Is it ever okay to root for your top competition? Does Windows root for Apple? Does Popeyes celebrate when KFC sales soar?

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton claims to be a lifelong fan of his divisional opponent, the Atlanta Falcons.

Newton grew up in Atlanta, rooting for a team that let him down year after year. Despite that, and despite the fact that he's the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, Newton is okay with rooting for the Falcons 14 times during the regular season.

"I've always been a Falcons fan, and I'm still a Falcons fan except for those two times a year," explained Newton in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Look, I can appreciate growing up and rooting for a team. Living in Louisiana, I was raised as a New Orleans Saints fan. If I was employed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and my career could be severely effected by the Saints success, guess what? I wouldn't be rooting for the Saints. Especially if I was the face and future of the franchise.

Atlanta won the NFC South last year. As divisional opponents, the Saints, Panthers, and Buccaneers should be rooting against the Falcons, and each other, every week. Why? Because that team is standing in the way of extra playoff paychecks, job security, and a Super Bowl opportunity.

I don't care where you grew up. If you're rooting for your number one competitor in the workplace, whether it be in the sports world or the business world, it's stupid.

The sports world got angry at San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for wearing a Miami Dolphins hat to a 4th of July party. Many found it disrespectful to his employer, and it was.

Cam Newton rooting for the Atlanta Falcons every time they play any team not named the Panthers is worse than bad fashion sense. It displays a complete lack of common sense.

NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk grew up in New Orleans as a die-hard Saints fan. After Faulk retired from football, he rooted for the Saints, just as he did when he was a kid.

However, when Faulk played for the St. Louis Rams, the Saints were a division rival in the old NFC West. They were one of the biggest road blocks between the Rams and a second Super Bowl championship. Why would he root for that road block to be bigger, wider, and nearly impossible to drive through? He didn't.

This isn't comparable to an SEC fan rooting for an SEC team in a bowl game (which I don't condone, but many justify).

Newton is the face of a franchise that's in direct competition with the Atlanta Falcons, whether he's playing them that Sunday or not.