Thursday, February 4, 2016

Super (?) Bowl 50

Both teams are getting ready for the 50th
Super Bowl being held in San Francisco this Sunday... I don't particularly care who wins, but I only care about how they win.  Let me tell you what will drive me to watch reruns of "The Reluctant Astronaut" if this happens before halftime.  

Cam Newton is a phenomenal quarterback.  He can do it all - throw laser accurate passes, evade charging behemoth linemen who are faster than snack food disappearing at a diet program meeting, he can run and he is huge (6'5" tall).  He is an amazing athlete who has captured the hearts of every one of the Carolina Panthers fans.  But Newton does one thing that I don't like - whenever he scores a touchdown, he pretends that he is pulling his shirt off like Superman does in the comic book series.  His nickname is actually Superman, which makes sense with respect to the actions that he does.

The reason this troubles me is that football is a team game.  I'm sure that the Carolina fans and Newton's teammates don't really care how he celebrates a touchdown.  I'm certain they want to see him do it many times this Sunday.  But as a team game, I just think that others were instrumental in getting you there if and when you score.  

Maybe I am just old fashioned.  Vikings coach Bud Grant used to fine his players $500 (back when an NFL player actually cared about $500) for spiking the football in the end zone after they scored a touchdown.  He didn’t want them to do it.  He would tell his players, “Act like you’ve been there before.”  Robert Smith (a great running back for the Vikings in the early 90's) would simply flip the ball to the official and head to his team's side of the field.

Now, that's classy.  He's been there before - I would say to myself.  And he will get there again.  Yes, there are many players in today's NFL who have different celebrations in the end zone - Viking players included.  I never said I liked those either.  The one thing I appreciate about football is it is a team game.  Let the team celebrate.

By the way, the team with the most points at the end of the game will more than likely be the Super Bowl winner - quote from John Madden (actually it was Frank Caliendo imitating John Madden - watch his Late Night with Letterman appearance here - pretty good stuff).  My sentimental choice is Denver.  But I'm afraid that Newton's "super powers" might prevail.

"Look!  In the end zone!  It's a bird!  It's a plane!  Nope - it's just Cam Newton."

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