You had a bad day, Cam Newton.
“The camera don’t lie”, as the song goes.
A key mistake in the public spotlight – specifically an early exit during the Super Bowl 50 post-game press conference – is now likely to lead to a bad month for Newton.
Why? Because the media doesn’t let things like this go.
Completely engulfed in a black Panthers hoodie, Newton’s somber look and early departure has not surprisingly led to an ocean-sized flood of media opinions. Most paint Cam in a very negative light.
But what most people don’t realize is that we should’ve seen this coming.
And not just in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50 when after being hit for what seemed like the millionth time, Newton had a convulsing temper tantrum in the end zone. It was much like a two year-old trying to figure out Legos for the first time.
Cam Newton’s Rocky Past
More so, we often forget that while an extremely talented and athletic football player with an infinite ceiling, Cam Newton is just five years removed from the NFL Draft. That and over seven years ago (in November 2008), Newton was suspended by the Florida Gators after being arrested on felony charges for allegedly stealing another student’s laptop. Let’s not forget the 2010 season at Auburn where Cam’s father Cecil was accused of seeking large sums of cash to recruit his son. Cam was cleared and eligible to play, but still failed to handle the situation well on a number of occasions with the media.
The present day media got duped by a 26 year-old kid that still has room to grow. It was fooled by the National Football League’s MVP. This is a talented guy that encountered next to no adversity during the 2015 season.
It’s Fun When You Win
When you play for a team that went 17-1 prior to the Super Bowl and led the league in point differential (+192) during the regular season, there is little adversity.
Whether it was “dab” dances, first down signals, or handing footballs to kids in the stands, Cam Newton had a ton of fun this season.
A TON of fun.
But after being force-fed a reality sandwich in front of the largest football audience of the year, Newton was simply too full to swallow his pride.
Adversity and fun are not good bedfellows.
Yes, Cam Newton was energetic and smiley for an entire year. That includes during the Super Bowl’s media week. So, once he made his appearance wrapped in hooded melancholy, it became a much bigger story.
Bear in mind, no one expected Cam to show up flashing those pearly whites. Still, his actions tossed kerosene into this media fire.
This isn’t a condemning of Cam’s behavior during the Super Bowl 50 press conference. Although, it isn’t handing him a free pass either.
Nobody cares if Cam Newton heard an opponent making comments during the press conference and that’s the reason he walked off stage. Plain and simple, Newton had a responsibility to address the media. And not because it’s NFL policy, but because he’s the face of the Carolina Panthers franchise. He is also one of the faces of the entire National Football League.
This doesn’t state any of that. It is simply meant to point out that a full season of smiles and success doesn’t easily eliminate past history and behavior.
Time for a Third Chance?
Second chances are second chances. We hand them away like free samples at the supermarket and in most cases, they’re warranted.
Cam Newton has received second chances and he has moved forward over the years. Although, he’s certainly had his doubters. Good behavior – both on and off the field – can aid in moving towards a squeaky clean slate.
He will always be that “love him or hate him” player. He drives some critics crazy with his antics, his dances and his ear-to-ear grins. Maybe some people just expect a signal caller to be more business-like.
I personally felt that he was rather refreshing this season.
But once Super Bowl 50 hit, Cam Newton had a bad day. He was pressured. He was outplayed. Cam overthrew receivers and failed to dive for fumbles that were right under his nose.
Then he failed in the post-game spotlight, too.
Adversity came and took a gargantuan bite out of him, leaving all those first downs, all those victories and all those free football handouts to disappear into Mile High thin air.
Cam Newton is living proof that maturity is the hardest trait to develop.
And at age 26, he has plenty of time to prove his doubters wrong…
Is that what the Browns said? I had not heard that one. That’s absurd. I think the majority of us knew that Manziel was going to be that way and was overrated when the draft arrived. Of course the school is going to try and pitch him as a star… but geez, it’s called accountability and apparently the Browns have none.
Interesting that you are hearing Jameis and obviously that does make sense, as there are some similarities there with the crab incident, the athletic ability and talent level. I bet you hear more of that at your bar and locally than I’m hearing it up here in Brady-land.
It was honestly more telling for me when Cam replied to all the criticism the next day by basically creating more…
Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel ( Manziel an alcoholic , misogynist & abuser [beating up his girlfriend in a hotel being in a drunken stupor]) character and anger-management issues . Nothing else needs to be said on the matter .
Now we have the Browns’ front office claiming they were duped by Texas A & M and Manziel’s agent as to the player’s character before they signed him ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!
Yeah, I can see both sides of this argument. And as you mention, he is only 26.
Wasn’t it John Belushi who screamed in the Animal House frat house scene, when the going gets tough… the tough get going?
Newton acted like a baby after the loss. Pretty sure all of America would rather have had him take on a little more accountability. He didn’t.
We’re already getting comparisons between Cam and a young Jameis Winston. We’ll see how this divisional rivalry develops over the years but one thing I can tell you about Jameis in his first year is that, in loss, he always accepted the responsibility. There was no finger-pointing.
I’m not going to condemn Cam for this BUT as you suggest, it gave us a glimpse into his character.
I think he’ll emerge from this and learn from it. And if not, the kid won’t ever win the big one. For it’s only from adversity that we can truly become great.
I think Belushi said that too.