Sixth-graders from Bill Roberts K-8 School convened to discuss the Broncos performance in the 2016 Super Bowl to become the world champions.
Each of the students watched the game with their families and report that they screamed like crazy when the Broncos won.
“They had a lot to win for,” Cole Petersen says. “They have one owner who is dying right now. They had to win for Pat Bowlen and then had to win for Peyton because it’s probably his last season. It was also cool to win for Gary Kubiak because it’s his first year coaching.” These sixth-graders have a surprising amount of sophisticated knowledge about the Broncos.
Right off the bat, they say the Broncos won because of the defense. “Offense wins games, but defense wins championships,” they say. Peyton Manning threw only two touchdowns in three playoff games this year, but it didn’t matter because of the firepower defense. “Like when they sacked the quarterback and it was a fumble and then a touchdown,” Melvin Paige says, and the group reminisces, nodding their heads and saying, “Oh yeah, that was so good.”
Von Miller is many of the students’ favorite Broncos player. Paige, who plays defense in contact football, understands how defensive players sometimes don’t get enough credit and appreciates the Broncos defense is getting recognition.
The sixth-graders play a variety of sports—soccer, roller hockey, contact football, and lacrosse—and understand, as athletes, what it’s like to lose a big game. “It’s worse making it to playoffs or semifinals and then losing,” Katie Paul says.
They watched Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s post-game press conference where he didn’t answer the questions and ended up walking way. “He was a poor sport,” Croix Green says.
“But,” Cole Petersen defends, “I would be a little mad too if my team lost in the Super Bowl. Cam Newton is a really nice dude. Three years ago he lost in the playoffs and said, ‘I bet next year is going to be a great season,’ and then they ended up going to the Super Bowl. They just have to be good sports about it.” Petersen’s lacrosse team lost in the championship, which was extremely frustrating but he says they just have to try again.
They cite Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders as a great example of sportsmanship. “He plays really well and people try to pick a fight but he says he’s just going to focus on his game, not on other people’s games. He still has a smile on his face.”
For the sixth-graders, watching the NFL is more than just a game; they feel a part of something bigger. According to the students, professional sports have the power to bring together a city. “It’s crazy how just watching a game doesn’t really matter, but it does really matter to people. And affects people.” “If you didn’t have professional football, life would be boring all the time,” Andrew McGrath says. They’re already looking forward to next season.