Cam, Panthers could be team of destiny

Jan 26, 2016 3:01 AM

I find Cam Newton so entertaining I think everyone I know is sick of me talking about him. So you can imagine my happiness to see the Panthers mop the floor with the Arizona Cardinals (sorry, Mom, who’s a Cards fan).

Any other time I would stay loyal to family teams but Cam just has a certain magic about him. From the way he approaches the game to level of joy the guy has fun playing football. With all the rule changes, scandals and arguably boring styles of football, Cam is revolutionary.

He will always have plenty of detractors because he’s doesn’t play football like the Hall of Famers of the last 20 years but isn’t that the point? If sports don’t evolve what makes them interesting? Cam’s antics are simply a showing of love for the sport. He loves being out there with his teammates getting paid to play a game. Because that’s all football is a game.

As a side note I love how the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, completely different style teams, are putting on shows nightly in the NBA. The Warriors took a concept that was completely taboo in NBA, taking tons of three-point shots and won a championship.

The Spurs are the gritty, non-flashy, play everything traditional squad. When it comes to the NBA I like watching it, sometimes, just don’t ask me to bet it.

I see Cam Newton and his fellow teammates as the NFL version of the Golden State Warriors. Carolina does things a little off what is considered the norm for offenses but that is what leads to innovating on the field. Teams just aren’t sure how to attack this offense. One of Seattle’s defensive players, before the NFC divisional playoff game, said “they see Cam Newton as a running back with a great arm.”

For years I have been looking for this type of player. A player who just brings energy to a team that cannot be matched. Cam’s enthusiasm is infectious on both sides of the ball. He’s a great teammate with one example just this week. His cleats in the NFC Championship game had the names of all his teammates on them.

Cam has rolled all these elements into the complete package, which is modern day leadership. Say what you want about the guy but the Panthers team believes in him. Ted Ginn Jr. has 10 touchdowns! 10! He had 11 in his first eight years! I can’t imagine how good this offense would be if they still had IR’ed second-year WR Kelvin Benjamin – would he have 20 right now?

The Panthers have one of the best offensive lines in football and they will need it in two Sundays to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. It’s going to be a great game and I have been hyping the Panthers at work, saying they’d make quick work of the NFC but Denver’s defense is no joke.

It’s going to come down to the wire and it’s a dangerous pointspread (Carolina -4 to -5 at press time). The Panthers running game vs. the Denver defense and Peyton Manning vs. the Carolina pass defense will decide this game. I don’t see a Carolina blowout but it wouldn’t surprise me. However if you bet the spread you are braver than I.

Last Week: 4-0-1

2016 Season: 10-5-1

Tuesday

Ducks-Bruins OVER 5: Anaheim is slowly starting to turn the corner, winning nine of 13 games, after a shocking 13-21 start. This was a team that was arguably the second or third favorite to win the Stanley Cup! The biggest factor has been the Ducks’ inability to score goals. It seems they have finally woken from their slumber and Boston loves getting into goal-scoring fiascos.

Wednesday

CAPITAL ONE CUP SEMIFINAL, 2ND LEG: Everton-Manchester City OVER 3 – Down 2-1 in the first leg, Man City needs to get after it, and with Everton missing two players I expect City to come out firing. Everton will be game as they want this badly, having a goal lead coming in. Expect a solid back-and-forth match.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN QUARTERFINALS: Andy Murray-David Ferrer OVER 37 games (available at William Hill) – Murray has yet to be tested during his run through the Australian Open bracket but David Ferrer has been playing some great tennis as well. Look for Ferrer to win at least one set off the Englishman, which will help push the total over.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN QUARTERFINALS: Johanna Konta-Shuai Zhang OVER 22 – Zhang came back down a set to United States’ Madison Keys and had never even won a grand slam tournament match. They have one win against each other and with both ladies being unseeded they should battle for that semifinal spot.

Sunday

NFL Pro Bowl: OVER N/A – Whatever it is just bet it over.

Alan Berg has 10-plus years of experience at Las Vegas sports books and prior to moving to Las Vegas covered sports for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.  Twitter: @vegasberserker Email: [email protected].