I was a big fan of Cam Newton’s.


I think I liked Cam largely because so many subscribers of the NFL establishment decided they didn’t want to like him leading into the draft. There was so much “anti-Cam” chatter that didn’t make sense to me

“Well, what about all that stuff that went down with his recruitment?!” Uh, yeah. What about it? What does that have to do with being in the NFL now?

“Well, he’s just going to be another running QB that flames out like Vick, Kordell, or Cunningham.” Ok. What was it about his days at Auburn that made you think he couldn’t throw better than them or that he is even built like those guys?

“Well, he’s not the kind of personality that can be leader at the NFL level.” Right. But apparently his leadership was good enough to win a national championship through the S-E-C.

So, understandably, I’ve been straining shoulder muscles patting myself on the back as Newton ascended to the level of being the NFL MVP and the leader of a 15-1 football team heading into the playoffs. I was even endorsing the notion of Cam being the “face of the league” if Carolina won the Super Bowl.

Well so much for that…in so many ways.

Cam was a loser on and off the field Sunday night. Newton got no help from his offensive teammates. They failed to get open. Didn’t block well. Dropped passes, etc. But the QB wasn’t effective either as he sailed passes high on would be targets, pressed throws into coverage, and succumbed to Denver’s vaunted pass rush.

Understandable given the foe. A loss to the Broncos wouldn’t have been criminal. And Newton may have simply been labeled as less than “ready for prime time” after the loss, as Roethlisberger (W), Marino (L), & Elway (L) all were after their first Super Bowl appearances.

But where Newton lost me was on that late fumble. That’s where the “is he a leader” stuff looked like a warranted question.

Dive on the ball. Don’t give up on the play or the game.

He also lost me thanks to his postgame attitude. Barely mumbling a few monosyllabic grunts and leaving after three minutes is a poor attempt at owning the moment in defeat. Why so short? Because you could hear the Broncos players talking about stopping you across the curtain https://twitter.com/bmweezy13/status/696704493514334208 ? That’s no excuse.

The popular defense of Cam’s public TD celebrations has always been: “If you don’t want to see him celebrate, then keep him out of the end zone.”

Ok then. If you don’t want to hear the Broncos talk about stopping you, then don’t get stopped. You can’t have it both ways, Cam.

Reaction to the Super Bowl is usually hyperbole dipped in over exaggeration with a side dish of bluster. True to form, in the span of about four hours Cam Newton went from fun-loving, future flag bearer of the NFL to a pouty underachiever who didn’t give his all and dishes it out but can’t take it.


But in the case of Cam Newton I think both of those characterizations are true. Now it’s up to Newton to get those like me who have jumped off his bandwagon back on again if he really does want to be recognized as the league’s biggest star.

He needs to win the league’s biggest game. He needs to show full effort in doing so. And he needs to take the criticism when he comes up short in trying. I think Newton is capable of doing all three. But I’m going to have to see it before I believe it.

Posted in Pittsburgh Steelers