It turned out that Supercam is a super scam. Mouthy, disrespectful, showboating Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton got his comeuppance on Sunday in a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. The Broncos defense mauled Newton, a brash punk who had dominated the media largely due to his comments about being an African-American quarterback who “scares people” because they haven’t seen anything to compare him to. That can no longer be said today as Newton was exposed in front of the largest television audience of the year as a choking petulant crybaby who threw more temper tantrums than touchdowns. It was schadenfreude at it’s finest seeing him get his arrogant ass handed to him and all the more so today as all of the media that had crowned him as the new king of pro football have to eat crow.
After the on field meltdown classless Cam gave a pouty press conference that he then walked out of early. Newton donned a hoodie and mumbled a series of surly answers that made Marshawn Lynch seem gregarious. Columnist Jeffri Chadiha writing at NFL.com sums it up in his piece “Cam Newton’s antics in Super Bowl 50 loss fuel criticism”:
For all the great things Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton accomplished this season, most will be overshadowed by his reluctance to pursue a loose football in the most critical moments of Super Bowl 50. It was the kind of play that will haunt him for years. It was the type of error that will give his critics more ammunition to attack him. Instead of being transcendent or iconic, Newton became everything he couldn’t afford to be: immature and unwilling to do everything it takes to win.
Cam left us with the jarring image of him recoiling from a fumble after Von Miller knocked the ball out of his hands with four minutes left in the game and Carolina trailing, 16-10. Not only did Newton not pounce on the loose football — one that Broncos safety T.J. Ward ultimately recovered at the Panthers’ 9-yard line — but he also jumped back after a couple Broncos defenders dove toward it. It was a decision that his head coach, Ron Rivera, explained by saying Newton “was trying to find a way to get the ball and keep it alive.” A more jaded perspective was that Newton froze at the worst possible moment.
That decision will make Newton an easier target for the people who have denounced his behavior all year. They’ll point to all the celebratory antics that became his trademarks — the dabbing, the dancing, the fake jump shots after touchdowns — and use them as proof of what they see as a superficial nature. Of course, there’s no guarantee Newton would’ve recovered that fumble. What he would’ve done was let the world know that there’s more grit and fire to him than anybody ever knew.
We all know it’s painful for players to lose Super Bowls. But Newton’s postgame press conference was hard to watch even with a compassionate lens. He trudged in with a black hoodie pulled over his head, then sat dejectedly for a few moments as reporters asked him questions that he clearly didn’t want to answer. Newton mostly gave responses that amounted to two or three words, as if he had no reason to explain his role in the Panthers’ second loss this season.
The most Newton would say after completing 18 of 41 passes for 265 yards was this: “They just played better than us. I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m sorry. They made more plays than us, and that’s what it came down to. We had opportunities. It wasn’t nothing special that they did. We dropped balls. We turned the ball over. We gave up sacks, threw errant passes. That’s it. They scored more points than us.”
Newton spent maybe five minutes in that session before bolting. That also didn’t help his cause. Most of his teammates talked for much longer about how a team favored to win its first championship — one that led the league in scoring and ranked sixth in points allowed — imploded on so many levels. Their star quarterback instead acted like he shouldn’t be subjected to such scrutiny at such a difficult moment.
The writer is being kind to Newton who is deservedly having his ass barbecued in molasses. It was a sloppy game that will serve as a great cure for insomnia for those who recorded it. The poor quarterback play on both sides is hardly what could be expected on the NFL’s biggest stage but Denver’s Peyton Manning had an excuse – he’s old. When the final gun sounded it was Manning who prevailed and can now take his second Super Bowl ring into retirement, it’s not often that a big name player gets to go out on top. Manning was always a class act, even in defeat unlike his Carolina counterpart who could use a pacifier as a consolation prize.