The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl 50 this past Sunday, cementing the legacy of superstar, surefire hall-of-famer Peyton Manning as a two-time super bowl champion.
The storylines are endless, and one might expect that everyone in sports is debating Peyton Manning’s place on the Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks this week — or at the very least gossiping about the fact that the winning quarterback of Super Bowl 50, a national icon, is alleged by pharmacist Charlie Sly to have had HGH shipped to his house a few off-seasons ago. They might also be gossiping on the fact that Manning allegedly sent goons to Sly’s parent’s home, to intimidate him into recanting his statement. However, surprisingly, we are hardly hearing anything about Peyton Manning, and the airwaves seem to be overwhelmed with coverage of Cam Newton.
Newton’s performance in the Super Bowl 50 (18 for 41, 265 yards, 0TD’s, 1 INT) was admittedly poor. Nearly everyone can agree upon that. But the real issue that the media is taking with Newton is that he walked out of the post game press conference early. Nevermind that Cam Newton had just suffered what was undoubtedly one of the most painful losses of his 26-year life, the media felt slighted that Newton couldn’t summon the effort to sit through a press conference and placate them with cliches. This week has been full of media personalities calling Newton “immature” and “a sore loser.”
Meanwhile, Tom Brady is on the record as saying “I am a sore loser,” which typically gets construed positively as competitive spirit. The hypocrisy of “hot take” media coverage is interesting, but Cam Newton seems to have no problem with media scrutiny. Newton told reporters Tuesday “I have said it since Day 1. I am who I am. I know what I’m capable of and I know where I am going. If you want me to conform, I’m not that guy. If you want me to be that type of person, I’m not that. I am happy to say that.” Cam Newton is a supremely confident quarterback, coming off of an MVP season and a super bowl appearance. While the media fires itself up over the fact that Newton didn’t complete his press conference, Newton himself couldn’t care less.
At 26 years old, this quarterback has the confidence and spirit to be utterly genuine, even when it’s not what most people want to hear. This type of genuine reaction to both winning and losing is so rare, as it utterly flies in the face of the antiseptic, cliche ridden mold of modern day, “face of the franchise” NFL quarterbacks. Newton’s unwavering confidence in his ability and the force of his personality allow him to be uniquely honest among his contemporaries, and when he is upset, we are going to know it.
I enjoy Cam Newton’s brash and honest personality, and take no issue with him skipping out halfway through a press conference after a crushing defeat in the biggest game in sports. There is, however, one reason I would have loved to hear a full Cam Newton post-game press conference. It’s because unbeknownst to most, Cam Newton is known by those who pay attention to these sorts of things, as “The Yogi Berra of his generation.” Cam has a skill for giving unintentionally hilarious quotes in his press conferences,* and unfortunately we will never know what gems he may have given us after the Super Bowl. So in celebration of Cam Newton, and defiance of crappy sports hot takes on Cam’s maturity, here are my top five all-time Cam Newton press conference quotes:
5. “You put a person up on a pinnacle, and you analyze them from so many different angles, but I guess that’s life.”
4. “We’re not gonna let the cat out the hat.”
3. “This hiatus that we’re on, no one in this locker room wants to come down from it.”
2. “The monotonism of life can get old.”
1. “Hindsight’s always 50/50.”
Not many people seem to notice these press conference gems that Newton consistently gives us, and I just want more people to appreciate them fully. Here’s to another dozen years of great quotes from one of the NFL’s brightest stars.
*Quotes and my awareness of Cam’s wordsmithing skills come directly from “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” on ESPN radio.