“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”

-Maya Angelou 

After watching one of the most painful experiences last night with some friends, surrounded by several large TVs for the Super Bowl 50 game I still have a bad taste in my mouth today.

I know many of you are torn between emotions as well and I wanted to take a little time to express my own opinions and emotions.

Despite several critics and trolls, I am coming to you from the perspective of an Athlete myself.

Yes, I am a huge Cam Newton fan. Yes, I have been an Auburn fan all of my life, but this isn’t about my fandom.

You already have your team, your favorites, and your own loyalties. So, I’m not trying to change that at all.

But what I am going to do, is to try and get you to understand how the mind of an Athlete operates. That’s where I am coming from.

I know I’ve never been at a Super Bowl as an athlete and felt the biggest defeat of my life at that level, BUT as an athlete myself and former high school and college athlete I have experienced defeat many times.

FIRST, let me go ahead and get this out there:

  1. Do I think Cam gave up after not diving back in for the fumble? Yes.
  2.  Did he play like himself and lead his team like we expected? No.
  3.  Did he react like we wanted after the game, with maturity, and poise? No.

Okay, so I may have already lost a few of you but hopefully we can agree on those facts above.

Do we know why Cam shut down or why he seemed to give up? No.

Do we know why he acted the way he did after the game? Well, not completely but I’m offering some of the hateful people and judgements the media forced upon Cam literally right after he stepped off the field.

If you are an athlete, have been an athlete before or even have a shred of competitiveness in your spirit, you know how it feels to win but also how horrible losing is.

Now, take that thought and think of how incredibly passionate and animated Cam Newton is during games and after a win.

Yes, many people despise that about him and think it’s cockiness. I disagree and I see it as utter passion and joy for what he does. I can absolutely relate to that because that’s how I feel about my running.

Now, if you are that passionate and emotional about winning, guess what?

You’ll probably be equally if not more emotional when it comes to losing.

Looking up at Cam’s face during the game and after the loss last night, I felt like I had lost the Super Bowl too.

If you’re an athlete, again- you know that look. You know exactly. what. I’m. Talking. About.

I saw it in his eyes the whole game and after the fumble. I saw the look in the press conference, (he probably registered nothing the media said the whole time, just replaying his failure over and over in his head).

I’m not saying that the way he reacted was correct or acceptable at all.

What I am saying is-  Is that the way Cam Newton reacted after last night was Human.

If you’re angry or unsatisfied in any way, and probably jumped right on it right away, you are probably:

  1. An Alabama Fan (Just kidding, calm down)
  2. Not an athlete
  3.  Are perfect(or think you are)

You are unhappy with the way Cam acted because you are expecting perfection from an imperfect human. That simply doesn’t exist.

You can’t expect super human qualities from every aspect of someone who is human. (Spoiler! Cam isn’t actually Superman)

This ESPN Article “hit the nail on the head” for me-

Look, we all have our own kryptonite.

Some of us just show it a little louder than others..and it’s not always pretty or what we want to see.

But how can you honestly accept Cam for his undeniable athletic accomplishments and then turn around and berate him minutes after losing the Super Bowl?

The way he acted in my opinion was a very raw, personal and human reaction. He was upset, that was evident.

The last thing you want after walking away from  a loss is being put in a spotlight and fed to the wolves with all of your flaws paraded around.

He takes it personally, just like every single athlete. Win or lose.

Yes, he’s an NFL athlete now and he needs to take the heat when it comes.

But I’m asking you to stop judging, stop throwing rude insults, and show mercy.

Especially if you have never felt what I’m talking about here. And frankly, if you can’t do that as a human, then that’s your kryptonite.

Give him some time to heal, evaluate and come out and speak when he can clearly.

I’m so happy Manning could go out with a Win and what an incredible career!! He’s an amazing athlete and that should absolutely be celebrated.

But, slaughtering Cam’s character for a very human reaction should not be accepted.

I’m ashamed of everyone who band wagonned on with that. And I would have any athletes back in this position regardless of what team they were on or who they were because #athletesgetathletes

Defeat is inevitable, but it’s how you come back after that’s important. Everyone of us has a kryptonite. It won’t conquer us though if we can learn to overcome it.




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