Annnddd ... I just finished. Cleanup in aisle Jerry.
I am a man of many blessings, and I make sure every day to count them all and be grateful. But for all the gifts of a devoted wife, sons I'm proud of, a close knit family, friend old and new, a great job, "Community" on Netflix, nothing gives me as much joy as this. To watch an avowed Belichick hater, a man who wears a bracelet that in an emergency will alert EMTs to his crippling Patriots Derangement Syndrome, have his will broken on camera, just fills me with a love for all existence. Like I might need to take the rest of the day to go commune with nature in a forest or go to the beach and contemplate the wonders of God's creation.
This is what the Cam Newton signing has done to the Nick Wrights of the world. Including Shannon Sharpe:
When Tom Brady ruined my St. Patrick's Day by saying goodbye to New England for good, they thought the day they'd been praying for had finally arrived. It was their football Rapture, where the righteous would ascend into the bright light of Super Bowl contention and the unrepentant sinners of Foxboro & Gomorrah would be cast down into the fiery pit at the bottom of the AFC East. For three months they thought that End of Days was nigh. Only to have Belichick fit a deliverer under the salary cap. A savior by the name of Cam Newton. If for no other reason - and I can assure you there are many, many other reasons - this signing will have been worth it.
For the low, low cost of nothing, Newton's arrival has ruined the summer of those who have long dreamed of a post-Brady era where the Patriots stop haunting their dreams and slip peacefully and quietly into compliant irrelevance. Instead, they find themselves back where they started. Facing a future where the team they hate like they hate soiling their pants is quarterbacked by an MVP, coached by experts at tailoring their system to fit their personnel, had the best defense in the league and a couple of dozen ascending young players on their rookie contracts.
This is what the post-Brady era looks like now. And the MVP who's replacing him is the same age Brady was ... in 2008.
I have confidence in Jarrett Stidham. I say again, if he had stayed at Baylor instead of transferring due to a scandal that he was not involved in, he'd be an NFL starter already. This is not a statement on him. It's about the reaction to Newton's signing. And the knowledge that we now know for sure that whoever lands the starter's job will be an Auburn Tiger. And at least be as good as 31 year old Cam Newton. That's the new floor. It will either be Newton or a second year player who was good enough to outfight him and crawl to the top of the depth chart. And in either scenario, New England wins and the rest of the country loses.
So thanks to Nick Wright for expressing his disappointment, fear and loathing with such brutal honesty. Sweet tears of unfathomable sadness. They're so yummy.