I admit it. I did watch the Super Bowl. How could I not when my grandfather was one of the first season ticket holders back in the days when the Broncos were truly horrible? I can still remember him taking me to a game, and he went, rain, shine, or snow, until he was physically no longer able. I wasn’t able to go with him, unfortunately, because by then I was working in Washington, D.C.
And yes, I was definitely happy that the Broncos won, particularly since I’ve always felt that Peyton Manning is a class act, but that brings me to the point — Cam Newton’s postgame interview, if it could be called that, which was anything but a class act. Yes, he was disappointed, and he wasn’t the first great quarterback to be disappointed, and certainly won’t be the last.
Newton’s real problem is that he is so physically gifted and also has a mind good enough to use those gifts that he’s never considered a few key matters. First, in anything, no matter how big you are, how fast you, how strong you are, how intelligent you are… there’s always someone bigger, faster, stronger, and more intelligent. Second, football is a team game, and the team that plays better as a team usually wins. Third, sometimes you get the breaks, and sometimes you don’t. Fourth, you don’t win just because you have the better record or the better offense – as Denver found out two years ago. Fifth, it is a game, if a very serious one played for high stakes.
Newton also needs to realize that he’s paid extraordinarily well to do exactly the same thing that every writer does, except few of us, indeed, are paid as well as he is. He’s paid to entertain the fans, and while that means winning as much as possible, it also means not pissing everyone off and coming off like a spoiled kid. This is also something writers need to keep in mind.
Given his talent, I’m sure Newton will be a factor for years to come, but it would be nice to see a bit more class when things don’t go well. You don’t have to like losing, but in the end, as even the great Peyton Manning has discovered, we all lose… and the mark of the truly great is to show class both when things go well and when they don’t.