At the start of every season, no matter which sport, there are always a few teams that stick out as favorites to win it all. Most of the time, those teams are the ones that take home the rings, but every once in a while, a team emerges out of nowhere to surprise everyone.
Cam Newton has come out and said that he scares people because he's a black quarterback, therefore, there's no one to compare him to. A ridiculous statement if you ask me, but we're going to avoid the whole race discussion and try to find out who this Panthers team most closely resembles.
It might seem like a stretch comparing a football team to a baseball team, but I think I've found the perfect comparison; the 2013 Boston Red Sox. No one, outside of the crazy New Englanders, thought the Red Sox even had a shot at a ring in 2013, but somehow they pulled it off in one of the most exciting postseasons in recent memory.
The 2013 Red Sox won a ring with Mike Carp in the outfield and J-Salt behind the plate. Much like the Panthers went 15-1 with 30-year-old Ted Ginn Jr. as their number one wide receiver. Chemistry played a huge role with the 2013 Sox and it is the same for the 2015 Panthers. There was something about that Red Sox team that seemed to fit, every player seemed like best friends and they looked like they were enjoying every game. The same goes for this Panthers team and the way they celebrate after each victory.
Thinking back on the 2013 season, everyone remembers the crazy beards that the Red Sox players grew out. The beards were the symbol and identity of that specific team for that season. The celebrations, led by Newton, are the thing behind which this Panthers team unites. Granted it has caused a big stir among the more sensitive football fans, this team is well known for its elaborate, and sometimes excessive celebrations.
I understand it may be a little premature with this comparison because the Panthers have not won the Super Bowl yet, but the similarities are too close for it not to be a story. After a 49-15 spanking in Charlotte, I find it hard to believe that Denver won't succumb to another 43-8 type game.
If the Panthers were to pull of the victory, completing the 18-1 (with a ring) season, the season will be looked back on as one of the biggest surprises in recent years. This team will have gone from a 7-8-1 record to having lost only one game all season long. As with the Red Sox in 2013, very few people expected this Panthers team to be as good as they are, especially with the roster they have. They just have one game to go.
By Matt Watts