Cam Newton Benched First Series of Game for Not Wearing a Tie, Derek Anderson Promptly Throws INT

Cam Newton had to sit out the first series of the game in Seattle because of a dress code violation.
December 5, 2016, 3:59pm

FWIW, photos on @Panthers official Instagram show Cam Newton boarding team plane w/o tie.
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) December 5, 2016

Usually, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is anything but underdressed. Newton's sense of fashion can be amusing and puzzling at times, but he appeared to dressed conservatively when deboarding Carolina's team flight to Seattle over the weekend.

However, as the post indicates, Newton was not wearing a tie—and that violates team rules created by coach Ron Rivera. As a result, Rivera punished Newton by benching him for the Panthers first series on Sunday night against the Seahawks. It was an obvious surprise for Al Michaels of NBC to see Derek Anderson under center instead of Newton on the first play. It might have frightened the rest of the Panthers as well, because:

An interception on the first play! Is that some kind of fashionista karma coming back to bite Rivera? Hopefully so. The rest of the game didn't go well for the Panthers either; they fell to 4-8 after a 40-7 thumping by the Seahawks.

Here's what Cam and Rivera had to say about the tie business:

"I didn't follow dress code, and Coach told me I wasn't going to start. I stand by his decision," Newton told reporters afterward.

"It was a travel dress-code violation," Rivera told the Charlotte Observer. "So we said let's treat him like I do all the other players on the team, and he didn't start."

While it seems silly to even have such a rule about players wearing ties, especially when mock turtlenecks can be no less fashionable, and the player being punished for violating the dress code also was wearing his signature fedora—it's not like Newton was out there in an adult Christmas onesie—that's not the point. Rules are rules and despite being a superstar, Cam should have to follow them, too. It's curious, though. Was he simply being careless, or was he trying to test Rivera, continuing to wear the fedora in the hope that it would distract Rivera from his neck area?

As the New York Daily News noted, some in the media feel like something more was at work here than just Newton not wearing a tie. Cynical bastards. Occam's Razor is probably the proper guideline here. Just don't use it to shave whilst wearing a mock turtleneck.