There were several things that never should have happened in the game Sunday. You can see one of them above, where Robert Quinn is screaming at Cam Newton while Newton wanders off the field in a semi-daze after being hit by the St. Louis defensive end.
The previous blog item talks about six of the things I liked most in Carolina's 30-15 win over the St. Louis Rams Sunday. But there were also more things than usual in a Panther win that I found distressing in both teams' behavior. Here's a short list of four -- feel free to add or comment to it.
1) The picture above shows Robert Quinn, the Rams' defensive end, yelling what Newton would later refer to as "explicits" following Quinn's hit of Newton. Listen, I know football is an emotional game, but there's something wrong with this. You hurt a guy, you know he's hurt -- and then you yell at him?!
Newton said this was what prompted the ensuing brawl -- not that Quinn hit him (it was legal), but what he said later. It made the normally mild-mannered Jordan Gross go after Quinn, and then the fracas started.
And what the heck is wrong with Quinn anyway?
I used to really like the guy. I went down to South Carolina five years ago to write about him when he was in high school -- he had survived a brain tumor and was about to make his collegiate choice. I liked him and his parents, both of whom I met.
Quinn ultimately chose North Carolina, but the Tar Heels certainly wish he didn't now. Quinn was heavily involved in the agent scandal that has brought the football program to his knees. Now he's a great NFL defensive end, but he's doing needless stuff like this.
(After the game I didn't have a chance to talk to Quinn, but he didn't say much to other reporters besides noting that his hit on Newton was legal, which it was).
2) Chris Long (see picture at end of this blog). I know Long regrets throwing the punch that led to his ejection -- he said so after the game. But video shows at least two Panther fans throwing things at Long while he made his "walk of shame" to the locker room.
Long didn't get hurt, but c'mon, man -- those Panther fans should be as ashamed as Long. The actions of a couple of knuckleheads made everyone in the stands look bad. As Fox Sports' Dick Stockton correctly called those fans' behaviors on the telecast: "Inexcusable."
3) Sam Bradford/Mike Mitchell play. On a fourth-quarter play in which Bradford scrambled for a one-yard gain, Mitchell pushed him out of bounds. Then he lifted his arms to the sky and celebrated. Mitchell said later he didn't know Bradford was hurt --
"Absolutely not man, c'mon. I'm not that type of guy," he said. And he thought he had gotten a sack on the play (one yard earlier on the push-out, and he would have). And he avoided any personal-foul penalty then or at any other time in the game.
Still, I'm sure Mitchell regrets so dramatically celebrating the play that ended up putting Bradford out for the season with a torn ACL. Certainly, it didn't look good on TV. And I personally regret Bradford getting hurt (which was not Mitchell's fault, just bad luck). I think he's a classy guy and enjoy watching him.
4) One last regret, and this is just a personal preference. Can we ban the use of the word "chippy" to describe incidents like these? What does that even mean? It is becoming as prevalent as "it is what it is" as a catch-all phrase.
Chris Long walks off the field after being ejected. Fans threw at least two items at him during this walk.