Monday, January 25, 2016

An Open Letter to Cam Newton

Dear Mr. Newton,

First and foremost, I wanted to congratulate you on a remarkable season. You piloted the best team in the league to the Super Bowl and it looks all but certain that you will be the league's most valuable player this year.

You laid waste to every opponent that crossed your path-- including my beloved Seattle Seahawks. I thought it was a foregone conclusion that we'd find ourselves in a third consecutive Super Bowl, but you put an abrupt end to that.

Instead, I'll be watching you next weekend. But I won't be rooting for you.

This has absolutely nothing to do with you as a person, whatsoever. Hell, I was in your corner as soon as I heard that you were being taken under the wing of one of my childhood heroes, Warren Moon.  

There is no argument against your talents. You have a rifle for an arm, the speed of a running back, the body of a linebacker and a winning smile. I'm sure if I lived in Auburn or Charlotte, you might be my favorite player.

But a rivalry is brewing between my Seahawks and your Panthers-- and I love that.

Two similarly-built defenses. Two young, gifted quarterbacks. Two physical run games.  

The only thing that makes that rivalry better, in my opinion, is your antics on the field.  I've echoed your sentiment 'if you don't like it, then stop it' all along. I was disgusted by the open letter that some candy-assed Seahawks fan penned about you throwing our flag on the field.  A real '12' wouldn't have left their gear behind to begin with!

The Panthers fan that griped about you setting a bad example for her son was just as clueless. No one should be parking their kids in front of the TV on Sunday expecting to be taught life lessons.

Personally, I hope that stuff motivates my Seahawks to bring their A-game next time we face off against you. If they don't, we will only be making our next shot at a Super Bowl more difficult.  If they do, its going to be incredible football for everyone that's watching.

Another one of my childhood heroes will be facing off with you in Super Bowl 50.  Old Man Manning. I've admired him since he was a Tennessee Volunteer. 

I was fortunate that my Seahawks were able to get their first Lombardi against him-- that made it all the more special-- but I do hope he rides off a Champion after this game.

If not, I will still respect you as an elite athlete and it will probably add fuel to the fire for the next time you face my Seahawks.

I'm sure my opinion means nothing to you-- as it should. Nobody's opinion should matter to you outside of your team and your family. But I have a feeling you are already well aware of that. My 'sports hate' for you comes from a place of respect. Thank you for loving the game of football and playing it with passion. 

Until our teams meet again....