Cam Newton: Don’t Hate, Just Appreciate
by John Jastremski
Feb 03, 2016 | 10272 views | 0 0 comments | 307 307 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I hate the bye week between the AFC/NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl for two main reasons. First, it’s the first Sunday since Labor Day weekend when I don’t have football to watch. (Yes, I’m fully aware my girlfriend may be rejoicing somewhere!)

To me, there’s nothing worse than saying goodbye to 11-hour days on the couch, locking in the wagers, checking your fantasy teams. Football Sundays are events, to see them come to an end is simply depressing.

Second, it leads to these ridiculous stories that dominate the news cycle, but have little to no bearing on the game itself.

This year, the topic of conversation centered on Panthers quarterback, soon-to-be league MVP, Cam Newton regarding his behavior, his celebrations and whether or not he is criticized more or less because he is an African American quarterback.

The topic has taken over Super Bowl week to the point where I wondered if I could do five hours of radio discussing whether or not Cam Newton’s ridiculous pants would be a talking point on WFAN.

It’s bothered me to no end. Quite frankly, I find it sad that folks are trying to pick apart a guy that has a chance to be one of the most dynamic talents for years to come in the National Football League.

Cam Newton is unlike any quarterback I’ve ever seen before. His skill set is unmatched as a 6’6”, 250-pound player at the position who can not only throw rifles out of the pocket, but is a guy that can run through linebackers like a fullback.

Newton was hands down the most dominant player in the NFL this season. He combined to score 45 touchdowns and has led the Carolina Panthers to a 17-1 record going into Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Broncos.

Unfortunately, Newton’s brilliance is not getting the credit it deserves. Instead, you have fans, media pundits and others trying to go out of their way to hate on the player.

Yes, Cam Newton has a showman-like characteristic to his game. He will give you the “dab celebration” after a first down, he’ll hoot and holler cheering on his defense on the sidelines, but is he any different than JJ Watt, Odell Beckham, Jr. or any other modern day NFL player in 2016.

This is not a player looking to show up his opponent, this is a player who truly enjoys playing a kid’s game and enjoys doing so with a little personality.

If Cam Newton’s teammates don’t have a problem with his behavior and his opponents don’t have a problem with his behavior, why should I?

With full disclosure, I’ll admit that I’m rooting for the Denver Broncos to win Sunday’s Super Bowl so Peyton Manning can ride off into the sunset with a Hollywood ending to his career.

However, my rooting interest has nothing to do with my feelings toward Cam Newton.

He’s a special talent, he has a likable and charismatic personality, and should be a guy making multiple trips to the big game.

I won’t hate. I’ll appreciate.

JJ’s Super Bowl Pick

Broncos +6.5

Broncos 23, Panthers 20
You can listen to me on Saturday from 3-6 a.m. & Sunday 2-6 a.m. on WFAN.

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