Oct. 9, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes the ball against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE

Carolina Panthers – Smallville Crows?


With the NFL draft lead-up, the draft itself, and the over-analysis that ALWAYS follows, on this Saturday morning I thought I’d offer up a more lighthearted look at things.

I went to see “The Avengers” last week, and if you’ve ever been anything into comic book fandom in your life, you’ll love the movie. Even if you’re not, it actually has about 4 or 5 moments that will make you laugh out loud without treading at all into the realm of “corniness” that can easily happen in the attempt at humor. Robert Downey, Jr. (AKA Tony Stark AKA Iron Man), was his usual humorous, sarcastic, and charismatic self. On a side note, I’ve always liked him as an actor, and it’s great to see someone who was in such a dark place with his drug addiction break the habit and get his life back on track. He’s a living example of falling down and getting back up again. Good for him!

Captain America: “Without the armor, what are you?”

Tony Stark: “Genius…billionaire…playboy…philanthropist…”

After enjoying the movie, reality sadly set back in and I had to go back to the grind. As I was thinking of writing another column, I realized the “Cam and Supercam” deal (hat tip to Frederick Nietzche) and that Kuechly’s early sobriquet looks to be “Clark Kent.” It fits him as he does resemble a bespectacled Clark Kent. Tall, dark, handsome, and imposingly built. Interesting, but no “secret identities” exist in the NFL.

Everyone knows who you are.

In 2010, The team lacked an identity on both sides of the ball, barely scoring a TD per game and winning only 1 of every 8 contests.

In 2011, the Panther offense became a force, going from completely pathetic to surprisingly potent with Young Superman throwing to the previous one (Steve Smith).

In 2012, can Luke Kuechly possibly do the same thing with their defense?

In short, no, he cannot. Not alone. But he and a healthy Beason sure can help, and rookie Frank Alexander has impressed in his short time with the team so far.

As a fan, I can get so deeply engrossed in something I almost feel like I’m a part of it. As a writer, I have my….dozens of readers to preach I mean share my thoughts with on things, try and forecast where the team is going and who they’ll need to fill out with in 2013.

Forgive me if it seems as if I’m looking ahead too much. Perhaps I am, but I am certain the Panther organization is already going through rising college upperclassmen now. That’s why they have a Scouting department. If history repeats, then we’ve just drafted Brian Urlacher’s younger clone.

Seriously…”Superman” – my all-time favorite superhero since about 3 yrs old – runs the offense. That’s Cam, duh. that’s old news. Ironically, Steve Smith is his main target too, huh?

It’s almost Too Good To Be True that a guy who looks like he’d make a passable Clark Kent onscreen, but would fill out a Superman costume without any “CGI” stuff needed for sure, falls in the lap of the Carolina Panthers.

The reason I’m taking you readers down this road is to help you visualize some pretty neat things going on, and what might be.

What if LK (“Like Kent” for now) plays like the “Smallville” version of him in our mirror universe here? In the TV show, Clark had to tone down his abilities to actually below-nothing (as he knows he can’t be hurt, can’t “turn that one off” and can kill someone else if he’s not careful).

He certainly can’t do that, but if LK plays like he did at BC, tackling everyone that comes his way, the comparisons would be valid. If the Clark Kent nickname does seem to resound with his play on the field, then what of the others?

You see, we can’t have any “Avengers” here. It’s a DC Comics Universe, not a Marvel Comics one. That’s just how the chips have fallen, what can I say?

Okay…Superman was always far and away the most powerful of the DC Universe…

Are both of my Comicon-going fans still here?

Everyone else too bored to give up so far or somehow intrigued by my ramblings (seek counseling NOW please!)…follow me here…

I see the next prominent Panther pass-rusher being dubbed, “Doomsday.” Frank Alexander, perhaps? Or will Charles Johnson take the name? Sure, the Dallas Cowboys of the 1970′s had “The Doomsday Defense,” but that was the collective name for the squad. Perhaps the defense will become a top-5 unit in the next couple of seasons and be dubbed the “Justice League.” But a player nicknamed “Doomsday?”

Someone PLEASE tell me…what could POSSIBLY be a better football nickname than that?

Certainly not “Wonder Woman” to be sure…although I’m sure the Lingerie Football League has one of those.

Tags: Cam Newton Charles Johnson Frank Alexander Jon Beason Luke Kuechly