“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
– William Purkey
Nike was so far beyond ahead of its time when this ad reminded us that Charles Barkley is not a role model. Professional athletes are paid stupid amounts of money to do the things that we wish we could. They entertain, enthrall, make us emote, and in their own way energize entire regions of our country through their exploits. They shouldn’t raise our kids. They should raise their own, but that’s a different story…
But now, a few words on Dab-gate 2015.
If you haven’t heard the fury, it goes like this. Undefeated Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newtown likes to dance. He’s a celebratory kind of fella. He scores, he dances, he poses, his team rolls on. Sometimes, other teams don’t like it. His response: don’t let me score. But headlines were generated when Rosemary Plorin of Nashville, TN, penned a note to young Mr. Newton and shared it with the Charlotte Observer. In it, she was critical of Newton’s “sportsmanship” and the example it was setting for her young daughter:
Because of where we sat, we had a close up view of your conduct in the fourth quarter. The chest puffs. The pelvic thrusts. The arrogant struts and the ‘in your face’ taunting of both the Titans’ players and fans. We saw it all. […] I refuse to believe you don’t realize you are a role model […] With everything the NFL has gone through in recent years, I’m confident they have advised that you are, by virtue of your position and career choice, a role model.
As Ms. Plorin went on about her 9-year-old daughter’s reactions to Cam’s bravado, the internet assploded. Story after story, comment after comment, First Take segment after First Take segment. Cam became a brat, a boastful buffoon, and the face of the NFL’s spoiled royalty. And the conversation went on for WEEKS, even after Ms. Polin retracted her initial disgust in the wake of a Cam press conference addressing her letter. Cam, the Dab, and athletes’ role model status was thrust into the spotlight.
And then this happened: ESPN’s Robert Flores came with the real and threw the shade of an eclipse over his own network and the ludicrousness of this entire topic:
ESPN’s Robert Flores takes shot at First Take over Travis Kelce and Cam Newton pic.twitter.com/nKo5LB6pyB
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 30, 2015
Just like that, the whole conversation gets turned on its ear. Just like that, in a comment that would have gone unnoticed and was met with trepidatious laughter from his colleagues, Flores made it all crystal clear for those who couldn’t see through their own rose-colored glasses. Watch, re-watch, and let it sink all the way in.
Oh yeah: Cam and his charity were a little busy over the Thanksgiving holiday. Sorry if he couldn’t get back to you.