Since Carolina's loss to San Francisco I've received strange email about the Panthers. I regularly hear from readers who disagree with me, and that's fine. If we all agreed about everything how bored would we be?
If you make a case that Cam Newton is not a franchise quarterback, I'll consider your opinion before I disagree with it. I've learned from readers, and I appreciate their passion and input.
But the recent email I've received is uniformed, and consistent. The themes: Newton is not the quarterback for the Panthers, Ron Rivera is not the coach, Mike Shula is not the offensive coordinator, Steve Smith is not the receiver and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are not the running backs. Also, Newton wears a towel on his head.
The names of the writers are not familiar. And they're furious; I can almost see the spittle on the messages they send. Fortunately, I keep a roll of paper towels near the laptop.
Here's what it is, I think: The recent writers have been lifelong fans of the Panthers since November. They jumped on -- and there's nothing wrong with peripheral fans getting involved -- during Carolina's winning steak. They experienced success, knew nothing but success and expected success to continue.
When the Panthers somehow lost to San Francisco somebody had to be held responsible. Somebody had to be blamed. So they blamed Newton, Rivera, Shula, Smith and the running backs.
In a few weeks, I suspect, this particular brand of email will cease and I won't hear from the writers until Carolina's next playoff loss.