#Panthers QB Cam Newton rejects racial politics on black QBs in the NFL

The Charlotte Observer sports section reports on Panthers’ star QB Cam Newton’s views on the media-driven hype over the number of black quarterbacks in the NFL:

For the first time in the Cam Newton era, the Carolina Panthers will face consecutive teams with quarterbacks of African-American descent after hosting Russell Wilson’s Seahawks and traveling to E.J. Manuel’s Bills on Sunday.

There were an NFL-high nine black or biracial quarterbacks who started in Week 1. One media outlet has dubbed it, “ The Golden Age of the Black Quarterbacks.”

Newton isn’t throwing a party.

“You don’t have a bar mitzvah just because you’re a starting African-American quarterback in this league,” Newton said Wednesday. “Even though I’m a fan of everybody, I can’t say I just root for Michael Vick, (Robert Griffin III), Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick. I still feel like I learn just as much from Michael Vick as I do from Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or even RG3.”


Newton doesn’t perceive himself as one who paved the way for black quarterbacks in the league who have come after him, nor does he believe race hinders anyone at the quarterback position in 2013. He’s just making the most of his opportunity.

“If you have skills to play the game of football, then you’re going to play no matter what your race,” Newton said. “I didn’t feel any type of pressure coming into this league saying that I have to represent for all African-Americans, like saying all my fans are just African-American. When I play this game I play it to the best of my ability so I can inspire everyone, not just a particular set of people.”

He’ll probably take some serious crap over his opinion from some of his fellow teammates and others from around the link, but hats off nevertheless for him having the courage to reject the racial politics of the NFL. Regardless of what you think of him as a professional player, or the controversies that surrounded him during his college days, this is a winning attitude – and one that this Panthers fan hopes will translate into wins on the field as well.

As the article noted, Cats take on the Buffalo Bills in an away game Sunday.  It will be broadcast locally on Fox and starts at 1 pm ET.

Cam Newton

The Caminator.
(Photo via Getty Images)

Sunday NFL Football Open Thread: Seahawks at the @Panthers

Are you ready for some football? Yeehaw! I sure as heck am. :) It’s opening day for the start of the 2013-2014 NFL season and the Carolina Panthers will kick it off here at home versus the Seattle Seahawks.  It’s a beautiful day in Charlotte with temperatures expected to be in the upper 80s and only a 20% chance of rain – so a good day for some football.

A lot of us here have high hopes for the Panthers, hoping the players finally gel together to form a winning season, maybe even making it to the playoffs, but it’s kind of a cautious optimism because we’ve been down the “high hopes” road before and have fallen way short. As they say, anything can happen.

Game time is 1 pm ET and it will be broadcast locally on Fox. Go, Cats!

Carolina Panthers


Deval Patrick: “You guys can handle the terrorists, I’m catching some Zs.”

**Posted by Phineas

You’re the Governor of Massachusetts. Islamic terrorists have just blown up a major sporting sporting event in your state’s capital city, killing several and wounding hundreds.  Boston is on lock-down, the police have done everything except declare martial law, and the terrorists are on the loose. No one knows where they are or if they’ll strike again. What do you do, O Chief Executive of the Commonwealth?

What. Do You. Do?

Simple. You take a nap:

On the controversial Greater Boston lockdown: “In the afternoon … I went back to the offices in the State House … and I took a nap. (Then) the phone rang. It was the president. … And he said, “Deval, I’m briefed. … What are you going to do about the city? You can’t keep it locked down indefinitely.’

“I said, ‘Mr. President, I know that. … I’m trying to sort that out now.’ … Basically the state police had said we should end this … when we finish the door-to-door in Watertown. So if we haven’t found him, we should say to people, ‘Look, live your lives, but please be careful because he’s still at large.’”

Yes, you read that right. It took a call from Barack Obama, not the most hands-on president ever, to rouse “Governor” Patrick from his slumber and ask him just what he planned to do about the psychos terrorizing his city. While the people of Boston were in fear for their lives, Deval Patrick was bravely… snoring.

