Banners! Let’s talk about banners. It’s much more interesting than talking about how the Panthers are 8-0*, and with a two-game lead plus the tiebreaker over the Packers, are firmly in the driver’s seat for homefield advantage in the NFC. Because homefield isn’t so great if you’ve got a bunch of a visiting fans in the good seats, right, Cam Newton?
Before the start of yesterday’s game, Newton spotted a banner hanging over the railing. It was 24 square feet, and featured a Packers logo in a silhouette of North Carolina, and read “North Carolina Cheesehead.” Newton tore it down.
Newton had this to say when asked about the banner after the game:
“There’s a Green Bay banner in Bank of America Stadium,” Newton said. “That don’t match. I feel it’s my due diligence to protect this house.”
OK, whatever. I know Newton gets himself really fired up before kickoff, but it’s just a banner.
The fan, an army vet who is a Wisconsin native, said it ruined his day.
“I was just shocked, shocked,” when Newton grabbed the banner out of Mike Dobs’s and his family’s hands, Dobs said on Sunday evening.
“It went from a fun event to I was disgusted,” he said.
Dobs complained to stadium security and Panthers staffers, and said he was led to believe the banner had been destroyed. He says he’ll give the team 48 hours to make it up to him before he takes further action.
The Panthers actually have a specific stadium policy that bans banners for opposing teams, but allows handheld signs. Seems arbitrary, but it means that Dobs probably doesn’t have a case. Still, give the man back his banner. And if the banner really was destroyed, give him the $500 he said he spent to have it printed.
Newton won’t be punished, other than perhaps an admonition to let security handle future banner issues. But in the meantime something funny is happening: Newton’s teammates are making sure that if anyone is to be blamed, no one will know who deserves it:
Just as this very important blog was going to press, it was reported that Newton is going to reach out to the Dobs family. Autographed swag heals all wounds. So this ends well for everyone, except, you know, the Packers.