MORAN: Ungracious post-game behavior from Newton
Opinions Column: The Morant
First off, I would like to start by saying I was very wrong. My predictions about how the game would play out were poorer than the performance that the Carolina Panthers put out. The Denver Broncos' defense, not offense, dominated the Panthers to an impressive 24-10 victory. It appears that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will sail off into the sunset.
And since most of you were watching, I think we can agree that the game was boring, the commercials were lackluster and Beyoncé could not save that half-time show.
Now, back to what happened after the game.
A 6-foot-5 Cam Newton sat at a press conference table dejected and depressed about his lackluster performance, answering reporter’s questions with one-word answers.
The face of the National Football League, the recent recipient of the Most Valuable Player award a few days earlier, stormed off before the end of the press conference. To the media, he came off as immature and arrogant.
The quarterback had just had the worst game of the season, completing 18 of 40 passes for 265 yards and three turnovers.
To put this into perspective, one has to look back to a year earlier. The Seahawks quarterback was on the verge of leading his team to a second consecutive Super Bowl win, and in an instant, it was gone like that. He had thrown an interception at the goal line.
On the inside, one has to be hurting.
But Wilson dealt with every single question thrown at him, no matter how tough the questions or the answers he would have to give.
So why could the league MVP not do the same and handle the loss with grace?
Well for one, it did not help that right behind him through the hollow walls was the Broncos' press conference and Broncos cornerback talking trash about how they stopped Newton.
But does that still justify him walking off? Nope. There has been plenty of speculation about a double standard here. What if it was Tom Brady or Peyton Manning were in Cam Newton’s shoes, and they had just walked off?
I understand the issue after much was made about Newton being an African-American quarterback leading up to the big game.
“I’m an African-American quarterback, that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton said in a press conference on Jan. 29.
He is right that we have never seen a player like him.
But here is where I take the issue: Brady or Manning would have stayed in there to handle the questions. That is the type of people they are. They have had hard defeats as well throughout their long-tenured careers, and they stood there and took the questions. They did not run away from what happened. They stood up there and gave reasons why their team lost or why they played so poorly.
I do not think this issue is as much about race, as it is that Cam Newton is still very young. He wears his personality on his sleeve when the team wins, and he puts his sad, non-talkative face on when the team loses. He is a very arrogant player. I'm not trying to be mean saying this — I'm just being honest. You see it in how he plays when he celebrates a touchdown.
“I heard somebody say we aren't going allow you to do that, but if you don't want me to do it, then don't let me in. I just like doing it. It's not to be boastful. From the crowd's response, they like seeing it. No disrespect to anybody. It's just a Panthers thing. If you don’t like it, keep me out,” Newton said earlier this season after a victory against the Tennessee Titans.
But sometimes the celebration goes a bit too far. His behavior goes back to his days at Auburn. If he wants to be even more successful in this league, he needs to deal with adversity better than he did in that press conference.
No matter what the circumstances are, you do not walk off. I do not care about Chris Harris bad-mouthing his performance right behind him. It goes back to the point, the league MVP must stand up there and take what ever is thrown at him.
Hopefully, if Newton is ever in this situation again, he takes the questions like a professional football player should.
Ryan Moran is a School of Arts and Sciences junior double majoring in journalism and media studies and economics. His column, "The Morant," runs on alternate Mondays.
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