Carolina Panther fans were obviously disappointed by the Panther’s loss in Super Bowl 50. But, the disappointment quickly turned from disappointment to … shock and disbelief … at Cam Newton’s un-sportsmen-like behavior during his post-game interview. Football Nation was appalled and summed it all up to his immaturity and his self-absorption. He clearly was not professional, and he did not shine and show a good “measure of character” under the spotlight of defeat.
However, while all eyes and media cameras were focused on Cam Newton … there was another “view” being overlooked. That “view” was the view from where Cam Newton was sitting.
We were focused on a young, immature, insolent man who had just had a major defeat on a football field. What Cam saw was a mob, circling around him from every angle, shoving recorders, microphones, and cell phones in his face, asking him how it felt to lose the most important game of the season.
But … it might actually be what he … heard … that made him leave the podium.
According to ESPN.com’s David Newton, the Denver Broncos Cornerback , Chris Harris, was at a near-by podium, happily talking about shutting down the NFL’s MVP. His voice was at the very least audible as Newton spoke to reporters. Here is this, according to David Newton at ESPN:
“That was the whole game plan,” Harris can be heard telling reporters. “Load the box, force them to throw the football. That was the game plan. Load the box, one-on-one man on the outside.” Harris also spoke about the strategy “to slow Newton and force him to throw.”
As usual, there is more to the story than one can see at the time. The new information, coming out, certainly gives a new slant on what Super Bowl post-game viewers saw, this last Sunday night. But … does this give Cam Newton a pass on his bad behavior?
In my opinion … and, in one word … no. Just like the Super Bowl game, in any one season, itself, you don’t get a do-over.
But, just like in any Super Bowl, you do get a chance to correct the mistakes. I hope that Newton plays and re-plays the video of him, sitting there and displaying his bad attitude for the world to see.
I hope he comes to realize that he wasn’t the only Panthers player that was devastated at the loss of the big game.
I hope that he realizes that other Quarterbacks have been in the same position, and have shown resilience to the recorders, microphones, and cell phones being shoved in their faces, and the brutal questions that follow a defeat. And yet, they have handled it with grace, professionalism, and character.
I hope that he realizes, in time, just how blessed he is to have had so much success this season.
He broke new records, he helped bring out the potential in so many of his team players, and with the team’s help … he … is the NFL MVP, for the 2015-16 season.
I hope that one day, he will grow out of the public displays of insolence and disrespect … and learns grace, humility, and how true legends … like a Peyton Manning … should represent his team, his fans, his family and his character.
Imagine … just imagine … a Cam Newton that, with professional and personal experience, grows in maturity, and understands, really understands … that along with his God-given talents and successes, every great player will face adversity … and … the true legends … are those … who rise above it with grace and dignity.
No, Cam Newton doesn’t get a do-over for the Super Bowl post-game of 2015-16. What he does get … is a chance to correct his mistakes … and to grow, emotionally … from this.