I gave Cam Newton the benefit of the doubt all season long. The first few years of his career (2011-most of 2014), he was an immature mess. Head down, sulking, pouty, childish. Then he bloomed this year. I looked past the celebrating and the “dabbing” (I still want to know what the hell that means?). I didn’t care. As far as I was concerned, he deserved the right to celebrate as much as he wanted to, as the Panthers were 17-1 going into Super Bowl 50.
Then the Panthers choked the game away. Graham Gano missed a field goal, their special teams sucked it up, they incurred a horde of penalties and couldn’t beat the Broncos over the top. Denver dared Carolina to pass and they couldn’t get the job done. Dropped balls and inaccuracy.
All week last week, people attempted to tear Cam Newton down, the way he carries himself on the field. I wasn’t one of those people, but I never could blame those who felt that way. Many people would write things such as, “I don’t know what it is, but he rubs me the wrong way”.
Cam had an opportunity to win over a lot of those detractors I’m speaking of. It’s easy to show ‘class‘ when you win, but it’s most impressive when that classy behavior is shown following losses.
He had an enormous opportunity to win over a lot of those detractors, show at least a tiny iota of a modicum of humility and give credit where it was due. Cam didn’t. The dude could have just shrugged off the pain of losing and told the media members he’ll work hard in the offseason to get better. He didn’t even have to directly answer about the fumble (a la Bill Belichick) and keep saying it wasn’t enough to win and he needs to get better.
He acted like a petulant child that didn’t get any dessert. He didn’t have to act like that.
Russell Wilson, who was a member of the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks from 2014, after failing to win back-to-back Super Bowls last year when he threw an interception on the one-yard-line, took accountability after the game, promised to get better and move forward. Why couldn’t Cam take that route? It’s arguable (I’d even say factual) that Russ Willy and the Shesquawks’ loss from last year was undoubtedly more difficult to swallow than Cameron Newton and the Panthers’ loss last night, but I digress.
Cam Newton will overcome this. He will get better, but he missed a great opportunity here, and that’s a damn shame.
But what do I know? I’m just a jackass with a computer.