by David Isle

On Sunday, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera benched his star quarterback Cam Newton for the team’s first offensive series due to a “dress code violation.” Subsequent reporting revealed that Cam’s infraction was not wearing a tie on the team plane. This is indeed a serious violation, and I’m glad that Coach Rivera has dealt with it appropriately.

As a viewer of the occasional Panthers press conference, I would like to humbly suggest that Coach Rivera augment the team’s dress code to protect innocent viewers from the following infractions:

1) Improperly hemmed trousers


Trousers should be hemmed to have a slight break or no break, not a full fold as seen in this photo.

2) Trousers too matchy with shoes


In this example, the gold and black tones of the pants are too close to the colorway of the shoes. This defect could be remedied in this case by switching to all-black shoes.

3) Wearing a dress watch with a casual outfit


It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it appears that Cam is wearing a slim dress watch here, which is discordant with the outfit, whose casual nature can be discerned from the heavy use of earth tones.

4) Disproportionate Lapel Width


Like many great athletes, Cam has extremely wide shoulders. To maintain proportions, the lapel of his jacket should also be wide. Not all of his jackets fulfill this requirement, leading to aesthetic discord.

5) Improperly Fitting Shoulders


A well-fitting jacket should lie smoothly on the wearer’s shoulders. The shoulder line can be straight or curved, but it should not be broken, as it is here. For someone of Cam’s exceptional dimensions, a bespoke tailor may be required.

As a native North Carolinian and occasional Panthers fan, I would like Cam to play as much as possible (the backup quarterback began the game by throwing an interception, although it wasn’t really his fault and the offense didn’t fare much better once Cam got in the game). But some things are more important than football. One can only hope that Cam has learned his lesson.