Since the days of Broadway Joe Namath, quarterbacks have been the glamour guys of the league. it's not at all unusual to see an NFL quarterback on the cover of a magazine like GQ or Esquire. And when advertisers want a pitch man, it's the quarterback they call first. They're stylish, handsome, and ladies everywhere swoon for them. On Sunday afternoons, they're the stars of the show that everyone is watching.
And then there's the middle linebackers.
Dick Butkus wasn't exactly somebody you'd go to for style tips. Ladies weren't swooning over pictures of Jack Lambert (though dentists might have). And if you were an advertiser, you probably didn't want to use a picture of Mike Singletary's eyes to show your product, unless you were advertising a horror movie. With these guys, nobody was expecting them to look good. They essentially had one job: hit people very hard (and they were good at it).
So with that in mind, I give you Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.
I'm amused that the Panthers right now have a stereotypical "odd couple" in the leaders of their offense and defense.
Jordan Gross asked Newton about how he picked out his gameday outfit. Cam talked about starting with the shoes and tailoring around them. He talked designer labels, fashion and style (which anyone would tell you he's got plenty of, along with tons of charisma).
When Gross asked Luke what kind of shoes he wore on gamedays, Kuechly responded "brown ones".
Call me crazy, but I love that we've got the whole 'fashion plate / lunch pail' dynamic between the guys at the center of their respective units. It's been true of a lot of great NFL teams of the past. I'd love it if our "odd couple" led this team to that same kind of greatness, and it'd be fun to watch along the way.