Thursday, September 27, 2012
In the words of Sergeant Hulka in Stripes: Lighten up, Francis.
The NFL pundits are all atwitter, analyzing to death the Observer's editorial cartoon on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. What was cartoonist Kevin Siers saying? Is Charlotte jumping off the Camwagon? What does this say about race in the Bible Belt?
Puh-leeze. Maybe Stephen A. Smith thinks such breathlessness makes for good TV. Apparently ESPN's Smith and Skip Bayless and so many other NFL talking heads find it easier to speculate than to go to the source and ask.
So here's the big secret, fellas: It was just a joke, no more, no less. Siers likes to poke fun at the absurd. And in his eyes, showboating after a 1-yard run when you're getting your brains beaten in is the definition of absurd. Thus the "Hello Kitty" t-shirt for Cam's Superman pose.
Sometimes, Siers thinks it's important to send a deep, thought-provoking message on public issues of the day. Other times, like this one, he just has a little fun.
What's more disturbing than a light-hearted cartoon is grown men so in awe of a football player that they ridicule any criticism of him, even when he touts his greatness on the way to a 36-7 loss. For my money, I'll take someone who calls it like he sees it.
Siers isn't a huge NFL fan, but he likes Cam Newton. And you can bet he's rooting for him to return to Superman form.
-- Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten
Here is Stephen A. Smith's commentary:
Posted by The Observer Editorial Board at 3:32 PM