Two cannons of confetti rained on American sports when the final gun concluded Super Bowl 50 last Sunday. The first was literal, the meaningless strips of colored paper celebrating Von Miller, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The second, which came later in the form of the weeklong narratives surrounding Cam Newton's postgame news conference, Peyton Manning's last-stand triumph and allegations of sexual assault, was metaphorical, resembling pieces of a jigsaw puzzle tossed high, disparate but interconnected, and this confetti is not harmless.
The pieces are scattered on the floor. In between each is noise -- angry, perplexed, frustrating, resigned, aggrieved noise. For a week, Newton's sour news conference has received the treatment of the major news event of the day, bigger than Miller, bigger than the Broncos, even though Newton never once raised his voice and did not verbally attack the assembled press -- in a time when Bill Belichick and Gregg Popovich unprofessionally make daily sport out of belittling professional journalists and it's laughed off as curmudgeonly genius.
In a time of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Johnny Manziel and Baylor University, Newton being upset that he lost a football game has received far more attention than Manning's involvement in being named in a lawsuit against the University of Tennessee alleging the university has fostered a hostile work environment for women. The lawsuit alleges that Manning -- already hounded by HGH allegations this summer --