s life.
The sun was nearly touching the top of the west stands of the stadium on this beautiful California winter afternoon, creating an image of a sunset and lengthening shadows on the field as Manning directed traffic.
“Be alert! Be alert!” he called out, motioning Emmanuel Sanders across the formation. And Manning shouted out the play, which began with “Z Motion!” And then the snap, and then … nothing. No one open.
“One more time!” Manning yelled, annoyed. “Do it again!”
And the offense did, Sanders trolling the back of the end zone and Manning hitting him for a touchdown.
Manning completed 24 of 28 passes against the scout team defense on this temperate afternoon, and his coach, Gary Kubiak, said afterward that this was as good as the 39-year-old Manning had looked all season. Around the Broncos as the week aged, there was growing confidence that Manning could once more have a Manning-of-2013 game.
And then he didn’t.
And then the Broncos won the Super Bowl. By 14.
And then Manning, in the bowels of Levi’s Stadium on Sunday night, was fine with being along for the ride, almost a 2000 Dilfer, on a team with the best defense in the league that absolutely pummeled Cam Newton.
“I’ve just had a real peace this year,” Manning told me 90 minutes after the 24-10 win over the Panthers. “I didn’t know how it was going to work out. I didn’t know what was going to happen. But I’m at the point … I’m okay with that.”
It must be daunting, and it must be a relief, to go from winning like Clayton Kershaw to winning like Mark Buehrle. To be utterly dominant, and then to be along for the ride on a team that hits four home runs every night. The way the Blue Jays pummeled the ball late last season is the way the Broncos’ defense pummeled Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and Cam Newton in their great playoff run. Denver has a great defense. Holding Big Ben to 16 points, Brady to 18 and MVP Newton to 10? Holding the Steelers, Patriots and Panthers to four touchdowns in 12 quarters? Carolina, New England and Pittsburgh were 1-3-4 in the league in scoring, yet managed all of seven third-down conversions in three games.
Von Miller is the star of this team. He and DeMarcus Ware and two young defensive linemen (Malik Jackson and Derek Wolfe), and a couple of swift linebackers and a strong and physical secondary. Manning can complete 13 of 23 for 141 yards, with two turnovers and a 56.6 rating, and the Broncos can still be the ’85 Bears.
“This is a game Peyton never would have dreamed of playing 10, 12 years ago,” his old coach, Tony Dungy, said Sunday night. “But when you win the Super Bowl, you’re fine with it.”
My theory is Manning, while rehabbing his heel and lifting and getting stronger in the 48 days he was out of the Denver lineup, looked around and realized he didn’t have to throw for 250 anymore for his team to have a chance to win. That was most of the time in Indianapolis, and much of his first two years in Denver. Just don’t make the big mistake, he must be thinking. Punts can be your friends. “I’m buying your theory,” father Archie Manning said Saturday. “I really think he’s fine with it. Look at him. He’s happy. He’s peaceful. I think you have to put this in some perspective. He had four neck surgeries [in 2010 and 2011]. He might never have played again. But playing again, and playing well when he came back—what a blessing.”
But in December, when the rehab was slow and the Broncos were struggling on offense, losing to Oakland and Pittsburgh in succession, Kubiak still was convinced the team was good enough to overcome not knowing if or when Manning would play. “There can still be a fairy-tale ending to this season,” he confided to a friend in December.
And there was, of course. Manning returned to play the second half of the final game, then as a complementary player in both the Pittsburgh and New England wins, all the while having the free world think he was retiring at the end of the year. Which he likely will do. But after talking to Dungy nine days ago, Manning felt convinced he needed to let this moment live without infecting it with the so-called Disease of Me.
“I called him,” said Dungy, “and I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re going to do, but if you haven’t decided yet, don’t decide now. Don’t decide at halftime of the last game, or five minutes after the last game. Don’t do it in the moment.’ I think Dick Vermeil made that decision in the moment, and he regretted it. I said, ‘Let the adrenalin wear off and then decide.’”
As Manning said Sunday night, “I thought that was some good advice, to take some time and get away. Coach said, ‘Promise me you’ll do that. It felt like I was back in Indy and he was telling me, ‘Hey, be smart with this ball on third down.’ So it was good advice and I’m going to take some time. But like I said, I have a peace about it either way.”
