The Carolina Panthers’ season has flown off the rails.
Cam Newton is looking to a time-tested tactic to get back on track – finding motivation in a disrespectful gesture.
The 6-7 Panthers have a brutal road to the playoffs that includes two games remaining against the first-place New Orleans Saints with the first on Monday in Charlotte. He’s been staring at a broom in his locker to fire him up. And a bottle of wine.
Newton’s ‘constant reminder’ in his locker
“If you need any type of boost, (inaudible), chip on your shoulder for this game, I have a constant reminder each and every day when I look in my locker that I was gifted last year,” Newton said. “Can’t wait.”
“Yeah, it was wine. And they sent a broom, too. So, you know, I ain’t take the pack off, so I’m going to re-send to the sender if everything gets taken care of the way we know we can do it.”
The Saints swept the Panthers in the regular season, then beat them a third time in the wild-card round of the playoffs for a three-game sweep. Hence, the broom.
Cam Jordan sent the wine
Why the wine? Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan promised Newton some “sauce” before their playoff matchup, and that’s how he delivered when New Orleans won.
Newton told reporters that the wine was a bottle of “Jordan” red and was a direct gift from Jordan.
“It’s all in good fun,” Newton said. “I got an opportunity to see Cam Jordan in the offseason, and you know, at the end of the day, we respectfully dislike each other on the field.”
It seems the wine would have been put to better use in a glass than sitting in Newton’s locker for a season. But whatever it takes, right? Professional athletes are a unique breed.
Panthers are desperate vs. Saints
Five weeks ago, these late-season matchups between the Saints and Panthers looked like heavyweight brawls with the potential of the NFC South and a first-round playoff bye on the line. That was when the Panthers were 6-2.
Five consecutive losses later, and Carolina is 6-7 and in a desperate fight to make the playoffs. Facing two games against the 11-2 Saints doesn’t bode well for their chances.
Newton’s going to need more than a broom and a bottle of wine to salvage this Panthers season.
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