With Last Super Bowl Breath On the Turf, Cam Decides It’s Not Worth It

I’ve never had anything bad to say about Cam Newton.  I followed his career in college at Auburn and enjoyed watching him win the Heismann and a National Title.  He seems to be a decent community guy and his NFL career was certainly on the rise with winning the MVP and making the Super Bowl this season.broncos-panthers

He had a tough go against the NFL’s number 1 rated defense on Sunday in San Fransisco.  Denver pressured him.  Sacked him.  Hurried him into bad throws.  They tracked him when he took off running.  There is no doubt Cam struggled even times when he wasn’t under pressure.

Cam didn’t commit 5 false starts though (contrary to popular belief, they were NOT all on Michael Oher).  He didn’t whiff on DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller every other snap (Oher wasn’t responsible for all the sacks himself either).  He didn’t fumble at the end of runs like Mike Tolbert.

He didn’t drop a critical pass in the first quarter like Jericho Cotchery that would have given Carolina it’s first big play. (Sidenote: If i am the replay official, i uphold the incomplete pass – personally I am a huge believer in the “50 drunks in a bar should all agree” to overturn something.  Which we all know never happens so that makes replay a dumb idea to me).

Cam didn’t drop another that would have set up first and goal for the Panthers in the third quarter.  It was Cotchery again and Graham Gano doinked the field goal attempt.  Cam didn’t let a pass later in the quarter slip through his hands and into the arms of Denver safety TJ Ward at the Broncos’ 10-yard line thwarting another scoring opportunity.  Ted Ginn Jr. did that.  Carolina’s defense played admirably but their special teams gave up a 61-yard return in addition to missing a kick.

I’m a forgiving guy.  I can forgive Cam’s post-game interview.  I could hear the Broncos interview going on and it was annoying ME.  I undertand his dissappointment.  I get being 26 and thinking everyone let around you let you down.  I can forgive Peyton Manning for basically saying he was going to get ripped on crappy Budweiser.  Thats what i would have done!  I can forgive the halftime performers for political messages interpreted by media types about their performances that i doubt 95% of us even picked up on during the show.  Which makes me believe that 5% of us can be offended by anything.

Where my kind spirit declines to forgive is when the biggest prize of your profession is slipping away…and the very possession of the ball that would allow you to score the 6 points you need to tie the game with four minutes to go rests on the grass next to you. cam-fumble.w529.h352 Anyone that has played the game knows when you lose the ball, job one is to get it back.  Anyway, anyhow.  DeMarcus Ware wasn’t concerned that someone could have snapped his left arm in half when he lay prone and outstretched for the ball.  I counted 8 players rolling across the ground – and one referee.  And there was Cam, sidestepping at first, then dropping to all fours and weakly swiping at the pigskin.

I’m sorry, Cam.  Never have I had a bad word to say until that moment – even about the pre-game gold shoes.  How could anyone not think, “Oh Sh!t!  Dive on it!”  Maybe at some point he WAS too close and realized he couldnt jump on it ….but not when i see a still photo like the one below that just makes me think Cam decided it wasn’t his fault to this point…so why bother.

stillcamSo in response to Cam’s comment today about “Show me a good loser and i will show you a loser.”  I say, “Show me Cam Newton and I will show you a bad loser.  Either way, you’re still a loser.  I never really cared how you acted before or after the game.  You’re just a football player.  It’s what you do (or don’t do) on the field that counts.”