Life was good for Cam not too long ago. Early Sunday afternoon he was warming up on the field in his custom made MVP cleats, his team was 17-1 about to play in only the second Super Bowl in franchise history, and earlier that weekend he had been named the most valuable player, receiving 48 of a potential 50 votes.
However, the fairy tale of a season that the Panthers had been riding came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Broncos. More specifically, at the hands of Von Miller. Miller recorded two strip sacks and seemed to set the overall tone for the game. Both teams’ offenses were stagnant, but it was Cam who seemed to be spending the majority of the game picking himself up off of the ground.
The Panthers’ offensive woes started with Cam’s very first pass of the game. His receiver made a cut to the sideline, and Cam delivered a strike. The only problem was that the ball was over thrown by about five yards, and sailed out of bounds. Now this happens to many first time Super Bowl quarterbacks so we could just write this off, right? Unfortunately for Cam, the answer was no, and this was in fact only the beginning.
Time and time again, Cam found himself having little time to find an open target, and as we have seen before in his career, Cam was not covert in hiding his frustrations. As the clock ticked down into the final minutes of the fourth quarter, it appeared as though Cam had checked out, and no play was that more apparent than on Von Miller’s second strip sack.
As many have seen by now, Cam appeared to step away from the fumble that would eventual lead to Denver’s nail in the coffin touch down, despite at having a shot to recover it. I have heard people try and defend him and say that he was making an effort it was just that the ball bounced awkwardly so he could not get to it. I understand where they are coming from, but if you ask me, I say he bailed on the play.
Cam is your textbook front-runner. When things are good, they’re great. The second a little adversity, and perhaps even a loss is mixed in it’s all downhill. Take the press conference as exhibit A. Yes, obliviously it sucks to stand up there and answers questions after losing the Super Bowl, but you know what, every losing quarterback has done it. Cam walked out of the press conference early after giving short answers to almost every question, and had a demeanor of, ‘I don’t want to be here right now’.
I just cannot help but think that when the Panthers were winning Cam had no problem talking to the media and saying things such as, ‘if you don’t like my dancing, then don’t let me score’. Which I guess the Broncos must have listened to because, well, they didn’t let Cam score.
I guess the point I am trying to make here is that this is the same old Cam Newton. This is the same guy who came out of Auburn and he is going to continue to be the same guy as he moves forward into his career. He celebrates when they win, and he hides his face and pouts when they lose. We just didn’t have the opportunity to see him pout because they Panthers put together a one loss regular season.
Now I am not saying that what Cam did this year isn’t special or MVP worthy, far from it. He is a tremendously talented player, but when times get hard and your team looks down and out, I can think of about 20 different quarterbacks I would rather have than Cam.
So as we move on into the future, I am sure we will see Cam continue to have success, and perhaps make it to another Super Bowl, but don’t be fooled. When the going gets tough, Cam goes running.
By Jake Cianci