Business was slow for the ticket seller on South Robertson Street. The Carolina-New Orleans game was a buyer’s market. The Saints had been playing poorly, and it’s the holidays, and Sunday was a beautiful sunshiny day. The man saw a woman with a small Panthers cap sticking out of her shirt.
“Oh, I got some special tickets for you,” he told the woman. “See these tickets right here? They are right in front of Cam Newton. You’ll be close enough to talk to him. How ’bout that?”
The woman stopped walking; she stopped and her friend stopped with her to listen to the ticket seller. But ultimately they kept moving. Some days, even the Cam card doesn’t work.
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The New Orleans Saints were a 7-point underdog at home, the biggest margin since Drew Brees became their quarterback and Sean Payton became their coach. Yet the underdog Saints led 16-13 at the half.
Surprised? That wasn’t the surprise. The surprise was that there had been three first-half turnovers, and Carolina had all of them. Yet they trailed by only three points at the break.
When it counted …
The Panthers won for the same reason they always win their tight games. When a play that would win the game had to be made, they made it. Despite dropped passes and missed throws, Cam Newton drove the Panthers to two fourth-quarter touchdowns. He took them 80 yards in four plays and then 75 yards in 11.