Shockingly Dancing Queen, not Take a Chance on Me,  was ABBA's only US number one single.

Dancing King: Ode to Super Bowl 50

 

Just about every American man I know has an archetype embedded deep in his psyche.  Heck, even Kaitlyn Jenner had it at some point.  It’s the hero archetype, though more precisely in modern America it’s the hero athlete archetype.  Everyone wishes that they were the greatest athlete ever.  That they, like Superman, had powers to make the strongest and fastest humans in the world look rather common.  Rather human. Cam Newton, after only seven seasons as a quarterback, can lay claim to being Superman.  He’s the only one…ever.  And that brings with it lots of dancing and lots of haters. 

            People don’t like the way he smiles.  People don’t like how he gives kids balls. He better get fined for that!  People don’t like his dad.  People don’t like the way he celebrates. Funny thing that not a single person who has criticized Newton for his celebrations, and there’s an army of those people, ever said a word about Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers has spent the majority of the last decade squeezing his buttocks and thrusting his pelvis in that grotesque genitalia flapping abomination that has since been dubbed the Discount Double Check.  Rodgers’ dime store Dirk Diggler impression brings forth a Pavlovian gag reflex each time I am subjected to it.  Though Rodgers’ spectacle should be met with disdain by all who view it, Rodgers was actually awarded a massive commercial endeavor for his perversion and we have been forced, utterly against our will, to view this flaccid soft porn while watching some soul-less insurance agent make a joke before assailing us with an even more awkward lower body inflection, followed always by a cheesy smile and an intimation that if Rodgers ever wanted to practice some of his lascivious fornication for real, they might oblige him.  So naturally after being understimulated by Rodgers’ pee pee pushing all these years, it is shocking to see someone like Cam cover his eyes with his arm and point his arm in such an offensive straight angle and then, egad, smile.  

            In the Fall of 2015, The Matriculator sent a crack team of the finest minds on the Matriculator payroll to attend a pre-season scrimmage between the Dolphins and the Panthers at Wofford College in some godforsaken forest in the middle of one of the Carolinas.  Both before and during the scrimmage, The Matriculator declined several autograph requests noting that carpal tunnel was a serious disease afflicting a significant percentage of the American population.  Also in attendance were The Matriculator, Jr., MoMo the Clown and BroMo the Jester.  That scrimmage, at least so we thought, would define the 2015/16 season for the Carolina Panthers.  The teams spent the first hour lollygagging around, though Cam seemed to be truly enjoying himself.  An hour into the skirmish we noticed a player on the ground injured.  It was Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers somewhat raw but talented young wide receiver. He had blown his knee and was lost for the season before there even was a season.  Benjamin’s injury was followed by this statement from yours truly: “If there was ever a team that couldn’t afford to lose their only decent receiver, it’s the Panthers.  They’ll be lucky to win six games.” 

            “Agreed,” said our lead scout MoMo the Clown. 

            A Panthers’ fan in front of us turned around and offered quite a pearl of wisdom when he belched forth, “Cam’s not that good anyway.  They should be starting Derek Anderson if you ask me.”  Thanks, tattoo neck, but we actually didn’t ask you. I thought about saying, “Thank you, you’re opinion is very valuable to us…so that we can make fun of it once you’re out of earshot!”  I elected against speaking to tattoo neck, however, as I was quite certain he had only been released from incarceration in the past seven to ten days.

            As we walked away from the Panthers fan I asked MoMo, “What do you think the average IQ of this group is, huh?” 

            He responded, “Can you even see Wofford from up there on your high horse? What do you know about these people?”  I surveyed the scene, wondering what it would really be like to sit on a high horse, and where the horse might have come across some LSD.  As I meandered through the throngs of selfie obsessed pink flesh, I allowed my powers of perception to settle on the assemblage before responding.

