Carolina Panthers quarterback and NFL MVP Cam Newton came under criticism for his postgame press conference after his team lost the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos last night.
Criticism has come in from media members and former players like Steve Young. I think a guy like Steve Young has more credibility than some writer in criticizing Newton because he actually has been in that spot before.
I just think it is important to remember the circumstances before people jump on Newton. This was just minutes after one of the most crushing and personal defeats of his life.
I know. You might say, "Tough." Well it isn't so easy. I'm not sure how many of us would come off particularly well if we had hundreds of microphones in our face just minutes after a breakup or we found out we didn't get the promotion we wanted.
You don't even need to go back a year to find somebody handling a championship loss in a less than graceful way.
Duke beat Wisconsin to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament last year. After the game, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan bashed the officiating to the press and mentioned how his team doesn't rent players. That was a swipe at his opponent, who took players in for a single season knowing they would enter the NBA Draft. It was a less than graceful moment for a guy who otherwise is very classy. Ryan was 67 and had been a head coach in college for over three decades when he made the comments.
Sometimes it's easy to forget the human side of the game because these guys do so much to wow us on the field. These are people, however. More than anything, Cam Newton showed us last night that he is human. I won't get on him for that.