Like millions of people around the world last night, I sat and watched the Super Bowl with my family. My little ones were rooting for the Carolina Panthers because they really like how Cam Newton, the quarterback, smiles while he plays and hands footballs to kids in the stands after he scores a touchdown. I like watching him play because he is such a big and physical guy and he plays the quarterback position unlike any other. His personality shines through his game and that’s a refreshing change from the typical pro, whose real persona most people don’t get to see.
While I was disappointed out the outcome of the game, I was glad my kids were asleep when it was time for Cam’s post-game press conference. Before he walked off the podium in mid question from a reporter who was tirelessly asking the same question that had just been asked 6 different ways, Cam looked like he was enduring root canal without any Novocaine. Sure, it’s no fun losing the biggest game of your life, but did he realize, as he bailed out on his responsibility as a player in the NFL to do post-game press conferences, that by showing that blow off attitude and that “I don’t have time for you” scorn, that he was undoing the foundation of the positive image he has built over the years in the league?
As a Little League coach, I often tell my players that you learn more from losing than you do from winning and that its how you handle yourself in the down times that defines your character. I hope Cam watches the replay of his press conference so he can realize the lasting impression he makes is not only on the football field, but in how he conducts himself in even the toughest times. I’m sure that’s a lesson he learned from a coach along the way to stardom. Last night, though, he seemed to forget that lesson.