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Cam Newton benching was the dumbest thing of 2016

If you don't believe in the Football Gods, watch the first series of Sunday night's game between the Panthers and Seahawks.

Ron Rivera made the most ridiculous coaching decision of the NFL season when he sent Derek Anderson on the field to start Carolina's first drive at CenturyLink Field. Cam Newton, who made the mistake of wearing a turtleneck instead of a shirt and tie on the team flight to Seattle, watched from the sideline as Al, Cris and America scrambled to make sense of the situation.

Enter the Football Gods. The Panthers called for a pass on their first play from scrimmage (naturally) and Anderson fired a short throw off Mike Tolbert's fingertips and into the waiting hands of Seahawks linebacker Mike Morgan. The interception led to three of Seattle's 40 points in a blowout victory.

After the game, we learned that Newton had been benched one series for a dress-code violation. This is a real thing that happened in Week 13.

"When you're 6-5, trying to get a shirt -- I was away from home for a week -- I didn't pack a shirt," Newton patiently explained after the game. "There was a lot of ties that were given, but I can't wear a tie with this. Meaning I have a tank top on under this -- we discussed it internally. ... I thought we were on the same page; I felt as if I wore a similar outfit like this before, and nothing was done. But he has rules in place and we have to abide by them. No person is greater than the next person -- it is what it is."

I really wish Newton would have followed the path of his tank top aside. Is it possible Newton pondered wearing a tanktop with a tie? What if he put the tie over his turtleneck? Would he be in the clear then? What if Cam Newton wore only a tie? Would Derek Anderson throw a ridiculous interception if that happened?

The irony in all this is that no one would have batted an eyelash if Newton just draped a loosely knotted tie over his sweater. Would that be any wilder a fashion choice than this or this or this or this or this or this?

Counter-productive nonsense! Let's move on.

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