On Saturday night, Kubiak asked captains Manning and Ware to speak to the team. Ware took a religious tone. “When you walk into the valley of the shadow of death,” Ware said, “you’re not alone.” And he showed images of the offense, the defense and the special teams on the big screen, to emphasize the team aspect of the coming day. Manning did it differently. He talked about the people in the organization, the unsung people they wouldn’t know, or know well. He quoted a favorite pastime of Kubiak’s, the coach’s preference to use “Wise Words” through the year to pass along a lesson. “One of my favorites,” Manning said, “is, ‘Life is fair. Keep working.’” Quarterback coach Greg Knapp said it was the best team-unifying speech he’s heard from a player in his years in football.
“We were ready to play last night,” tight end Owen Daniels said Sunday.
During the day Sunday, when Kubiak saw Manning at the team hotel, he said: “How’d you sleep?”
Manning said, “Like a baby. Ten-and-a-half hours.” Much longer than usual.
Whoa. Maybe the man really was at peace. The game was, in many ways, 1966 football. Quarterbacks playing inefficiently, at least in part because of the ceaseless pressure from both defenses. And it came down to, at the end of the game, Denver trying to play keepaway in a six-point game (Denver, 16-10) the same way the Broncos tried to play keepaway in an eight-point game (Denver, 20-12) in the AFC title game against New England.
Third-and-nine, Denver 26, 5:42 left. Surely Manning would try to convert through the air. No sir. “I thought I saw him change the play to a run,” said Dungy. And Manning did. C.J. Anderson, gain of two. Punt. An incompletion would have taken maybe seven seconds off the clock here. The two-yard run took 43 seconds off. Britton Colquitt punted.
Manning was playing four-corners. He didn’t care. He had Von Miller to strip-sack Newton for the second time moments later, and Anderson scored the clinching touchdown, and Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl without throwing a touchdown pass. He went 3-0 in the postseason and didn’t throw for a touchdown in two of the three wins.
But he has his second Super Bowl title now. And in a day or two, he’ll get away, somewhere no one will find him and his family, and he’ll figure out what to do with his life. At least for now.
“I haven’t decided yet,” Manning said—and he has to know a nation eye-rolls at that. Everyone thinks he’s riding off into the sunset the way Bettis and Strahan and, yes, Elway, have done in the past two decades.
“Ashley and I, we’ll have that talk at some point, but we are going to enjoy this tonight and celebrate. Our kids are four and they are in Pre-K and the teachers say, you really shouldn’t pull them out of school. We are pulling them out! We are going somewhere and we are going to get the heck out of town.
“I have one thing I’ll say, I’ve had good experience with making some decisions, choosing where to go to college, staying for my senior year in college and deciding which NFL team to play for in free agency four years ago. I’ve taken time on all those, I’ve prayed about it, I’ve talked to some people about it and I think I will do that with this. But I have a peace about it whichever way it goes. I’m glad I have been able to get through these two weeks with the focus staying on the team, because that is what it has been about this year. I’ve been a part of it.
“Do you know deep down inside what you are going to do?” I said.
“I don’t,” he said.
But if this is it, and assuming it is, this has been the kind of year Manning has never come close to experiencing as one of the best players ever. Yanked from the lineup. Hurt in midseason. A backup when he returned. Coming back to win a Super Bowl.
“Somebody could say, this year, you really did everything as a QB,” Manning said, sounding wistful. The bus was waiting on him, and he could feel the world waiting for him. For once, he didn’t seem to care.
“I hadn’t been a backup, hadn’t really been injured. I played a long time, but I’d only seen it from one way. I know there are a couple scenarios that I haven’t been in, but I covered a lot of bases this year. Like I said, there is a real perspective to that. And it was really sort of educational for me. You know nobody loves the quarterback position more than me. Today, with the 50th Super Bowl and the league bringing back all the MVPs, I saw Phil Simms and I saw Joe Montana and Steve Young out there on the field before the game. I wanted so badly to find a way to be out there for that MVP picture out there with Eli [his brother] and Tom Brady and Joe Namath. Impossible. There was no way I could do it. But nobody loves quarterbacks more than me and I think I have an even greater perspective and appreciation for the position after this year and I’ve stuck with it. You find out a lot. And it certainly ended up in a real good way today, didn’t it?”
It did. For 53 Broncos and a coaching staff and an organization. An egalitarian Super Bowl, with the quarterback in twilight a part. And the smile on his face, the wide, wide smile, told the story. He was fine with being one of 53, winning a different way. It felt as good.

Denver Defense: ‘We Read Them Like a Book’

by Andy Benoit
February 8, 2016
Denver Broncos’ Von Miller (58) strips the ball from Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — All week long the question was, How would the Broncos react to Cam Newton. Sunday’s answer: they’d make Newton react to them.
“He really doesn’t scramble a whole lot,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said, holding the Lombardi Trophy. “He tries to throw from the pocket.”
