Super Bowl 50: The Humbling of Cam Newton

by Sam Prince @PhiSammaJamma

Anything that earns income is a business. Though many shy away from admitting it, profit is what drives business decisions. If as a result of a decision a corporation earns profit, then the decision is implemented.

 

Years ago Wal-Mart wasn’t interested in any products that were organic. However, the times have changed. As the populace becomes more socially conscious, there has been a rise in stores that focus on healthy alternatives.

 

Trader Joes and Whole foods are eating into Wal-Mart’s revenue. As a result, Wal-Mart has had to revise their business model, adding healthy alternatives. You can now walk into any Wal-Mart and buy popular organic products from Annie’s, Cascadia Farms, and much more.

 

Those changes are shrouded in a cloak of social awareness. By offering organic options, Wal-Mart displays corporate responsibility, drawing people in by their commitment to the health of humanity.

But in the end, the bottom line is profit margin. Wal-Mart wants market power, specifically that which they lost to Whole Foods and Trader Joes, plotting to regain the business of the socially conscious shopper.

 

I imaging Wal-Mart’s strategy is to undercut Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Through utilizing their immense buying power, Wal-Mart will buy organic products at ridiculous clips and negotiate lower prices. What should be more telling is that organic companies who are (or are they?) committed to making humanity better, would sell their products to a corporate behemoth like Wal-Mart. Even for organic food companies, profit is the main goal, not society’s benefit. Personally I get it; it’s business, but don’t let them tell you otherwise.

 

Like Wal-Mart, the National Football League is a business. Sunday February 7th was their biggest day of business. It was the Super bowl. You might have heard of it before. The 50th installment of their annual championship pitted the flamboyant Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers, against fist ballot hall of famer Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos.

 

This was marketed as a game of the ages. The young Cam Newton had a “Coming of Age” season, leading his team to a 15-1 record (15 wins and 1 loss). On the other side was Peyton Manning, one of the league’s faces and all-time great quarterbacks, returning to the Super bowl for the third time, second within a three year period.

 

Then we get to the game and it is incredulously underwhelming. From the beginning the Panthers were never in the game. They seemed aloof from what was going on. Some feel they got caught up in the moment. Maybe so.

 

Cam overthrew receivers, and when he didn’t overthrow them, they dropped catchable balls. Their running attack wasn’t even lukewarm, as Newton and Tolbert both had costly fumbles. In the end, the Panthers didn’t do enough to win.

 

But maybe they had some help. Maybe Goodell and the NFL’s sponsors (Watch Peyton say Budweiser multiple times) didn’t want to see the cock sure, flashy, and unapologetic Cam Newton win a championship. Maybe they wanted to be sure they knocked him down a peg.

Uh-oh! Looks like I may be venturing into “conspiracy land.”

 

Even though Carolina was never really into the game, there were a few moments where they threatened to gain momentum. In these moments, when they did not turn the ball over or make an unforced error, the referees made questionable calls. Typically we want referees to be invisible, especially in the biggest game of the season, but they undoubtedly left their mark.

 

I am not going to go through the blown calls individually. CLICK HERE and you’ll be re-directed to YouTube where the blown Crotchery catch is discussed. This and other breakdowns are courtesy of Trump Nation. Enjoy the rabbit hole.

 

How can the referees blow these calls? Like you, I want to believe in the innocence of the National Football League. I want to believe that at least our sports is the last bastion of hope, that truth and integrity are still hallmark there, or else why watch it?

 

Then I remembered…

 

Every year somebody is suspended for substance abuse, taking drugs to give themselves an advantage over the field. This occurs in baseball, football and track.

 

Pete Rose gambled on baseball. Is he the only one?

 

Baseball knew about the rampant use of steroids and turned a blind eye as Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, and Barry Bonds took the Majors by storm.

 

Lance Armstrong blood doped his way to multiple Tour de France championships.

 

Sporting is a business. If there is profit to be gained, then why wouldn’t they nudge the odds? It’s just a little white-cheat, right? What storyline did the NFL stand to profit the most from, Cam Newton or Peyton Manning?

 

If we begin to step away from our naiveté and objectively view the sports we consume, I think we’d all agree that it’s more than plausible that the NFL fixes games, and Sunday’s Super bowl was their latest tweaking.

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