Cam Is Everything Peyton Ain't
It's been a minute. A lot has happened. Time to get back into this ... I'm not gonna say "space." Got no problem with the concept, just the cliche.
Been thinking: For some of us black football fans who pay attention to cultural subplots and structural resistance to change, this Super Bowl feels like more is at stake than the game. Because of Cam and Payton. They couldn't be more opposite, racially and culturally speaking. Cam is everything that Peyton ain't: young, black, mobile, athletic, swaggy, stylish ... There's nothing wrong with Peyton's identity: old, white, slow, corporate, professional, etc. I admire Peyton's career, resilience and approach to the game. I enjoy Cam, though. On a cultural level, in addition to football.
If Cam loses, then in a small but significant way, black style and uber-confidence and end-zone dances lose. We lose, in the way that black folks lose when a black person commits a high-profile crime or gaffe that allows people to think, in a way that never applies to our white brothers and sisters, that the qualities of that black person extend to the entire race.
If Peyton wins -- and it would be cool to see such an accomplished player win the chip and retire on such a huge W -- some folks will probably see that as a defeat of Cam's style and personality, rather than a defeat of the Carolina Panthers.
So I'm looking for the second Doug Williams moment in Super Bowl history.
Yeah -- the second moment. Russell Wilson led Seattle to a Super Bowl win. Russell has two black parents. Russell says he's "mixed." (Check the 2:43 mark of this video.) Russell is not identified and aligned with black culture the way Cam is. I mean...
Let's get it, Carolina!
5/20/2016 04:01:48 am
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Jesse Washington is a Senior Writer for ESPN's TheUndefeated.com