Welcome to the eighth of a series of posts on my friends’ favourite teams. (Click here for previous posts in this series.) Most of my friends don’t share my penchant for masochism–I’m a Bills fan– and thusly have chosen their favourite teams far more wisely. As a celebration of their superior vintage, I bring to you their thoughts on their favourite teams upcoming seasons.
Next I bring to you a Carolina Panthers fan, or, otherwise known as Justin Beaubien, CEO. You might remember him from such previous remarks like “Just like the Bills making a playoff run, this seems to me like a pointless endeavor” and “Do you know how many important business deals I could have brokered in these last 30 seconds?”
Before we began the interview, Mr. Beaubien let me know he only had a few minutes between meetings.
When did you first realize you were a Panthers fan?
Let me set the stage: It’s February 4th, 2001 and it’s the 4th quarter of one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history. Only an hour before, Janet Jackson showed her tit to the world so the tension in the air is that much more palpable. (Ed. Note: even the footballs looked blue after) On 3rd down from the Carolina 15-yard line, underdog Jake Delholmme (an undrafted free agent when he began his career in the NFL) throws an 85-yard touchdown pass to Mushin Muhammad, (Ed. Note: one of my fondest Super Bowl memories involves this play, mostly because I can vividly recall embracing my friend Frank Scornaienchi) not only setting the record for longest play from the line of scrimmage in Super Bowl history, but also inspiring a young man’s rags-to-riches journey, motivating him throughout his own dazzling rise to the top.
Sure, they ended up losing but that has only spurred my resolve—since that day I always vowed that, when staring into the drooling, gaping mouth of the competition, I would never back down; I would win the Big Game.
Jake Delhomme or Cam Newton?
Don’t waste my time. Next question. (Ed. Note: I miss Jake Delhomme. He was like the Jennifer Anniston of football. I think he made every average guy think he could play in the Super Bowl, like Anniston made every average female think they could date Brad Pitt.)
How beautiful is Cam Newton?
Back in my university days, I took a Fine Arts elective to alleviate some of the stresses of my quadruple major (Economics with a focus on Friedman, Probability and Statistics for Business, Tactics in Hostile Takeovers and Game Theory) and one of the lectures dealt with the proportions of the human face. Using some of the mathematical theorems I learned in my other classes, I figured out the dimensions of the perfect face and started drawing. I wouldn’t know this for many years, but the result looked eerily like a composite sketch of Cam Newton. (Ed. Note: I would love to paint Cam Newton like one of my french girls.)
What’s your ace in the hole that proves your fandom?
My mentor and stats professor always said, “The proof is in the pudding.” I never quite understood what that meant but I own an assortment of Carolina Panthers socks which I wear to the office on casual Fridays. (Ed. Note: he used to own a hat)
Describe to me your thought process from the time the Panthers drafted Cam Newton–the next Jamarcus Russell–to now when Cam Newton looks like he has no historical comparison.
Bayesian probability (something I use when I attempt to predict trends in the business world) requires us to consider what we already know (a priori) (Ed. Note: all I already know is, I’m already bored) about a player and add all subsequent relevant information to increase our predictive ability (posteriori). (Ed. Note: not as bored now, because I read that as posterior). What I knew about Cam Newton before his NFL debut was that he won the Heisman Trophy and had once stolen a laptop which he later threw out a window in an attempt to hide it from the police. That showed me that he had both the talent and tenacity to succeed. (Ed. Note: What an eye for talent! He can see latent talent in criminal activity because he watched The Wire. Take notes wannabe CEO’s) Since then, he’s only added legitimacy to the claim that he is an elite quarterback. (Ed. Note: hear, hear!)
Do you think Cam Newton can take a team to the Super Bowl?
What I look for in new employees is the capacity to learn from past mistakes; I’ve always taken that first mistake with a grain of salt. Of course, if the mistake is repeated, I will personally escort you to the unemployment line. To my knowledge, Cam Newton has never again thrown a laptop out of a window. Provided he keeps learning from his mistakes on and off the field, he’ll take Carolina back to the Big Game.
If you could have one rival NFL player disappear Jimmy Hoffa style, who would it be?
In the past I might have said that tattooed goon, Colin Kaepernick but my experiences in the business world have led to some significant changes of heart. It’s a dog eat dog world and poor Alex Smith isn’t much better than a Yorkie.
I also might have said Jonathan Vilma or Anthony Hargrove but really, let’s break it down: players were being compensated to do work beneficial to the organization they were working for. Isn’t our entire economy based on this notion? When did tackling the opposition become illegal? Gregg Williams, if you’re reading this, I’d like to make you an offer to become my Executive Vice President of Business Development. There’s nothing for you in Tennessee.
Being honest with myself, I’ll say the following: In the spirit of the free market economy, let them all live and give it their best shot—the game will weed out the weak anyways.
Any self-respecting fan of a team, not including patriots fans because they have no self-respect, usually feel nervous about their team, regardless of how good they are. What makes you nervous as a panthers Fan?
Dave Gettleman does not know how to wear a suit and that certainly does not inspire confidence.
What about the opposite? What makes you irrationally optimistic about the upcoming season?
There is nothing irrational about my optimism. The Panthers are teeming with potential and that is fact.
What’s your prediction for the season?
Actually, my secretary is calling me. I’m late for my meeting (Ed. Note: he says as he adjusts his bluetooth).
But I have only one more question…
Ed. Note: No answer. As he walks away I realize I am not mad; I’m impressed. I got more than a few minutes out of him.)