And he admitted it.

That sound you hear is what was left of any national ambitions he had being taken out back and shot.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

At least the President knows his priorities

**Posted by Phineas

National debt approaching $17 trillion? North Korean nukes and the threat of war on the peninsula? America’s credit rating?

Nah, it’s March Madness, baby! And Barack Obama, President of the United States, tweeted this morning to remind everyone to get in on the fun:

Now, as others have pointed out, the @BarackObama account has been transferred to OFA, his former campaign group, now turned into a national community organization, but, hey, it still has his name on it and it’s still “verified” by Twitter, so why not assume this represents what he truly values?

You can read the reactions at Twitchy telling him to finish his danged budget, first, but here’s one that best reflected my feelings:


(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Super Bowl Sunday Open Thread

Well, who are y’all rooting for? Its the 49ers all the way for me, and hoping for a good game rather than a blowout.

Settling down with the family, including Muffie T., and about to dig into the snacks. Enjoy the game! And be safe if you’re out celebrating.  :-)

Sunday Football Playoff Games Open Thread

I’m about grab some lunch and then kick back and be lazy on the recliner with la familia and enjoy an afternoon of playoff football.  I’ve got the 49ers and Patriots going to the Super Bowl, but I’m not the best when it comes to football predictions so take my prognostications with a grain of salt. ;)

Today’s schedule: The San Francisco – Atlanta game will be broadcast at 3 ET on Fox and the Ravens – Patriots game will be at 6:30 ET on CBS.

Are y’ll ready for some football?

NFL playoffs weekend open thread

Yeehaw! Are you ready for some football? :)

All playoff games for this weekend promise to be good ones, maybe even nailbiters – which makes them even more worth watching.

This weekend's playoff games schedule.

This weekend’s playoff games schedule.

As much as I adore Packers cuties Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, my heart belongs to the 49ers – the team I have loved since moving to Charlotte many years ago, and discovering the “hometown connection” Dwight Clark and his family had here. Of course, the Panthers are my number one team now, but the 9ers are a close second. I know our dear Phineas will also be rooting for the 49ers tonight, but the question of the day is: is he well-stocked on martini mix for tonight’s game? Inquiring minds want to know …

On the Ravens and the Broncos, I think Peyton Manning will shine and carry his team to victory – which I will be happy to see for Coach Fox (formerly the coach for the Panthers). I’m picking the Seahawks over the Falcons, since I believe the Falcons are somewhat overrated (don’t hate!), and I believe the Patriots will be victorious over the Texans in a very hard fought game.

Who are y’all picking?

Sunday Football Open Thread: #Panthers at the Saints

Panthers logoThe Panthers (6-9) are going to try and finish out their mostly dismal season on a positive note by going 4-0 down the homestretch with what they hope will be a victory over the New Orleans Saints this afternoon in an away game. The Saints, in a similar situation as the Panthers with no hopes of getting into the playoffs, nevertheless will try to exact revenge on the Panthers for the 35-27 loss the Cats gave them in the second week of regular season play – and a win today would put the Saints at .500 for the season.  Not great, but at least respectable.

Probably the biggest story of the week for the Panthers was not how they’ve prepared to take on the Saints today but rather fines issued by the league against several players for incidents that happened on the field during their home game against the Raiders last Sunday:

The NFL levied two fines against Cam Newton for his conduct in the Panthers’ win against Oakland on Sunday.

The Observer reported late Thursday that Newton had been fined $21,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official. Joe Person reported Friday that Newton was also fined $10,000 for kicking Raiders DT Tommy Kelly.

The kick came after Kelly had combined with Desmond Bryantfor a sack in the second quarter. Newton kicked at Kelly, who then held Newton down and received a flag for unnecessary roughness. The quarterback said after the game he was trying to get up as quickly as possible and did not intend to kick Kelly.

Defensive end Greg Hardy was fined $25,000 for his hit on Carson Palmer. Hardy hit Palmer as he threw in the first quarter, knocking Palmer out of the game and subsequently the rest of the season.

