As with many modern media phenomenons, it all started with a tweet.
After one guy posted a photo of a Skip Bayless-level hot take in an elementary school newspaper ripping Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the 10-year-old has had a chance to explain himself.
And actually, he’s better than Bayless, because there’s at least an intellectual honesty to the kid’s claims.
The original column in Virginia’s Venable Elementary School’s Gazette began by suggesting the Panthers should move Newton to running back, decried their inconsistency, but came around to the notion of “Now that I think about it, … Maybe he is not the only bad player.”
Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review caught up with the precocious tyke, who was surprised by the attention, but saw the chance at a greater good.
“I am very surprised and very glad because it means the Panthers might get a new quarterback,” 10-year-old Robert Romer said, when asked about the attention his words had gotten.
Romer grew up in Charlottesville, but his best friend in school has family in North Carolina, so they decided to be Panthers fans. But Robert said he’d prefer a more trustworthy quarterback.
“Cam isn’t reliable like Peyton Manning is. Some days he’ll win, some days he’ll lose,” Robert said.
When it’s mentioned that Manning loses in the playoffs a lot, Robert replied: “Well, he’s old.”
“I think Cam throws too many interceptions,” Robert said. “But I’ll cheer for him because he’s on my favorite football team.”
Believe it or not, there are actually some thin-skinned fans who were offended by the kid’s work, but his journalism advisor said she was proud of it.
“I would be very, very disappointed in mankind if there would be backlash, that people would be critical of a child having an opinion,” teacher Maxine Baskfield-Spears said. “We should be encouraging young people to learn, to express their ideas in the right forum, and in such a way that it can be even debated a little it. . . .
“This is sort of the beginning. I hope by the time he’s in 8th or 9th grade, he’ll be writing articles he can defend and that other people can intellectually question.”
His teacher may be expecting a little much from some of the hot-take merchants, and their customers.
And in a few years, we all may be out of work.