Cam “Millennial” Newton: The destruction of sports and next generation reliability

If there was any doubt about what I said about Millennials, CLICK HERE TO REVIEW, Cam Newton after the Super Bowl confirmed it for all time.  Watch his press conference below, the dynamic Superman character who sold himself all this years as an invincible indomitable spirit sat slouched and pitiful near tears and pouting about his embarrassing loss to the Denver Broncos.  The kid learned a hard lesson at Super Bowl 50—something he should have learned by his parents many years earlier.  But as a coddled Millennial, he used his natural ability, and his race to advance through the ranks of life and he arrived as the MVP at the Super Bowl haughty and having fun.  He should have known that the Denver players would want to knock his head off, yet he thought he was going to cruise to a win.  And instead of taking it like a man, stoically, he pouted like a child who had just been told by him mom that he couldn’t have candy at the grocery store check-out line.

I’ll admit that I was rooting for the Broncos to win, but to my family I had been talking Cam Newton up as one of the best players in the NFL.  I watched many of the Carolina games this year and thought they were the best team in football.  Honestly, I wanted to see Cam Newton do well in the Super Bowl.  Really, Carolina hadn’t been tested much until they played in the Super Bowl and the Denver D decided to blitz the hell out of Newton to throw him off.  That’s part of the game and the young Carolina quarterback clearly wasn’t prepared.  He showed up at the game planning to dominate and cruise to a victory—because everyone seemed to be telling him that he was the greatest gift to mankind.  And he obviously believed it.  Cam didn’t account for the fact that everyone on the Denver defense wanted to personally mount the MVP’s head to their headboards.  For Newton, it was easy for him to appear dominate when his team was winning, but he didn’t have the same swagger when they were losing and that’s the heart of the problem.

When he lost he didn’t stand up and take the licks.  Everyone understands how hard it must be for him to lose such an important game, but what he did was reprehensible.  Rather than take responsibility for the loss, like he should have—because he had lost the will to fight by the fourth quarter, he blamed others.  That much was evident when he lost the last fumble of the game, when he didn’t dive into the pile to retrieve it.  Newton had spent the entire season playing with the mind of every player that opposed him with audacity and magnificent aggression.  But he couldn’t show the same confidence when it came to working from behind.  The Denver Broncos noticed that and turned Cam’s tactics against him—thoroughly embarrassing the MVP of 2015.

If you are going to wear the Superman symbol, you better be super even in the worse possible circumstances, otherwise people who want to knock you off your pedestal will crush you at the first opportunity.  I can sympathize with how Cam feels.  I’ve felt that kind of disappointment for other things.  On a different stage, but very similar circumstances—Donald Trump went though it over the results of the Iowa election.  Even though many might say he acted poorly after that defeat, his first reaction was to be gracious and maintain a mountain of security.  Supporters of such people want to see confidence in the people they admire.  Cam didn’t give his supporters confidence that he’d be back and better than ever.  He just pouted because things didn’t work out in his mind the way he wanted and somewhere in his past someone taught him that sobbing like a child wasn’t disgraceful—it was acceptable.  He didn’t look like a 6’ 5” Superman; he looked like an eight year old child who had been told no by his mother.  Granted, at only 26 years old, that wasn’t that long ago.  In many ways, Cam Newton is still a child—he is compared to me.  I remember being his age and having the screws of life turned down on me so hard that it was hard to lift my hand to put food in my mouth, the pressure was so great.  I understand.  But I never cried about it.  I put on my inner Superman and took on the world, and eventually won time and time again.

Cam the Millennial should have known that what makes you a legend is not just winning.  Payton Manning is a legend, and he has not always won.  It’s about getting back on the horse and fighting harder, and harder, and harder until you wear out and dominate everyone against you.  Honestly just sitting at home I was thinking like Wade Phillips.  My thoughts were that if the Broncos could knock Cam on his ass that they’d gain leverage on the young kid and take him out of his game.  The dabbing that Cam does after a touchdown has become the leading news story of the 2015 NFL year.  Phillips obviously used that motivation to drive his players to a froth of aggression.  Watching Phillips body language during the game it was obviously he said something.  He confirmed it after the victory by saying to Newton on Twitter:

“A little too much Dab will undo you!” Phillips tweeted from his @sonofbum Twitter account before the Broncos headed to the airport in San Jose.

His defense was tired of the Panthers’ dancing antics and wanted to shut them down.

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak was asked about Phillips’ tweet during his Monday morning news conference. While a reporter read the text of the tweet aloud, linebacker Von Miller nearly fell off the chair he was sitting in just off the stage.

Kubiak said he had not seen Phillips’ tweet but acknowledged it was not out of character for Phillips.

“He gets carried away with that Twitter sometimes,” Kubiak said.

Cam built up that anger against him and when it mounted, he couldn’t deal with it.  Instead of saying something bold, he simply retreated into a petulant child.  It will be really difficult for Cam Newton to return to his former glory now that the scouting report is out on him.  Hundreds of NFL players saw the same thing I did in the young man at his press conference.  Cam surrendered his swagger, which is part of his game, and it will change him for the worst.  I felt bad for the kid, but the blame falls on his parents.  Cam Newton has obviously been a spoiled child given most everything in life because of his natural ability and skin color.  Once he gets older and losses some of that natural ability he’ll have to rely on his mind, and that is obviously something the kid will struggle with.  The wise old Wade Phillips exposed it.  Next year, everyone else will too.

What is kind of scary is that a decade and a half ago, Payton Manning would have never done something so immature.  He’s been disappointed and short with the press, but he never acted like Cam Newton.  I can’t think of anybody who ever has pouted like that who was considered great.  There are personalities who lose it, and get aggressive when they lose from the anger they feel, but they never just sit there and pout like a child.  What we are seeing is a new breed of grown-up, a generation of Millennials who have been told all their lives they are great, and that they are the best—without ever really being tested, or working hard to become great.  Life isn’t about dominating with physical attributes and dabbing to intimidate opponents who are not so gifted.  It is about still being great even when you don’t feel like it.  Because sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do, and the most important ingredient to greatness that there is.  Cam Newton obviously doesn’t have it.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


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