The Broncos at times dedicated a spy on Newton in situations where he would be more inclined to scramble, but mostly they went into attack mode, blitzing Newton out of their man-to-man packages.
Phillips’ biggest decision heading into this game was what to do with his extra defenders. He knew that in man coverage he’d often have at least one, and maybe two. The Panthers, after all, like to keep a tight end and/or fullback in to help their athletically average offensive line in pass protection. So what do you do with the man-to-man defenders who are assigned to the tight end or fullback?
Phillips’ solution was to have them blitz. This tactic, known as green-dog blitzing, is an aggressive yet relatively safe way to combat a dual threat quarterback like Newton. As long as the green-dog blitzers are patient and sure that their man is not just chip-blocking but actually staying in all the way, and as long as they’re disciplined in their rush lanes so as not to disrupt the four rushing defensive lineman, it can be a lethal approach.
Linebacker Brandon Marshall, who has been a key green-dog blitzer for Denver all season, said this was the plan every time they saw extra men stay in to help pass protect. “In a lot of games we saw on film, Newton was just sitting back, patting the ball,” Marshall said. “We’d see two [free defenders] in the middle of the field just not doing anything.”
Another crucial benefit of green-dog blitzing is it prevents those extra blockers from doing what they’re employed specifically to do, which is help the offensive line. Tight end Ed Dickson can’t help heavy-legged right tackle Mike Remmers with a double team on Von Miller if Dickson has to react to a safety coming after his quarterback. Fullback Mike Tolbert can’t lend a hand to slower-footed Michael Oher against DeMarcus Ware if a linebacker has suddenly pinned his ears back and is rushing.
And often, the Panthers like to have Dickson and Tolbert blocking on the same side so that the entire O-line can slide the other way. By green dog blitzing, that O-line slide gets nullified because the green-dog blitzers become the edge rushers, allowing the D-lineman to run twists and stunts just a few slots over against the sliding blockers.
With this proactive approach, the Broncos turned in one of the most dominant Super Bowl performances in history. The Panthers offense scored a season-low in points (10) and gave up season-highs in turnovers (four) and sacks (seven).
Adding players to the pass rush “flustered them a lot,” said safety T.J. Ward. “They didn’t expect that.”
Ward was asked if the Panthers showed them anything that they didn’t expect. “No. We read them like a book.”
“They did everything we watched on film,” said fellow safety Darian Stewart.
The safeties weren’t the only ones saying this. Marshall, when asked the question, laughed. (Causing linebacker Todd Davis, one locker over, to also laugh.) “They did everything that we saw on film,” Marshall said. “That’s the crazy thing. You’d think with two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl, they would do a new wrinkle. They did everything the same. Nothing new.”
The only man who could think of any unexpected play from Carolina was, of course, Coach Phillips. He cited the Ted Ginn throwback attempt to Newton (which the Broncos took away) and the misdirection third-and-short throw to Greg Olsen (which got the Broncos).
Besides green-dog blitzing, Phillips’ other big focus was taking away Carolina’s running game. The Panthers, with all of their heavy two-tight end and two-back sets, present a lot of moving pieces on the ground. But they’ll also run the ball out of what’s become the default formation leaguewide: three wide receivers. Phillips noticed something here. “They can’t run against a seven man front with three wide receivers.”
Few teams had exploited Carolina here because defenses often play a six-man front against three-receiver sets if it’s a passing situation. The Panthers are willing to still run in those situations, which concerned Phillips. So, to put an extra body in the front—which was crucial given that Newton must be treated as a ballcarrier—Phillips in certain scenarios replaced one of his nickel safeties with a fifth defensive lineman. That gave the Broncos five men along the line of scrimmage but still three corners in coverage. It’s a brilliant ploy because corners Aqib Talib, Chris Harris and Bradley Roby can easily cover Carolina’s mediocre wide receivers one-on-one. An extra safety wasn’t necessary.
Taking away the run was critical for two reasons: (1) It’s what the Panthers do best; and (2) Stopping it creates the third-and-long situations that allow guys like Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware to tee off on iffy offensive tackles.
Not to mention, Denver felt that Carolina in obvious passing situations was schematically limited. “You can tell they spend more time on their run game than their passing game,” said Ward. “Their run game is intricate, with the hand-offs and the option runs, and guys pulling. Their passing game is pretty much what they show you in their previous weeks.”
And so the team that John Elway built to win via defense has claimed the franchise’s third Super Bowl thanks to a destructive defense. Talent was key, as it always is. But just as important is identifying the most advantageous ways to use the talent. The Broncos did this with tactical aggressiveness in all phases.