Tom Bogert, CBS Local Sports
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the hardships that reporters sent to San Francisco to cover Super Bowl 50 have to endure.
Sure, they score an excuse to be in a beautiful city and cover the single biggest sporting even in American sports for the year. But, as painfully evident at a Cam Newton press conference, what in the world are they supposed to manufacture for stories, questions to these athletes for a week straight in anticipation for one game?
On the Thursday ahead of the Super Bowl, Stu Woo of the Wall Street Journal asked Newton “why are you wearing socks and sandals?” Newton certainly wasn’t amused, showing undertones of ‘what does this dude seriously expect me to say?’
Newton stared at Woo with a serious, blank face. Then he shook his head, and said “I don’t know, why do you wear jeans and sneakers?”
Well played. Fair return question.
“It’s just comfort,” Newton continued to say. “We’re still at our team hotel. It just gives you all something else to talk about, you know?”
At least Newton understands it. Oh and for the record, a better way to have phrased Newton’s footwear choice on the day would’ve been socks and slides. Huge difference, that.
Socks and sandals delineates the mental portrait of someone’s uncle walking along the beach in a foreign environment than his typical place of living, over-lathered in sunblock with white socks seemingly attempting to emancipate themselves from black sandals with straps. That certainly would’ve warranted a question to Newton.
But socks and slides? Well, that’s much more congruent with the Panthers quarterback: cool and comfortable. Black slides with Carolina Panther colored socks, nothing out of the ordinary there, especially not for an athlete, as Woo had written about in September.
To be fair to all reporters covering the Super Bowl, what possibly is there left to talk about?
There has been score predictions galore, prop bets laughed at, incredible in-depth analysis given and next level statistics illuminated. What it’s currently missing, and surely will be filled at some point before kickoff, is a new rendition of some exotic “psychic” animal that will forecast exactly how the game will go, a la Paul the Octopus who rose to fame during the 2010 World Cup, and fell from fame during the 2010 World Cup.
So for every dog owner who thinks their canine is the intellectual version of Air Bud, this is the time to step forward with its Super Bowl score prophesy before someone else does.
In the meantime, lay off Newton’s rational affinity for socks and slides.
As a fan of repetitive disappointment and frustration, Tom holds Liverpool FC, the New York Knicks and New York Red Bulls near and dear to his heart with occasional joy coming from the New York Giants and New York Yankees.