Jim Fassel Isn't Crazy For Thinking The Panthers Would Lose As Soon As He Saw Cam Newton's Pregame Cleats
LBS- Fassel, the one time head coach of the Giants, had believed the Panthers were going to win the game up until he saw those cleats.
“All of the numbers pointed to Carolina. And when I saw Cam Newton walk out in gold shoes — ‘MVP’ — I switched my mind, essentially, right then,” Fassel told Mile High Sports 1340, via ProFootballTalk.
“I said, ‘That’s not what a starting quarterback, MVP, leading his team — and I had a lot of respect for him during the season — that’s not what happens.’ You don’t do that. And I said, ‘This guy’s already become soft,’ and that’s what he was.”
Jim Fassel is going to receive a lot of flack for this opinion. However, there is one thing that a vast majority of his detractors have in common. They have never come out on the wrong end of a Super Bowl. Don't you dare tell Jim Fassel how to lose a championship game -with an overachieving team and an enigmatic quarterback- in deplorable fashion. He lost to a great defense and a mediocre, at best, quarterback when he went up against the Ravens in 2001. Who won MVP, you ask? An unstoppable linebacker with a questionable past. Sound familiar? If there is anyone that knows how important games are lost on the biggest stage it is Jim Fassel, so the haters should watch their mouth until they have a similar experience on their resume.
To think that there isn't more to sports than simple X's and O's is naive. You know when I realized the Broncos had a chance at winning? When I saw that Peyton Manning was one victory away from 200 wins and becoming the all time winningest quarterback. If a silly stat like that can help influence me, then who is to say an obnoxious choice in pregame footwear can't influence Jim Fassel. It's any given Sunday out there, and there's not a situation where that is more true than the Super Bowl. Anything can happen in ONE game, especially when the most important person on your team appears to have made himself more important than the game before it even starts. You never tempt the football gods and I am pretty sure Cam Newton's cleats damn near blinded the football gods. Dress for success. When you are playing the ultimate team sport success is measured by embracing the spirit of team, not your own accolades. Let me ask you a question. What shoes was Cam Newton wearing before he DESTROYED the Cardinals and convinced everyone the Panthers were a lock to win a title?
It's not so much that Cam Newton was sporting shiny gold shoes that glorified his own personal accomplishments, it's that he played like a guy that would wear shiny gold shoes that glorified his personal accomplishments. Intentionally backing away from essentially a game sealing fumble so he didn't put his health at risk? That's not the same guy that had every last one of his teammates' names embroidered on his cleats just two weeks prior. You can call Jim Fassel a wackjob if you want, but the difference in those two shoes was reflected in the play of the person wearing them. Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe it wasn't. But it's certainly not crazy to think it was more than just an egregious fashion decision.