The National Football League is a hellscape organization run almost exclusively by corrosive megalomaniacs who wouldn’t mind seeing their country burn and their employees lose brain function just to guarantee an investment. Its games are increasingly hard to watch; nobody understands its rules; Tom Brady wants you to buy his snake oil.
But last night, Sean “Diddy” Combs announced his intention to bid for the Carolina Panthers. It’s a slightly mad idea that I—a pasty, soccer-loving British man whose modestly researched NFL allegiances almost got him fired by a Cowboys-supporting editor during last year’s playoffs—think is brilliant.
We’re only here in the first place because Panthers owner and melting waxwork Jerry Richardson was exposed as a shithead over the weekend. A Sports Illustrated report on Sunday detailed a pattern of sexist, racist behavior from the 81-year-old, and revealed that he was under investigation from the league. Before Sunday was through, Richardson had announced that he was putting the team up for sale (though he didn’t mention the investigation in his memo).
Diddy jumped right in:
The rapper followed it up by tweeting, “There are no majority African American NFL owners. Let’s make history.” Minutes later, two-time NBA MVP, Panthers fan, and noted rich person Stephen Curry tweeted his desire to join in with a potential bid. As the news spread, Diddy put out an Instagram video outlining his intentions. “I need to send a message out to everybody in the beautiful state of North Carolina: I will be the best NFL owner that you can imagine,” he said. I will immediately address the Colin Kaepernick situation and put him in the running for next year’s starting quarterback.”
That phrasing is slightly awkward. Addressing “the Colin Kaepernick situation” doesn’t mean installing him as a starting QB over Cam Newton, an immensely gifted and versatile man who, incidentally, dresses like a deity. My pasty, soccer-minded approach leads me to believe that Kaepernick would make a great backup for Newton, who constantly gets the shit knocked out of him by opposition defenses. Kaep and Newton are both dynamic, dual-threat QBs, so the shift from one to the other in the event of an injury wouldn’t be so jarring (right?). The Panthers are probably going to the playoffs this year. Give Cam some backup; give Colin Kaepernick the job he’s been denied by stubborn racists.
But Diddy’s straightforward declaration that he wanted to put Kaepernick up for a starter's role could have been controversial. Thankfully, Kaepernick himself isn't looking to usurp Newton. Here's his response, sent this morning, to Diddy's first tweet:
So now we’re faced with the prospect of Sean “Diddy” Combs and Colin Kaepernick launching a joint bid for an NFL team led by Cam Newton. Muse for a second on the possibility of the Panthers beating the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, on Diddy besting Donald Trump’s friend Robert Kraft, on Colin Kaepernick sitting next to Diddy in the owner’s box and watching all of this unfold while "Bad Boy for Life" plays in the background.
Diddy says ludicrous stuff sometimes. But there's a good chance he's serious here. Seven years ago, he came close to buying English soccer team Crystal Palace because the name sounded cool. He’s always wanted to own a sports franchise, and the Carolina Panthers—a decent franchise protected by a league that won’t let rich dudes lose money—is a much smarter investment than Palace.
But forget the sensible stuff. I want to watch Diddy’s Panthers beat the shit out of a NFL teams that are controlled by opportunistic maniacs. I want Colin Kaepernick to waltz into owners’ meetings and just sit there silently, staring at the fuckers who denied him a job and vilified him because he dared to protest racial injustice. I like the fact that Steph Curry would probably be made to fetch the coffees in this scenario.
This is the last hope for a fun NFL. Probably.
Ask Alex Robert Ross about his other American sports takes on Twitter.