In what will, assuming God is merciful, be the dumbest NFL story of the week, it turns out that the reason why Cam Newton didn’t start for the Carolina Panthers last night against the Seattle Seahawks was that he wouldn’t dress like a clown.
Uptight coach Ron Rivera wouldn’t get into the matter after the game, but at a presser Newton said the issue was that he’d worn the turtleneck seen in the picture above, rather than a button-up shirt, on the team’s flight to Seattle. “I didn’t follow the dress code,” said Newton, who didn’t appear overly put out, “and coach told me that I wasn’t going to start.”
The best part of this is that Newton was apparently offered a variety of ties but declined to put one on—“I can’t wear a tie with this”—which raises the possibility that Rivera would have been happy if the reigning league MVP had adhered to the strict letter of the dress-code policy and sat through the flight wearing a tie with a turtleneck like a jamoke.
In a testament to the power of military-style discipline in the NFL, backup Derek Anderson, who started in Newton’s place and was set to play through the first series, threw an interception on his only play of the game, which the Panthers lost by 33 points.