Hardy was fined $15,750 earlier in the season for hitting Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III in the head following a throw.

Also getting fined was safety Charles Godfrey for his hit on a defenseless receiver. The NFL fined Godfrey $21,000 for hitting Rod Streater in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.

I don’t recall the Godfrey hit but going off memory on the Hardy hit on Palmer, it didn’t strike me as illegal but the NFL is getting more strict in terms of the types of hits allowed, especially against quarterbacks, so it’s no surprise these fines were handed down.  On the other hand, the Cam Newton fines are understandable. His frustration at the refs was, too – especially considering that Raiders’ DT Tommy Kelly admitted after the game they wanted to “take Cam out” after the Palmer hit, but Cam shouldn’t have reacted to the ref the way he did.  Time to be a grown up, man.

Today’s game between the Panthers and the Saints starts at 1 ET and will be broadcast on Fox locally.

My office pool picks for this week: Giants, Bills, Ravens, Steelers, Texans, Titans, Bears, Saints, Falcons, 49ers, Packers, Patriots, Chargers, Broncos, Seahawks, Redskins (42 total game points).

Sunday Football Open Thread: Raiders at the #Panthers

Panthers logoThe Panthers (5-9) are all set to play their last home game of the season, and today they’ll be taking on the Oakland Raiders (4-10) on a mild day here in Charlotte – 50 degrees as I type this. Should get up to 57, which feels more like fall football weather than winter weather. Nice. :)

Needless to say, the Panthers are hoping to extend their 2 game winning streak (their first of the year – defeating the Falcons and then the Chargers) into a 3 game streak with a win over Oakland, and be on the road to (hopefully) finish a bad season on a strong note. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about the Cats’ chances of winning today, so I picked them in the office pool. Their opponents next week, BTW, are the New Orleans Saints.

Today’s game starts at 1 ET and will be broadcast locally on CBS.

My office pool picks for this week:

Falcons (W)
Seahawks – sorry, Phineas! (43 total game points)

BTW, I won the office pool this past week, along with a colleague. My first time I’ve won more than once in a season. Yay me! :D

Sunday Football Open Thread: #Panthers at the Chargers

Panthers logoThe Carolina Panthers (4-9) are coming off a very exciting home win last week against their division rivals the Falcons and are hoping to create a “win streak” of sorts down the final stretch of the season as they take on the San Diego Chargers (5-8) today in an away game. I myself was so impressed with how the Panthers played against the Falcons that I picked them to win today over the Chargers who, of course, are not nearly as good as the Falcs – and maybe not as good a team as the Panthers are when the Cats are “on their game.” The big question is: WILL they be on their game today, and will they play the FULL four quarters of football or run out of steam in the 3rd Q, as has so often been the case with this team?

Today’s Charlotte Observer features a piece on Panthers star WR Steve Smith and Hall of Fame talk:

Steve Smith is starting to climb the NFL’s all-time receiving charts. But the Panthers’ longest-tenured player says he won’t worry about his career accolades until he’s retired and sipping iced tea on his front porch.

Until then?

“Until then,” Smith said, “I’m going to keep spinning that ball.”

Smith’s ball spin is his signature move, done after big catches and usually accompanied by barking at a defensive back or the opposing sideline – and sometimes his own. Since the Panthers’ dreadful 2010 season, which made Smith question if he wanted to stay in Charlotte, there has been a lot of ball-spinning the past two years.

Smith enters Sunday’s game at San Diego a yard shy of 1,000 receiving yards, which would be his seventh 1,000-yard season and second in a row. With back-to-back, 100-yard games the past two weeks against Kansas City and Atlanta, Smith has 43 for his career – tied for 10th all-time among NFL receivers.

Smith, 33, is 26th all-time with 11,277 receiving yards and 32nd with 759 catches. Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes those numbers should at least put Smith in the conversation for Canton with a few more productive seasons.


Game time today is 4:05 PM ET and it will be broadcast on Fox in this area.

My office pool picks for this week:

Bengals (W)
Titans (36 total game points)