THERE ARE LOTS of good takes on either side regarding Cam Newton’s emotional post game actions last night at the podium. Personally, I’ll just go out here and say I thought it was a weak move on his part.
The biggest fussing out I EVER got from my father (who didn’t fuss at all, he left that to Mama) were over my reactions to sports gone wrong when I was a kid/teen. The first was when I stomped off the field as a 12 year old after learning that I didn’t make the park All Star team after leading my team in batting; the second was me standing off away from my teammates sulking one night when Stone Mountain High School was absolutely curb stomping us on the soccer field. I heard my father cuss 3 times in my life, those were two of them. Why? Because I had no problem at all celebrating my good times as a kid, asking for extra ice cream after a three-hit game, gloating and putting news clippings on my bedroom wall the couple of times my name was in the local DeKalb County paper. It was all good as long as things went my way but if the isht came off the rails and I got humbled then I got in my feelings? Dad didn’t play that mess. “Take the good with the bad. You can’t be out here acting like a damn baby when you don’t get your way”, Dad said with a scowl driving down Candler Rd from Exchange Park in Decatur. “You don’t get to do that. If you can’t lose the right way, we’re turning in your damn (that’s two damns from the good Deacon) uniform tomorrow. Make up your mind tonight!”
Both of these examples pale in comparison to taking an “L” in the Super Bowl. I’ll never know getting humbled like that when the eyes of the globe are focused squarely on you. That’s a crash I can’t empathize with. But what I know is this, Cameron Newton, as the league MVP, is now the face of the National Football League and before that, has been the face of his franchise since the day he was selected out of Auburn University. While he hasn’t experienced loss on this grand a scale, he has experienced loss. As such he should have handled this better. All week people laud him as a character guy, a well-spoken community leader, and all around good man and at this sign of adversity he turns tail and runs. I don’t care how stupid the questions are, 49 men before him had to stand at that podium as leaders of their teams and answer dumb questions from media heads, what makes him exempt? He had the opportunity to be the MVP, stand there and take it, be the man, and instead he acted like a twelve year old me that didn’t get extra ice cream. Unacceptable.
He’ll learn from this for sure and I doubt that he’ll turn and run again like he did last night. However, your first impression is the lasting one. Newton’s first impression on the grand scale last night did nothing but give his detractors more fuel for the blazing Cam Newton pyre that’s already an inferno. Do better, Mr. Newton, if for nothing else, for all those kids that you gave touchdown balls to while things were grand that thought better of their hero than this.
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