The Cam Newton backlash has begun, as if on cue. The man who was going to elevate the woebegone Carolina Panthers, similar to the way he’d lifted the Auburn Tigers on high, has been the subject of much criticism for his play and, most especially, his demeanor.
Cam takes losses hard. When you’re the team leader, you can’t take losses so hard that you depress the rest of the team. (This tends to lead, as night follows day, to more losing.) The wide receiver Steve Smith upbraided Newton on the sideline during the fourth quarter of Carolina’s awful Thursday-night loss to the Giants, and in the 10 days since that has become the talk of the Queen City.
(Side note: Charlotte is known as the Queen City. So is Cincinnati.)
About the Falcons: They’ve looked as good as any team in the league. They should win today. But Cam is capable of extraordinary things. One of his best days came in this building in December 2010. Which isn’t to say I’m picking Cam’s team to win 56-17 today. I like the Falcons by 10.
Whatever happens, I’ll be here to watch, comment and converse. I hope you’ll join me. And I thank you, as ever, in advance.
By Mark Bradley