The Carolina Panthers lost Superbowl 50. I had favored them to win by twenty points. On paper, it looked like the great defense and anemic offense of the Denver Broncos would fall to Carolina’s good defense and dynamic offense. But the pressure got to Cam figuratively and literally.
The Panthers were the villains of this game going in. Everyone in The United States except for people in Massachusetts and North Carolina were rooting for the humble Peyton Manning to ride off into the sunset. All season long Cam Newton had danced and dabbed. His celebrations were called excessive and rubbed people the wrong way. He was said to be arrogant and self-absorbed.
I did not dislike Cam for his excessive dancing. I was in the camp that other teams should stop him so he has no reason to dance. The Broncos did in astounding fashion. They made the league MVP look like a frightened child playing football for the first time. I do find the backlash to Cam Newton’s dancing to be worthy of discussion.
There were people who believed it was that Cam Newton was being criticized because he was black. A proud black man celebrating and having fun was too much for some of the NFL’s fanbase.
When Richard Sherman had his rant about being the best corner in the game on live television two years ago, people went nuts. On twitter, he was insulted and called a thug by many people. He did not curse. He did not throw up any gang signs. He was caught up in the heat of the moment and spoke with passion. There was not a thing thuggish about his behavior that night. People characterized him as a thug because of the color of his skin.
Cam Newton is not the same as Sherman. There are those who do criticize him because he is black, but it’s mostly people seeing his confidence as arrogance. I’m a believer that a person can only be arrogant after they have failed. Confidence before the fact is okay with me. If you say you’re going to be the best at something and you do it, that’s confidence. If you say you’re going to be the best at something and you fail, then you were arrogant.
If what you said matches up with what you’ve accomplished, then it can’t be arrogance. People want the humble person who thanks his mom and kisses babies, but not everyone has to be like that. The world would be boring if everyone was the same. Peyton isn’t right and Cam is wrong. If you want to shout to the world that you are awesome, that’s cool with me. So long as you aren’t swearing or trying to hurt someone, say you what want. If that’s what fires you up to succeed, then it shouldn’t be frowned upon. It’s just you will have to deal with the consequences of what you say if you don’t live up to it.
Here’s a video of Tom Brady and Plaxico Burress from before Super Bowl 42. 18-1.
In this interview, Plaxico Burress predicts that the Giants would win 23-17. Tom Brady laughs at the absurdity of the 2007 Patriots only scoring 17 points. The Patriots scored only 14 points in Super Bowl 42. Tom Brady was arrogant.
When Lebron James joined the Miami Heat, he predicted they would win countless championships. He promised more than seven championships to the Miami Heat fans.
This was really arrogant in retrospect because they only won two.
Football being a team sport contributes to the hate on Newton. His dancing puts a lot of focus on him so to some people he comes off as caring more about himself and not the team. His play in the Super Bowl gave his haters more fire.
Being prideful is not a reason to be worthy of scorn or dislike. If you can back up what you say, you can talk and dance all you want. But if you can’t, then you have to eat crow. Cam is learning that lesson the hard way right now.