If you missed the Seahawks’ 40-7 rout of the Panthers, you surely didn’t miss the fact that reigning league MVP Cam Newton sat out the first play of the game after being suspended by coach Ron Rivera for a “travel dress code violation.”
It would later be revealed that the “violation” in question stemmed from Cam’s refusal to wear a tie with a turtleneck. Whether or not you’re the type of dork that finds this to be a suitable pairing of attire is not the point; the point is that Rivera could have found a better way to “punish” his star player.
Rivera elected to sit Cam for the first series of the game, which lasted exactly one play before his backup, Derek Anderson, threw an interception that led to a field goal for Seattle. So, to recap: Star Quarterback breaks rule; coach enforces discipline for said rule breaking; 52 other men suffer as a result.
One of those three things doesn’t connect.
Sure, there should be consequences when rules are broken, but isn’t there a way to solve this problem without benching your best player in a must-win game? Make no mistake, this is not about enforcing the rules or maintaining on image of authority over a star player. This was simply a monumental flub on the part of a head coach that put his commitment to pride above the best interests of his team.
Ron Rivera is making $4 million this year to manage men and creatively solve problems. That’s an awful lot of money for a man that will chop of 53 noses in spite of his face.