Another guy I respect asked me how the sports world has changed since I left it. The biggest change preceded my departure by 11 months.
On Jan. 11, 2015, the day after the Carolina Panthers’ loss to Seattle in the NFL playoffs, I wrote a column that said that Cam Newton was the team’s franchise quarterback and needed to be paid like one. As obvious as the premise is (and was), I got slammed. For every positive response to the column, I heard from at least 10 people who wanted to tell me how wrong I was and how average Newton was. Some of the writers were civil. Some were vicious.
At the time, many people would get out of bed in the morning looking for a reason to criticize the quarterback. Some of anti-Newton sentiment had to do with race; writers made that clear, and some even signed their name. I wonder if any of them now cheer for Newton, last season’s NFL MVP, or if they have found another team.