Wade and James doing their best Newton impression during a comeback in Charlotte over the Bobcats. via t3.gstatic.com
In my ongoing quest to find Panther news and tidbits to hold me over until training camp I mosied over to NFL.com to see what, if any, Panthers news I could find today.
As is normally the case, there was no news on the future NFC South division champions. When you're in a small market no news is good news more times than not. When you follow a small market team in the off season you normally only get front page attention from the national media if someone in the organization has been arrested or died. So I guess it's been a good weekend for the Panthers.
I did stumble across two articles that troubled me as a fan of the Carolina Panthers from Miami and Dallas. More after the jump...
It's pretty well known that the biggest story in the NBA the past few seasons has been the Big 3 of Miami. If you're not familiar, allow me to summarize. Lebron James comes out of high school touted as the best talent since Michael Jordan, maybe the best ever. After 7 years in Cleveland he felt the team never invested the money into bringing in supporting talent and in a very public display known as "The Decision" he decided to take his talents to South Beach. He joined two other top talents from his draft class on the Miami Heat roster, Dwayne Wade who was drafted by Miami 9 years ago and Chris Bosh another amazing talent disenchanted by the lack of investment his team, the Toronto Raptors, put into his dreams of a championship. In year one the Big 3 lost in the championship series however in year two they dominated the OKC Thunder on the way to the first of many promised championships.
The Miami Heat have the #1, #4 and #5 overall picks from the 2003 draft in their starting lineup. If they don't win at least three more championships with that amount of talent I would be shocked. Three of their starting five are future HoFer's, two (40%) went outside the normal parameters of free agency and manufactured one of the greatest teams in history. Imagine this situation in football terms. For the sake of simplicity I'll leave special teams out of this. There are 22 starters on offense and defense, 40% of that would be roughly 9 starters. Imagine replacing 9 starters for the Panthers with the greatest talent the NFL had to offer. We could manufacture a dynasty.
Before the term is thrown around in the comment section I'll come out with it, I'm a hater. I do not agree with, and never will, the way things went down to bring about this championship. At the same time I do not hate the Big 3 or anyone associated with the Miami Heat, I try not to feel hatred for anyone. The "hater" terminology is just a cop out for when one can't back their side of a discussion.
Now back to NFL.com. Less than two weeks after the Heat won the first of many championships to come, certain players in the NFL have taken notice. They've realized that the quickest way to a championship, besides actual commitment and hard work, is to promote your team and market to the top talent and manufacture your own dynasty. NFL.com reports that Vontae Davis is attempting to woo Dwayne Bowe to Miami via Twitter and volunteering Chad Ochocinco to help him pack. Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys is going a step further and encouraging Deron Williams of the Nets to come to Big D and help the Mavericks scrounge up another championship.
I'm aware that this sort of harmless bantor has happened in the offseason for years. I worry that a real world example has shown that it's possible and the results, while unnatural, are quite an incentive. I'm also aware that the current CBA would not allow the exact situation of the Big 3 to play out in the NFL. But there are countless ways that a similar situation could happen and if your imagination can't fathom that, there's always another CBA negotion not too far down the road. We saw last offseason during the negotiation that the NFL fan is nothing more than a bargaining tool for either side so I doubt they would worry too much about giving the large markets more opportunities while making it difficult on the small markets.
The last thing I want to see is an NFL dominated by the Los Angeles Jaguars, the New York Giants/Jets, the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears. Call me crazy but we already have this situation in the other two big leagues, NBA and MLB. The NFL is not immune to bad policy; just ask any DB.