            “Just observation and deduction,” I offered.  “ I see a propensity for obesity. Poverty.  A yen for fairy tales. Folks puttin’ what few bucks they have into Derek Anderson jerseys and little wicker baskets. I think it’s safe to say nobody here’s gonna be splittin the atom, MoMo.”  That quieted him considerably, which you will agree if you’ve ever met MoMo is quite an accomplishment.

            So back to the Panthers and their “lucky to win 6 games” 2015 season.  The Panthers elected not to trade for a receiver after the Benjamin injury.  Instead they entered the season with the horrorshow known as Ted Ginn as their number one receiver.  The Abominable No Man.  Ginn is the team wrecker who the Dolphins took with the 9th overall pick almost a decade ago.  Ginn wasn’t the tonic for the Fins, or for any other team during the eight years he drew a paycheck for running really fast in warm-ups.  Ginn’s the guy who heading into the 2015 season averaged 200 receiving yards for the past five seasons and wasn’t likely to make an NFL team unless it was as a kick returner.   Ginn still didn’t catch much in 2015 (only 44 of 97 targets) but Cam sent him to a career year with over 700 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.  Ginn had only scored 11 TDS in his first 8 seasons.  Jerrico Cotchery, a 12 year veteran who wasn’t even any good in his prime, was Cam’s second best wide receiver.  Cam still danced his way to a 99 passer rating and 45 touchdowns with a group of vagabonds including a left tackle that had been cut by two teams in the past two years.  He was the dancing king, young and sweet, only 17-1.  It’s by far, not even close, the greatest single season performance in the history of American professional sport. 

            Cam’s success in the pros has come as a shock to some of the great football minds though.  At first you might think, Ohh the daftness of tattoo neck, but think again.  Tattoo neck’s opinion on Cam was in line with a number of highly paid NFL pundicators.  Check out the article Et Tu, Bradshaw? that we penned a few games into the 2011 season.  In all fairness, that was the Matriculator’s first year and at that point we weren’t known as the greatest NFL scout in pro football history, like we are now.   So when we were up against “experts” like Mike Mayock and Charlie Casserly and Terry Bradshaw, we heard more than a few “and who, by the way, are you, to be questioning former NFL quarterbacks and NFL GM’s and draft experts?”  We heard a lot of that then. We’ve never heard it since.  

            In 2011’s Newton’s Law we said that Cam was the greatest prospect to ever enter the NFL.  That same off season Charlie Casserly described Cam as a “project” and said he wasn’t a first round talent. Mike Mayock had him as his 21st ranked prospect a month before the draft and described him as a “developmental” type.  Mayock had Cam ranked behind Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker.   Huckleberry Bradshaw said Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder were “far ahead of Cam as far an NFL quarterback.”   In Cam’s first NFL game only a few months after the aforementioned poo drained from those pundicators’ facial orifices, Newton shattered the all-time NFL rookie record for passing yards.  That was in his first NFL game ever.  Not to be outdone by himself, he outdid himself and broke his own record…in his second NFL game.  He went on to win the NFL Rookie of the Year and posted an all-time NFL rookie record with 35 touchdowns.  Casserly and Mayock and Bradshaw all lost their job.  Hang on, my producer is saying something.  “What? They still have jobs?  Making more money?  Please tell me there’s a parallel universe somewhere where people are fired for ineptitude and malfeasance and snorting cocaine in hotel rooms.”  Sorry, we have digressed as we are wont to do.

            The Soggy Bottom Boys should have been surprised by Superman’s success considering his questionable college track record.   Mayock uttered, while driveling away in one of his pre-draft broadcasts about why he didn’t have Newton as a top 20 player, what has to be the new standard for stupidity in the great procession of broadcast dimwittedness.   He actually questioned whether Cam was a leader of men.  That’s different than wondering if he’s going to go off the rails when he finally figures out he’s the greatest athlete in world history.  Mayock thought that was a valid question of Cam who two years earlier matriculated to Blinn Junior College and led them to a National Championship.  Mayock also thought it a valid question for a guy who not only won a National Championship in his first year as a college player, but who then transferred to a different school and won a second consecutive National Championship, this time in the SEC.  Going undefeated. Two championships. Two years. Two different teams. Never done before. Ever. In history. Not good enough for Mayock and Casserly and Huckleberry though, a veritable and quite impressive confederacy of dunces.

