As far as the NFL goes, I am a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan. Yes, I realize this means I love self-loathing and hate feeling happy on Sunday evenings.
However, I identify much more strongly to the college that I graduated from: The Ohio State University.
Let’s compare and contrast the two teams.
The Ohio State University
Win-Loss Record in the last 10 years: 111–20 (0.847) Last National Championship: 2014 Number of sub-.500 seasons in the past 10 years: 1
Win-Loss Record in the last 10 years: 51–102 (0.333) Last NFL Championship: 1964 Number of sub-.500 seasons in the past 10 years: 9
I am a firm believer that for anything to be worth my time and/or effort, it should have some return on investment. This means, in the case of a football team, they need to fulfill the promise. Which promise, you ask? The promise of any organized sport team: to compete at a high level for the ultimate goal of winning a championship.
Simply put, the Browns just don’t do that. I’ve determined that my fandom for the Browns must be put to an end, and I’ve gone hunting for a team to be “my team.” And I’ve come to a decision: it’s going to be the Carolina Panthers.
How did I come to the decision that a team in which I have no real connection to should be “my team?” Let me count the ways.
- Carolina currently has 4 past Ohio State football players: WR Ted Ginn Jr., WR Philly Brown, S Kurt Coleman, and OG Andrew Norwell.
- Carolina is dedicated to winning, as evidenced by their recent 4 year improvement.
- Cam Newton.
That’s right, I owe sports fealty to Cameron Jerrell Newton, specifically. Follow along, kids, as we go back in time through Cam Newton’s journey to the NFL.
Cam Newton was originally recruited by Urban Meyer at the University of Florida as the heir-apparent to Tim Tebow. In fact, he actually saw some success on the field during his time at Florida, but ultimately his time was short-lived.
On November 21, 2008, Cam stole some laptops from a dorm room, and the eventual fallout led him to transfer from the University of Florida. He then hopped around to a Junior College before going to Auburn and winning a National Championship and the Heisman Trophy.
“How does this affect you, Tony?” you might ask. Well, if anyone would pay attention to the above statements, you would realize that, above all else, I am a gigantic Ohio State fan. Ohio State’s current coach is Urban Meyer. That’s right, folks — the same Urban Meyer that originally recruited Cam Newton.
Let’s say Cam Newton never steals those laptops. He then never transfers to a JuCo. He eventually follows in Tim Tebow’s footsteps as the starting quarterback for the University of Florida. He wins there as well as he did at Auburn. Florida never has a couple of “down” years during Urban Meyer’s tenure. Urban never leaves the University of Florida. Urban never comes to Ohio State. Ohio State is mired in a number of losing records with Luke Fickell as its head coach. I am measurably sadder than I am today.
That’s it, folks. I owe NFL Fealty to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers because he single-handedly brought me football happiness in the form of Urban Meyer.
Note: Obviously I am not dropping the Browns as my team. This would cause my grandfather to disown me. Instead, I think I will just pick up Carolina as my favorite NFC team, and keep being 50% sad on Sundays.