I’ve heard it said that you’ve got to have your heart broken before you can become a champion. If this old adage holds true, then the NFL better watch out for Cam Newton next year.
The broken-hearted 26-year-old sat like a petulant child at the Super Bowl 50 post-game presser. He muttered terse, barely audible answers, then abruptly got up and left without warning. The emotion was raw.
But isn’t that part of why we watch sports–to see the stark contrast between winners and losers? With such a huge buildup going into the game, the pressure must have been enormous. And poor Cam, he was the one that cracked.
It’s a tough lesson, but one well worth learning: there’s more to being a leader than running around, yelling, and doing the dab all over the place. The raw talent is there, no doubt. The numbers tell us that. You don’t go 17 -2, with 45 touchdowns, unless you’ve got talent. Unfortunately, the lessons of leadership come much tougher. There’s also self control, grace under pressure, humility in victory, resilience in defeat. All lessons that Cam could learn, if he looks back on this disastrous night with the right perspective.
I have faith in him, though. This was obviously not one of his proudest moments, but he will learn from it. It’s part of the maturation process. After a period of mourning, I’m sure he will find his way back to the gym, back to the film room, and back to the practice field. More reps, more reps, more reps. That’s the way back for Cam Newton.
This won’t be the last time that Newton will stand in the spotlight during one of the biggest tv sports broadcasts on the planet. With the lessons learned from Super Bowl 50, if he applies them, it will just be a matter of time before he gets to raise that trophy.
Hang in there, Cam. We’re rooting for you!