It seems every time someone makes a slight misstep, people want to take a swing at them. In the NFL, no one has personified that ideal more than Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and his haters have only been given more reason to jab at him after Super Bowl 50.
The league MVP walked out of his post-match press conference in a huff, with many pointing the finger at him being able to hear the Denver Broncos defensive back Chris Harris Jr. discussing his game on the other side of the curtain.
Even before that, Newton was giving short answers to relatively repetitive questions and seemed dejected, like many would losing possibly their only chance at the Lombardi Trophy.
Some call it being a sore loser, but the demeanour reminded me of another consistent winner in Tom Brady. The New England Patriots quarterback was clearly not happy about being at the Super Bowl being presented as an MVP, he wanted to be in the dressing room preparing for the game.
The best hate winning and while some can mask it, there are a few who simply can’t hide their anger and disappointment at defeat. This shouldn’t be an attribute we should appreciate but neither should we condemn it, it’s difficult for anyone to speak about something they have dreamed about for so long, go in a moment.
What also irks some is that he’s unapologetic about being upset and you know what is strange about that? He’s allowed to be. You’re allowed to not want to answer questions if you’re not in the mood, there’s plenty of other players to talk to and many got their column inches from the things he didn’t say anyway.
Then others say he folded, which is a serious accusation to make. That he should have jumped on the fumble, when we don’t exactly know why he didn’t, is presuming that he’s weak and adding more to the fire of pressure on a player.
It’s the latest in barbs that people seem to keep throwing at him. The fact that he celebrates and has a good time when winning gets on people’s nerves and the antidote to that is stopping him winning. When they did, he sulked, and they moaned about him doing that.
When he tore down visiting fans’ signs, which was disrespectful, but when the fans should know they aren’t allowed in the stadium then it’s their own fault. He wanted to create an atmosphere in there, he was also sending a key statement to everyone else. Newton wanted it as his team against the world.
Trying to imagine the reaction to hi celebrating if they had won will boggle the mind forever. People are consistently looking for errors in his game, in which he proved this season that he has the consistent quality to compete with the best.
In the end, Newton will never convince everyone. He doesn’t have to, he has to convince his teammates that he’s good enough to lead them to victory, and he’s succeeded. The fact that his attitude has taken all the media attention away from even the Broncos win to an extent, shows how much of a circus is consistently following him.
This is why some athletes are run into the ground. Hopefully for Cam, he will have that day in the sun to prove his doubters wrong.