The More Serious Stuff

To All Cam Newton Haters: Get Used to Him

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Photo from Flickr

Grant Anschuetz
Slump Sports Blogger

From players to conservative football fans, people have – or at least have had – issues with Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton. But why?

Some of the contempt comes from his days at Auburn when he – more appropriately his father – was involved in a scandal where it was believed that Newton had an agent trying to get him money from schools that wanted him. Nothing much came of these allegations, and Newton won the Heisman trophy, a national championship and was drafted number one overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.

More recently, during his success in the NFL, people seem to be offended by his “off the cuff” answers in interviews and his plethora of touchdown celebrations. Some people simply don’t like the way he dresses, whether it be his pre-game attire that nearly always attracts a photo or his post-game formal look. Others are taken aback by how he plays the game with the appearance that it is just a game to him. News flash: it is just a game. These are some of the reasons that people have not jumped on the Newton bandwagon, so let’s take a deeper look at each one.

Most football fans have become accustomed to the scripted and proper interview answers from the likes of Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with the answers from Manning and Wilson, but there shouldn’t be a problem with Newton’s answers either. The man is just being himself. For example, he was told that he will be playing the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl in an interview with Fox Sports’ Chris Meyers just after the game ended, and his response was great. “Oh wow, playing the Sheriff,” Newton said. The Sheriff is none other than Peyton Manning. His response was genuine, and no one should have a problem with a guy that offers up candid remarks.

Newton also isn’t shy about what he does once he gets into the end zone. He has a variety of dances he likes to do, but he is most famous for “dabbing” basically after every score. Fans and most notably fellow competitors have voiced their displeasure with this. Newton’s response to his critics is simple: if you don’t want me to dance, don’t let me score. Also, after he completes his celebration, he hands the ball to a kid in the stands, and the children’s reactions are priceless and what sports are all about: joy. Let Newton have his own joy by celebrating how he does, and if you don’t want to allow that, don’t let him score.

The next complaint doesn’t need to be over analyzed by any means. As long as he meets the NFL dress code, who cares how he dresses. Also, his elaborate pre-game accessories do no harm to anyone. As they say: Look good, feel good, play good.

Since when did smiling from ear to ear while playing a sporting event mean that you aren’t taking things seriously? Apparently, that’s what it means when it comes to Newton. Stop overthinking things because all it means is that Newton is having fun. Having fun – especially during a game – is a rarity in the ultra-competitive NFL, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be welcomed. Let the man have fun while playing the game he loves.

Newton has made his mark on the NFL this year. His team will be playing the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, and he is the likely candidate to be named league MVP. If you don’t like Newton for some ridiculous reasons, it’s time to wake up and realize that he is good for the game of football. The alternative is to be upset watching your TV screen as endless coverage focuses on Newton and the Panthers for the two weeks before kickoff.

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