Be nice. Say nothing.
What ever happened to old-fashioned family values?
My mama always told me, “Son (that’s what she called me, son), if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.”
I cleaned it up a little for a family audience, but what she really said was kinda close to that. So, Cam Newton had nothing good to say.
So, he said nothing at all. Newton texts his mama every night. Newton says a little prayer just before he takes the first snap from center of a game, because of his mama.
Cam Newton respects his mama. If she ever told him something about “say nothing at all” better believe, he would pay attention to it. Newton’s Carolina Panthers got swatted, 24-10, in the Super Bowl. With the exception of a toe-stubbing at Atlanta, it was the only loss of the NFL season for the Carolina Panthers.
They were far and away the best team in professional football this season. They got on the biggest stage in the world - don’t believe it, just ASK the NFL - and they played poorly.
Unless he wanted to get an NFL fine (see Marshawn Lynch, Seattle), Newton had to go down to the pressroom at the depressing Levi Stadium in San Francisco and answer a bunch of the same questions he always gets after a game. But this time, he was - well, this is a family newspaper - he was upset. He didn’t even change clothes - he went in his hoodie.
Now, a little background is in order. Cam Newton spends a lot of money to have really - really!! - nice and loud clothes. The pants he wore getting on the bus to get on the plane to fly to the Super Bowl caused everyone who saw them to be blinded by the light.
If the Panthers had won, I suspect, Newton had his victory suit all picked out. Instead, they lost, so he wore a hoodie. He sat - sullen - and answered a few questions. “No.” “Yes.” “I don’t know.” Then, he left.
He did not stay the required three minutes. He will have to pay a fine. OK, so be it - pay the fine. None of those Broncos who hit him late after he threw a pass are going to have to pay a fine, but OK - he’s a big boy, he can take it.
As Lynch said when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, “I’m only here so I won’t get fined.”
More background, Newton had been answering questions for two weeks. He is the NFL 2016 Most Valuable Player. Every press conference leading up to the Stupor Bowl, he’s there. Reporters on the field, he’s there. Reporters in the bathroom at the hotel, he’s there. Reporters at the MVP dinner, he’s there. He has to be there - league says, he has to be there. Reporter asks him a question, he answers it - reporters want to ask more, he answers. CBS wants him for a sit down interview to explain what he said a week ago, he has to do it.
Comes with the territory.
Teams that Cam Newton has played on won the junior college national championship, the big college national championship, the NFC championship - he won the Heisman Trophy, he has to learn how to talk. And talk, and talk, and talk - ‘til he just can’t talk anymore. Comes with the territory.
Except all this blah, blah, blah get so old. Watch the video of Newton’s time in the post-Stupor Bowl pressroom. He’s answering questions - ESPN provides a transcript - and some yahoo is asking a question at the same time - something about “wasn’t throwing the ball the game plan, why didn’t you just throw the ball ...” or something like that. Members of the Denver Broncos, who’d just won the Super Bowl were answering questions at the same time.
“Hey,” I suspect Cam (that’s what I call him, Cam) was thinking, “if you don’t want to listen to what I have to say, even if it’s just one word, I got better things to do. I’ve got a loving girlfriend and an adorable baby boy I’d rather be with.”
What he said was, “Outta here, bro,” and he left. No muss, no fuss - gone.
Reporters got mad, he has to stay longer, he has to say more. Oh, boo hoo. Look on your state-issued responsible journalist card - nowhere does it say you get to badger people to death.
Grow up, sports journalists. If that’s even a real job.
(Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. Reach him at 833-1900 or - ironic, huh - firstname.lastname@example.org.)