Twistity NFL Exclusive: Cam Newton Sacked Himself

Cam Can’t Get Over Himself By the time the week is over, anything else said about Cam Newton and his sullen, sour postgame interview at the Super Bowl will...

Cam Can’t Get Over Himself

By the time the week is over, anything else said about Cam Newton and his sullen, sour postgame interview at the Super Bowl will amount to piling on. Before that happens and the penalty flags come out, indulge me for a moment.

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Newton, who played with spirit and joy all season long, was never afraid to show that in victory. He was often criticized for his excessive and showy celebrations, but we began to believe they were the true expressions of his feelings.

Now we’re let down. We’re left to wonder if, as an obviously poor loser, he is also a poor winner, good in good times and bad in bad.

On and off the field, teams take their cue from their quarterback. He’s the leader, the face of the franchise, the go-to guy. And when the media went to him after an awful performance (by him and many others) at Super Bowl 50, they got nothing back, even though they softballed a guy who was clearly devastated.

If you want to play the game, play the game. All of it. And that includes talking to your public through the media. You want to keep it short? Keep it short. You say, “We’re disappointed and hurting, not only for ourselves but our fans. We had a great season and we congratulate the Denver Broncos on being champions. I can’t tell you what went wrong or didn’t go right in this game until I look at the video. Obviously we expected more of ourselves. Right now I just need to be with my teammates and my family and I know you’ll excuse me.”

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Easy enough, no? No. A season of image rehab is shot. Newton’s defenders (you can put me in that group) wonder why we thought he had changed. Maybe because he only lost once in the regular season (though he sulked after that as well).

Just a few weeks ago, Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a short field goal in the playoffs that would have beaten the Seattle Seahawks. He sat at his locker and answered every question. At Super Bowl XIII, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jackie Smith dropped a sure touchdown pass that could have won the game and sat at this locker afterwards answering every question. No pique, no anger, no ‘poor me.’

Every Super Bowl has a losing quarterback. Not every Super Bowl has a sore loser at every quarterback. For those who saw a “new” Cam Newton (and you can put me in that group), perhaps we need a reminder of what the great boxing trainer Cus D’Amato used to say:

“People born round don’t die square.”
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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