            Some people may have forgotten what 2010 was like.  It was literally a Superman movie played out every Saturday.  There is no quarterback who ever played who would have won the National Championship with that team.  Cam’s leading receivers were Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachary.  Never heard of them of course.  In his one season in the SEC he became the all-time single season record holder for a quarterback in rushing yards, eclipsing the former record on October 13!  He became the first player in SEC history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards.  He had one shot at the Alabama juggernaut in the 2010 Iron Bowl.  Satan’s Saban’s hordes were crushing the hapless Auburn team 24-0.  Newton led them back in the greatest comeback victory in the history of sport.   It was the largest comeback win in Auburn’s 117 year history, and this wasn’t against Saint Mary’s School for the Blind or even the Browns.  This was against one of the greatest programs in college football history.  Bama won the National Championship in 2009 and 2011, but couldn’t hold a 24 point lead to King Leonidas in 2010. And he wasn’t done yet.  In the SEC Championship game a week later he led Auburn to the highest point total in SEC Championship history and the largest margin of victory in the game’s history.  Why does everything we say about Cam end with some form of “in history?”  He posted six touchdowns in that game on his way to the SEC Championship MVP Award and The Heisman Trophy and everything else.  In the National Championship he led Auburn down the field in the waning seconds and they kicked a field goal to win it and complete their undefeated season.  It’s easy to see why Bradshaw said, “I didn’t like him in college, and I don’t like him now” and why Mayock questioned whether he was "smart enough" to adapt to complex offenses and complex defenses.   Well I’ll give Mayock this much, he ought to know a moron when he sees one.  It takes one to know one.  It takes won to know won, and Cam’s won a lot.

             Super Bowl  50 is truly an epic match-up.  It’s the gal everybody wishes was clutch, Peyton, versus the Dancing King.  Frankenstein versus Michael Jackson in a dance off.  The greatest choker in the history of professional sport, versus the most dominant big game player ever.  Super Bowl 50 has implications that will resonate for centuries.  If Cinderella somehow wins it will confirm every fairy tale that has ever been written.  And it might happen, though not because of Cinderella’s legendary beauty and pleasant demeanor.  Peyton is no Cinderella, though she does wear some nice little lace panties under her jock strap.  Speaking of panties, she had to change hers at half time after she soiled them while diving onto the ground after nearly being touched by a defender.  “He tried to fondle me, sir,” she pleaded with the referee after coming startlingly close to being accosted by a meaty paw.  The referee helped her up and said, “I’d like to help you sweetie, I have a daughter myself you know, but the guy has to actually touch you before I can throw a bogus penalty flag.  But here's lookin at you kid.” 

            The reality is, Peyton’s team might actually win Super Bowl 50, but she won’t “guide” them to anything.  She never has.  She’s failed miserably every time it mattered.  In the one Super Bowl win she was a part of she posted one of the lowest quarterback ratings for a winning quarterback in Super Bowl history.  In beating the Steelers in the divisional game a few weeks ago she posted a pathetic 74 passer rating.  The Broncos' defense has brought her to the dance and she might actually find a dance partner.  Even a blind squirrel finds a nut.  Even a blind girl gets some smut.  Hey, she thought it was a banana. 

            Since our inception in 2011 we’ve correctly predicted the winner of every Super Bowl.  This year will be no different. This year we’re going with the Panthers 64, the Broncos 5.  The Panthers by 59.   And take the over.  Okay only joking.  This will be a Super Bowl that will go down in history, no matter what happens.  If the Panthers win, Cam completes the greatest season in the history of sport.  If Peyton wins, she got lucky…with a banana.

Panthers 23-Broncos 16.