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Married To The Game

It was last attempted on February 7th, 2016. Cameron Jerrell Newton wore a clear visor as the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Newton; the league’s most valuable player that year never really laid a glove on Peyton Manning and the Broncos. No quarterback has donned an eye shield during the big game since that fateful night in Levi's Stadium.

Look Good. Feel Good…Feel Good. Play Good…except with the visor. Before Cam, it was Big Ben vs. the Packers in Super Bowl XLV. No matter how cool it is to rock a face shield, your quarterback, especially in the culminating game of the year, can not be wearing that eye gear.

Super Bowl 50 is the only game to not feature Roman Numerals on Players’ Jerseys...Newton would’ve really had to hold that L.

The first time I noticed it was during the Bengals Hard Knocks season in 2013. Andy Dalton was highlighted wearing a some type of rubber, silicone, or titanium alloy wedding ring…during practice. While many wouldn't realize it in the moment, this would be the original red flag (no pun-intended) that Dalton would never lead a team to the promise land.

For some, this may seem like an innocuous thing for a player to wear during a game. A token of love, a gesture for a life-long partner...but for me, I knew immediately that this guy, and all other guys wearing wedding bands in the throes of battle would come up short in a big spot.

Before we go through some of the culprits, and before you think I'm 100% crazy...please remember that sports don't make any sense. Who wins your March Madness pool? Your Aunt who picks winners based off of which mascot she likes better. She's never heard of conference realignment. She doesn't know anything about the history of 12 seeds matching up against 5 seeds. Aunt Tracy just knows that an Orangeman would at no time beat up a Wolfpack in a fight.

So now that we're all on the same page, let's take a look at some guys who's destinies were doomed before they barked out Spider-Two-Y-Banana.

Kirk Cousins currently holds the title as the prototypical wedding ring guy in the NFL. Is Kirk Cousins good? Not really. Is Kirk Cousins terrible? Not really. This guy's just the right amount of mediocre to secure a major bag, go around .500 every season, and have no threat of ever losing his job.

Derek Carr has always struck me as a guy that was held back in elementary school so he could excel athletically with kids younger and smaller than him. After showing up for the 2021 season with new hair miraculously, rumors are he's taken off the ring in favor of a wedding ring tattoo...nice try, Derek.

Ryan Fitzpatrick; the consummate football guy, has opted for the more traditional band. No one would question Fitzpatrick's smarts (people forget, he went to Harvard), but you gotta wonder if he'd of bounced around the league as much as he has without the ring on for four quarters.

Lastly, we look at rookie QB Trevor Lawrence. The 0-4 Jags are off to a rough start, and may be forced into a coaching change before week 5. Lawrence still has time to make his own change though. To take the ring off for 60 minutes, and achieve his full potential on the field.

What a quarterback puts on his helmet, and his hand is critical for his team's success. Because sometimes the most crucial accessory is having none at all. A man without hand, well...

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