While I've missed a significant portion of the football season blog-wise, some pretty solid thoughts came to me while using the small but effective weight room in my new apartment complex. Realizing that my tongue is firmly planted in one cheek, what do Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers, Jerry Jones, Boise State, and Brett Favre have in common?
The obvious answer is football, but seeing how I live in Charlotte, "The Buckle on the Bible Belt" and 'tis the season is on everyone's chilly minds, I'm going with God or Santa Claus.
Start with Heisman-winner Newton and the Panthers, the apex and nadir of the football world right now. You don't sweep all four major Best Player-type awards AND beat your arch-rivals ('Bama) in a rousing comeback AND have a shot at the national title and #1 draft position the same year unless you possess enormous God-given talent AND you've been very very VERY good. All the smoke and noise about Cam's dad possibly trying to turn his ability into a pile of cash aside, it looks like Newton has both sides of my possibilities working for him.
As for the Panthers, let's say that half a million people praying for a really great QB to come to Charlotte seems legitimately ready to happen, and that includes/hinges on Mr. Richardson's pledge to do everything possible to put the best possible team on the field next year. That probably means Stanford's Andrew Luck looking over Jimmy Clausen's shoulder whenever the Panthers play again in 2011, because no WAY does Mr. R pull a Miami and draft an offensive tackle #1 instead of a franchise quarterback. I also sincerely doubt there will be a strike (WAY too much dinero for players or management to blow off), and I KNOW Coach Fox won't be here to run another year of scoop of vanilla offense, so call this a double-sized stocking stuffer from Santa instead of God.
Both Jerry Jones and Brett seem like a God deal, and if you watched '60 Minutes' last week and then the Cowboys game vs. the Eagles, you can tell He doesn't like people who try renegotiating. Ol' Jerry said he'd previously cut a deal with God, that if he got a third Super Bowl he'd never ask for anything else, after which he said, "If you know Him like I know Him," maybe you could rework things and get that fourth one. Nope JJ, #4 is just going to be in your jewel of a stadium, but the 'Boys will need tickets to be in it. Check that last blown FG attempt as your semi-proof of His displeasure...
Same for Brett. He HAD to have put up *something* to get an unreal 'final' season in 2009, then he tried for another. Not only did his tired butt get kicked repeatedly allllll crappy season long, cluminating in his 297-game streak of starts ending, that sexual harassment deal with the super babe from his time with the Jets dogged him without letup. That's not a Santa thing, even if you put it in the 'Very Naughty' category.
Boise State? Six years of intense effort from the Boys on Blue went down the drain when their kicker missed a chip shot field goal in the last few seconds of regulation and another in OT. Boise has been whining about what they deserved respect-wise and wound up getting the ultimate non-BCS lump of coal, and at last look, a #11 ranking.
And by the way, nobody--Santa, me, God, or 99% of the fans--cares what befalls kickers. California could have beaten Oregon if theirs hadn't unbelievably been in motion early and then missed an attempt from five yards further back. Another of those kicking Zendejas clansmen had TWO blocked PATs costing Arizona a win against rival Arizona State (and a much better bowl game), and it looked like he was ready to go into the stands after someone who apparently said something uncomplimentary. Not a 'nice' idea when you've been so clearly naughty. Even the Panthers John Kasay, infinitely strong in faith and accurate of foot, missed one that would have been a game winner.
Hey, that would have meant two wins, but call it a push for Santa there. Kasay is Nice to the Nth degree, so it HAD to be about Charlotte getting that shiny toy of a strong-armed quarterback, right?