As I write this column, tears are streaming down my face as I have just found out that Rostam Batmanglij will be leaving Vampire Weekend. This is my John Lennon moment. Right before my eyes, the best band of our generation (don’t argue with me on this) is breaking up. Although the band is “still together,” Batmanglij was the driving force behind the music. I can’t imagine Vampire Weekend continuing their creative genius without him. Or maybe they can. Either way, a change in their sound is sure to be coming. And I guess I’ll just have to accept this, because change is a part of life. And there sure is a lot of change going on in professional sports right now.
Last Monday night, the Warriors completely dismantled the San Antonio Spurs in Oracle Arena. Golden State wreaked havoc on the defensive end, forcing countless San Antonio turnovers and making everything difficult for the black and silver. The Spurs were supposed to be tops in the league on the defensive end, but you would’ve thought it was the other way around watching the game. But by now, everybody knows the thing that makes the Warriors unstoppable is their offense. Steph Curry makes anything he throws at the basket. Klay Thompson may just be the second best shooter in the league. Draymond “Donkey from Shrek” Green seems to do everything right, at the right time. Even Shaun Livingston looks like an elite guard in this offense. Oh and on the bench, there’s Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. I was a firm believer that last year was a fluke season for the Warriors. There was no way that this small ball, three-point shooting, push-the-pace team could have any kind of sustainability in the league. Boy, was I wrong. The Warriors are going to win more than 72 games this year, and they’re probably going to glide their way to another NBA title. The NBA is changing, and these Warriors are the future.
And in the NFL, we have the ultimate changing of the guard coming up in this year’s Super Bowl. On February 7th, the Denver Broncos will take on Cam Newton and the Panthers. Just the small ball approach of the Warriors, I was a firm believer that a read-option based offense could not be successful in the NFL. Sure, Russell Wilson won a Super Bowl two years ago running the read-option, but their defense was the main reason they won the title. But Cam Newton is revolutionizing the NFL. Throughout these playoffs, the Panthers have looked simply unstoppable. Newton has always been the most athletic quarterback in the league, and his ability to run the football has always been a dangerous weapon. But his transformation into one of the top-ten pocket passing quarterbacks in the league has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that he can pass, Newton appears to be unstoppable. He can rush for 100 yards, and throw for 300. This new ultimate hybrid quarterback may be the future of the NFL, and Cam is sure to be the figurehead.
The quarterback that Newton will be facing in the Super Bowl, represents quarterbacks of the NFL’s past. Peyton Manning is the stereotypical pocket passing quarterback and has been the face of the league for almost two decades. While it looked like Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck would the prime candidates to replace Manning in this role, it now appears that Cam Newton is the future of the league. What a huge change from traditional quarterback play.
Change is all around us my friends. Whether it be with the thousands of people at Teagle trying to achieve their New Year’s resolution to shed some pounds, or in the songwriting of America’s favorite band. Change is not always good, but it’s always coming.