Hey, I’m not going to deny it. Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is a talented football player. He’s got size, strength, speed, skill and an awful lot of charisma. That said, Cam Newton needs to grow up and stop putting his antics and camera face-time before winning games.
We saw it again this past weekend against the Atlanta Falcons. After ripping off a remarkable 72-yard touchdown run, Newton leapt into the end zone doing a backflip. But the addification didn’t stop there. Cam once again struck his familiar pose and mocked the shirt-ripping-open action of Superman in costume change…unfortunately, sans phone booth.
Cam, you aren’t the Man of Steel. Not even close.
The idea of a professional athlete being compared to the Son of Krypton is becoming tiresome. Allen Iverson, Dwight Howard, Stephon Marbury, Michael Vick…all athletes who have tattooed the infamous “S” on their bodies or have tried to capitalize on parallels to the mythical superhero for their own gain. Notice anything else about that list? None of them were ever able to lead their team to the top of the mountain.
Cam Newton, despite his insistence on the comparison, is 10-19 as a starter in his young NFL career. Not very Superman-like numbers. Yes, he’s put up some impressive individual stats and broke some rookie records in 2011, but this game isn’t about individual stats and records, it’s about Ws and Ls and the Lombardi Trophy.
If Cam wants to win the respect of his teammates (other than Steve Smith, who I feel is a bad influence on Newton), he needs to model himself more after Superman’s demure alter-ego, Clark Kent.
Clark Kent is a team player, who puts others before himself. He knows he can do it all, but he chooses to just reveal his super-self when needed. He wants those around him to become better people, and to learn to stand using their own strengths rather than leaning on him. Clark Kent doesn’t look for praise for his actions. He prefers to deflect the praise to those around him, even if he deserves all credit himself.
You never see Clark Kent sulking or being negative. He maintains a positive outlook, and always tries to see the best in everyone, even his enemies.
There’s a lot to be said for the way Clark Kent carries himself. Always standing tall and proud, but never trying to stand above the crowd. If Cam Newton would be more like a mild-mannered reporter, his greatness would be appreciated even more, and would probably lead to more victories for his team.
I guess donning a pair of thick rimmed glasses and a fedora doesn’t work in the NFL…only in NBA press conferences.