Monday, February 8, 2016

Slammin' the Cam

Today my Facebook feed is flooded with lots of chatter about Cam Newton and his postgame interview. I was cheering for the Panthers because they are a Carolina team and have had an awesome season. Yes, I was rooting for my home-state team, but I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard fan. I don’t love Cam (sorry, Carolina fans!), nor do I own a Panthers sweatshirt or a koozie or a flaggy thing for my car. But since my team wasn’t in the Super Bowl ::cough-sputter-SKINS-cough::: then I was hoping the Panthers would win their first Super Bowl.

The game left a lot to be desired. It didn’t really matter which team you were cheering for, it was a snooze-fest. I kept thinking one negative turn of events for the Broncos would lead to the Panthers going on a run, but no such luck. As Cam said in his postgame interview, they got outplayed. The end. Which brings me to the point of my blog today… Cam and his postgame interview:
I have to say, ENOUGH ALREADY!! Listen, I’m not a professional athlete. (although I have mad skills on the hoop hanging on the back of my 12 year old’s bedroom door), but let’s put it in perspective. He just played the pinnacle of all games, the Super Bowl. And he lost. That sucks. As part of his job, he has to sit there and answer the media’s questions with grace and a smile. After all, he makes MILLIONS, this is part of being in the spotlight and the least he can do is fake it. There’s a minor detail we forget; he’s human. Think about having to deal with the biggest disappointment in your career or life for that matter. Then imagine cameras and microphones in your face and some dimwit asking for you to put into words your disappointment. Those who already have a bad taste in their mouth about you are going to find something, ANYTHING to continue to hate you. Had he broken down and cried, he would’ve been a wuss. Had he said he was disappointed and listed all the reasons why, he would’ve been a whiney baby. Had he put a pretty bow on losing, he would’ve been fake. Despite his answer, he couldn’t win…. after not winning.

America loves to hate someone. Today it’s Cam. Tomorrow it’ll be someone else. Could he have handled himself differently? Sure. Would it have made a difference for those who already hate him? Probably not. At the end of the day, he’s a millionaire, a professional athlete who is in his prime and just played in the Super Bowl in front of millions, and will return with a vengeance next season. We shouldn’t feel sorry for him. And I don’t. He’ll fly home in a jet to his mansion and his fancy car worth more than my house. But remember, last night and probably nights if not weeks to follow he will lie in bed wide awake, going through play by plays of the “big game”, internalizing and processing his own disappointment and frustration, warding off the “what ifs” and “woulda-coulda-shouldas”. You know……human-stuff. 

The world, as a whole, has a lot more to be irritated with than an NFL player walking out on an interview. Seems kind of silly in the big scheme of things. Then again, what do I know? I’m just a human too.