While Sunday’s NFL action was billed as a showdown between two of the game’s greatest quarterbacks — as Tom Brady and his perfect cheekbones took on the increasingly wilting pumpkin known as Peyton Manning — all of the attention quickly turned to one man after Manning’s Broncos narrowly emerged victorious over Brady’s Patriots.
Newtown singlehandedly howitzered and blitzkrieged the Carolina Panthers past the Arizona Cardinals and he’ll take on Manning in Super Bowl 50. Why is this significant? Because in living memory it’s hard to find a quarterback who so outwardly shows pleasure in his profession — a man who dances, dabs and high fives his way through games — a man-child who piles up win after win and does so in style. There are some people who don’t like this. Why? Who knows. Cam Newton playing himself into MVP form is one of the best things to happen to the NFL in years.
Sports is a vast landscape of hypocrisy and double standards. Flip a bat in baseball and expect a 97 mph beamer at your dome the next time you’re at bat. We praised the trash talk of Michael Jordan at his zenith and the way in which that made him a “great” competitor, but do that in football and you simply lack “class”. As long as there isn’t any malice in his antics, Newton should be praised for being himself. May he keep on dancing, smiling and throwing touchdown footballs to kids in the stands, in a league obsessed with maintaining “The Shield” — plastic decorum, which hides players’ personalities as much as possible.
Newton doesn’t fit the mould of a quarterback — he shatters it. As big as a tight end and with the ability to launch a ball 60 yards with a flick of the wrist off the back foot, he’s pure entertainment on two legs.
Cam, go dance if that’s what your heart desires. Win or lose, we’ll be dancing right there with you.