I need Cam Newton’s help. Maybe after he opens a jar for me, he can explain which end of the football goes in front. See, I’m a female, and as a member of the sex that burns the toast, certain concepts elude me, such as astrophysics, and football. I’ll make him a trade: I’ll tell him how babies get born, if he will tell me how to turn on a car.
It’s so funny when females try to talk about things that they shouldn’t. It’s just so . . . funny. Newton went all giggly when Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked him about receiver “routes,” because how would a female ever know what those are? But you know what’s even funnier? Watching a thought try to find a route into Newton’s head. I’m told nature abhors a vacuum, though as a woman I can’t confirm that. If you ask me, the empty expanse behind Cam Newton’s forehead proves that nature is just fine with areas entirely devoid of consciousness.
Apparently there are some subjects that are the immutable province of guys only. Therefore, in the name of gender diplomacy, I will help Cam Newton with certain feminine concepts, if he will help me understand how to use the twist-top on a bottle of beer, and why some men act like football strategy is more complicated than a space flight guidance system.
Tell you what: If Cam Newton will show me what a hitch and a slant are, I will show him how to take questions after a loss without pouting.
I just don’t know if I’ll be able to read all those funny, squiggly, complicated lines on paper, showing what a curl is. But for his sake, I’ll try. And in return I’ll show him how to check his appearance in the mirror to make sure the tilt of his hat is properly jaunty. Also, how to hide his overt, obvious irritation when someone turns the subject to his receivers instead of himself. After all, we women who cover the NFL have spent years hiding our impatience dealing with average quarterbacks with below-average verbal skills.
My list of questions for Cam Newton only begins with what a dig route is, and what is a post. There are so many, many things I need him to explain to me. Such as:
How can you overthrow multiple 6-foot-5 receivers?
When you throw the thing to the whatchamacallit, and the other team catches it instead, does that make you feel sad?
Please tell me more about how to balance academics and athletics at Auburn University?
Is there a good fence for stolen goods in Gainesville, Florida?
Can you come over and kill a spider for me?
Women have been covering the NFL and asking their amusing little questions ever since 1976, when the Boston Globe made Lesley Visser the beat writer on the Boston Patriots. Back then, an NFL quarterback tried to sign her notepad because he assumed she was an autograph seeker. That was 41 years ago. It’s amazing what a throwback Newton is. Either that’s how long it takes women to master the basic geometry of a route tree, or the men in his family really think it’s one of nature’s great secrets how their pants stick to their legs.
This is why I propose a useful gender-culture exchange with Cam Newton. I will try to follow the incomprehensibly intricate tracings of his pencil on paper as he tries to explain a “corner” route to me. In return, I will give him my womanly enlightenment on matters of wardrobe: It’s really not a fashion statement to dress like you’re wearing the entire rack from the dry cleaners, including the tablecloths and napkins. It’s just a ploy for attention.
I think I speak for the entire NFL female audience, which comprises 45 percent of all viewers, when I tell Newton how grateful I am to learn his true attitude toward women. It’s very informative. No doubt Dawn Hudson, the NFL’s chief marketing officer, is glad to know it too. And so are the heads of various companies, who will refrain from hiring him for product endorsements or commercials, because he can’t keep a straight face when confronted with a professional woman.
But, hey, it was apparently worth it to him to retain his thin, fragile veneer of superiority.