It all started because an airplane passenger said “no” to Cam Newton.
Looking for more legroom than coach offered, the Carolina Panthers quarterback offered a passenger $1,500 to swap seats on a 10-hour flight from Paris to Dallas on Friday. But much to Newton’s surprise, the passenger refused, and the video recorded by fellow passenger Eli Edwards (a competitor on NBC’s Titan Games who proposed to his girlfriend during the FIFA Women’s World Cup) has gone viral, with more than 4 million views as of Monday afternoon.
Why was the 6-foot-5 quarterback stuck in coach with no legroom? According to radio host Andy Slater, Newton missed his original flight from Paris to Charlotte, forcing him onto a second flight that had a layover in Dallas and only had economy seats available.
Newton has not commented publicly about the flight.
Among those chiming in about the exchange was recently retired Eagles defender Chris Long, who touted the benefits of riding Amtrak during a brief trek to New York on Monday.
Amtrak’s social media team also got in on the joke:
According to the Panthers’ website, Newton was in Paris to take his style to Men’s Fashion Week, which he attended alongside Oklahoma Thunder star Russell Westbrook, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and former New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz.
It’s unfortunate his “monochromatic ensemble including a slouched trench coat” apparently didn’t include a watch.
Things are going terribly for the Phillies, but there’s one bit of good news: Jimmy Rollins is returning to the booth.
The three-time All Star and National League MVP will be calling Monday’s game against the Mets on NBC Sports Philadelphia (7:05 p.m.) alongside Tom McCarthy and Ben Davis. Rollins will also be in the booth Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rollins called his first Phillies game in April, where he impressed fans while spending much of the broadcast talking to John Kruk about everything from trap music (Kruk had no idea what it was) to the bathroom habits of one of Kruk’s dogs. Rollins also had a colorful reaction when Phillies reliever Juan Nicasio hit Mets first baseman Pete Alonso with the first pitch.
Rollins isn’t the only member of the 2008 Phillies World Series team who has ended up on television.
In February, former first baseman Ryan Howard was hired by ESPN as an analyst for shows like SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight. Earlier this month, Chase Utley made his debut as a studio analyst in Los Angeles, where he predictably trashed the Mets and talked about the Philadelphia sports media. Utley’s next studio spot on SportsNet LA will be Tuesday, when the Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.
• LaVar Ball said he “meant no sexual intent” when he suggestively told First Take co-host Molly Qerim last week she "can switch gears with me anytime.” Instead, Ball insisted that Qerim’s mind was “in the gutter,” and added, "Only time I hit on her is if she’s breaking in my house, and I mistake her for the boogeyman.”
ESPN called Ball’s comment “completely inappropriate” and has reportedly banned him from appearing on the network, at least temporarily.
• FS1 host and former Eagles wide receiver Cris Carter said Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard is not planning to meet with the Sixers when free agency begins, something ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Leonard “may very well” do during the NBA Draft telecast.