Aside from Cam Newton’s lackadaisical attempt (if you can call it that) to get the ball which he fumbled, and Eli Manning’s disappointed look after his older brother completed the 2 pt conversion, and the post game interviews comprising Peyton’s plug for Budweiser and “The Big Man Upstairs,” or Cam pulling the plug on his own presser, the game was quite enjoyable. At least I enjoyed it. If you like defense, you saw it. Lots of it. I’m a die-hard long-suffering Buccaneers fan, so I’m used to seeing one team score a lot. But to see neither teams score much, well that was kind of a breath of fresh air. And the game was within reach for the Panthers for most of the game.
I am not a Cam fan. Let me state that. Not because of he has fun playing the game, and not because he walked out on the presser. The Bucs play him twice a year, and besides the Greg Schiano led Bucs holding him to single digit yards rushing several years ago, he kills us. That’s really all I have on him. He’s an absolute beast, who if he had some decent receivers, would clearly be unstoppable.
Panther/Cam apologists will cite this as reason for his presser “walk-off.” Perhaps there is something to this.
But I will say this, he is 26 years old. That’s what age I got hitched to my lovely wife, and now mother of three. Two years later, I was ordained as assistant pastor in the P.C.A denomination. The number of mistakes I made when as 28 year old pastor, and probably as a husband, could fill the pages of any book. What if they were on camera? Ouch.
Now I know do know you pretty much ask for the spotlight when you are the face of a franchise. And even more so, when you showboat and dab, or whatever it’s called. Even more when you say, “If you don’t like my antics, then stop me.” When someone actually does stop you, for the first time all year, perhaps you should tip your hat in the presser? Perhaps you should answer hard questions? Perhaps you shouldn’t walk away? I say “should” because “should” is simply my opinion, not a biblical black and white. Russell Wilson stayed and answered hard questions after arguably the worst offensive play call of all time led to an interception when they should have run it from the one yard line! Wilson is a very mature man.
Cam will probably look back upon yesterday’s performance, on and off the field, and realize he needs to do a better job. He’ll see the film, and probably have some explaining to do on his fumble.
But he is still 26. I remember myself at 26, and all of the should have’s…. Yes I know, people fight wars at 18, but for those my age (38), I do think we would do well to be reminded of our failures at 26. Perhaps we (myself first and foremost) could be a little more gracious to those younger than us? I mean this less about Cam, since you probably won’t run into him, and more for those who seem a bit more immature than us.
After all, the epitome of class (though not beer choice) Peyton Manning, did throw his linemen under the bus when he got beat badly one season. He was roughly around the same age as Cam.
If he’s doing the same things at 38, then let’s revisit the issue again. But I have a feeling, that won’t be the case. Hopefully the Bucs can prevent him from getting back to the big game again and we’ll all have to wonder. Sadly I don’t think that will happen. He’ll probably get better, the GM will probably bring in a few wide receivers who can actually catch the ball (I counted 8 drops last night), and I’m pretty sure he’ll mature as a man.
While I’ll pull against the former, I’m pulling for, and quite hopeful, for the latter.