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Super Bowl Scoring: Pick the Best Football Player Houses, AFC Edition

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The 50th iteration of the Most Important Sports Game Of Our TimeAKA Super Bowl 50—is this Sunday, February 7, and with #football excitement reaching a fever pitch in the run-up to the big day, we're pitting star players from teams across the NFL in head-to-head real estate matches. This first batch spotlights players in the AFC, or American Football Conference. Who has had the greatest pad? Is it Kansas Chief quarterback Alex Smith's French villa-like home in the Bay Area? Peyton Manning's sprawling estate in Denver? Read our match-ups and cast your votes below!

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning
Philip Rivers vs. DeMarcus Ware
Rob Gronkowski vs. Frank Gore
Alex Smith vs. J.J. Watt

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning:

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, Brazilian-born supermodel and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen, built their French chateau-style, nearly 14,000-square-foot house in Los Angeles (↑) in 2011. Working with architect Richard Landry, Brady and Bundchen specified some unique features, including a moat, a six-car garage, and an extensive home gym—alongside solar energy and graywater recycling systems. Before quickly selling it in 2014 (to Dr. Dre, no less!), they made time for an Architectural Digest feature to show it off.

Meanwhile, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is said to have moved into this 7-bedroom, 10-bathroom Georgian-style estate (↓) in the Mile High City's Cherry Hills Village neighborhood. Manning was likely charmed by its wide open spaces—it sits on nearly 3.5-acres of land—and simple, stately interiors. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the Brady-Bündchen house, but it does have an open-plan living room/kitchen, a wine cellar, and a heated seven-car garage.

VOTE:

Poll results

Philip Rivers vs. DeMarcus Ware:

Philip Rivers, the veteran San Diego Chargers quarterback who is apparently totally against his team's potential relocation to L.A., must feel pretty good about his current situation in San Diego. Here's what he's got going for him, house-wise: a sprawling six-bedroom Mediterranean-style estate (↑) in Santaluz (a luxury coastal golf community) that comes with a fountain in the courtyard, waterfall pool, and private rose gardens.

DeMarcus Ware, the Denver Broncos' star linebacker, will be playing at the Super Bowl this Sunday (no big deal), but does he also have the sweeter digs of this matchup? Before joining the Broncos, Ware played for the Dallas Cowboys and lived in an English-style new-build mansion (↓) in the Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville. The six-bedroom, nearly 10,000-square-foot spread sits in a gated community, and seems to have a dream setup for entertaining, offering a wine porch, outdoor pavilion, pool with separate pool house and game room, cushioned turf play area, and putting-chipping green.

VOTE:
Poll results

Rob Gronkowski vs. Frank Gore:

It's the battle of off-season Florida cribs. Both New England Patriots tight end Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski and Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore unloaded their Florida mansions in the last couple of years. The Gronk's waterfront party pad (↑) in South Tampa was offered furnished with serious man-cave luxuries, including, but not limited to: a wood-paneled elevator, built-in fish tanks, more than 10 flat-screen TVs, a billiards room, iPhone-controlled surround-sound system, pool, spa, wet bar, fire pits, and two Yamaha watercrafts.

Gore's former property (↓), located in Davie, FL—which is closer to the Fort Lauderdale and Miami—is about 2,000 square feet larger than the Gronk's old place, but also seems like a party powerhouse with a giant covered patio, outdoor kitchen and bar, resort-style pool and spa, and media and entertainment rooms inside.

VOTE:
Poll results

Alex Smith vs. J.J. Watt:

When current Kansas Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith left his first NFL home, the San Francisco 49ers, he managed to sell his French villa-inspired Bay Area home (↑) for a modest $370K profit. The 4,650-square-foot home was built in 2010, but seems to embrace more old-timey charms like 100-year-old reclaimed wood beams and antique limestone floors. The four-bedroom house also comes with a patio, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, and bocce ball court—all in all, a world apart from the Wisconsin cabin (↓) Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt picked up last year.

Watt, the 4th highest paid player in the NFL last year, was apparently seeking a "no frills" place devoid of any distraction, but at 4,500 square feet, the home is no simple log cabin. In fact, there's an elevator inside, and Watt is reportedly planning to add a gym to the barn on the 35-acre property.

VOTE:
Poll results

Which NFL Player Claims the Most Lavish Mansion? [Curbed]
Why Harvard Stadium's Revolutionary Concrete Construction Changed the Rules of Football [Curbed]
· Super Bowl 50 coverage [Vox Media]