Look good. Feel good. Play good.
Some athletes live by that mantra. And in an era in which pregame entrances have turned into catwalks, it’s no wonder Sports Illustrated started doing a list of the 50 most fashionable athletes in the world.
Cam Newton is on that list. And apparently, Jeff Garcia thinks Newton’s clothes are the reason he played the worst game of his career on Sunday.
“You go into this game with two touchdowns, four interceptions, you threw what, three more interceptions?” Garcia began on his rant about Newton. “You get yanked in the second half, there’s nothing good going your way. Why are you dressing like that to bring more attention to yourself? I’d be trying to ask the equipment managers ‘Put me in your jock sock cart and sneak me in the back door, and I’ll show up on the field and do the best that I can.”
The show’s host chimed in: “This sounds like you’re speaking from too much experience here.”
“This just goes back to a couple years of just watching this guy and seeing him at the podium, but yet what he’s doing on the field does not translate to being that guy,” Garcia replied.
Jeff Garcia has neither the resume nor name to say something like that to Newton.
Because he’s Jeff Garcia.
Take it from Terrell Owens.
“He threw the ball behind me, out of bounds. I left a lot of touchdowns on the field throughout the last two or three years,” Owens said of Garcia back in 2004 on HBO, claiming his numbers in San Francisco would have been better if he’d played with a “strong-armed quarterback.”
And while Owens is someone who has a long history of saying terrible things and putting his foot in his mouth, at least he has always had the game to back it up. It comes with the territory of being a Hall of Famer and one of the three best wide receivers of all time.
If another high-level quarterback with an MVP to his name would have said what Garcia did, then I probably wouldn’t have even written this.
But Jeff Garcia?
These are the kinds of things white mediocre quarterbacks say about Black quarterbacks that have been better at throwing a football than them at every point of their careers, while also having a better fashion sense.
Making jokes about what Newton wears is nothing new. It’s just that someone like Garcia can’t be the one to make that correlation to his on-field performance, given that it will do nothing but make people like me pull up his numbers.
Garcia spent 11 years in the NFL and had his best days throwing passes to Owens as a 49er, as he was selected to the Pro Bowl four times. He also spent time in the Canadian Football League and the United Football League whereas you know, the fashion and quarterback play exists at an elite level.
Newton, on the other hand, has done almost everything a quarterback can do on a football field besides winning a Super Bowl. His resume includes a Heisman Trophy, two national championships, a Rookie of the Year award, an MVP, and a Super Bowl appearance.
One of these men is not like the other.
Also, this is what Newton wore when he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2011. I can’t post a link showing what Garcia wore because he wasn’t even good enough to get drafted.
However, the criticisms around Newton’s play are just. He was benched in the second half of the Patriots 33-6 loss to the 49ers on Sunday after going 9-for-15 for only 98 yards with three interceptions. He’s currently 28th in the league for passing yards, has a QBR of 42.6, and has thrown seven interceptions to just two touchdowns. Newton missed a game this season due to COVID-19, the Patriots are atrocious with a 2-4 record, are third in a division they’ve dominated for two decades, and have to travel to Buffalo next Sunday to play the division-leading Bills, even as they lead the NFL with a league-high eight players that opted-out before the season began.
It’s a mess in New England and Newton is part of the problem. The Patriots are not a good football team right now and Newton is in one of the worst slumps of his career.
But Jeff Garcia can’t be the one to tell you that, because Cam Newton’s worst season is one that Garcia would have killed for.
Besides, never take fashion advice from a dude that dressed like he shopped at Men’s Wearhouse during his playing days.