When you look at this year’s Super Bowl 50 competitors, they could be considered polar opposites. On one team, there’s “The Sheriff” Peyton Manning, who is coming to the end of a great legacy. Then on the other team, you’ve got Cam Newton, young, highly polarizing, highly scrutinized, but flat out fun.
Cam Newton is only 26 and just a few years off an unprecedented National Title run at Auburn. Newton is on the big stage once again, in the Super Bowl against a legendary opponent in Peyton Manning, who is 39. This matchup has your proverbial “New School” vs. “Old School” feel with the masses leaning a bit more to the side of what’s new and unfamiliar. Yes, some folks have gone as far as writing scathing letters regarding their feelings on Cam Newton’s leadership style. Newton has even gone as far as saying “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to.” So, when folks say a picture is worth a thousand words, I think its true… Take this picture for example. This photo was taken back in August on the Carolina Panthers first day of training camp. It shows quarterback Cam Newton, yes, smiling, while wrestling corner back and teammate Josh Norman to the ground. This happened after Newton himself threw an interception and chased down Norman and tackled him before Norman got to the endzone. Let’s just say there was a scuffle. Now at first glance, you’ll say “He’s not a leader.” “Look at this, see, this is why he’ll never win.” “Immature!” But really examine the photo. Look at #79 in the black jersey, look how calm he is. Or let’s take in the simple fact, Newton doesn’t even have a helmet on and again, is smiling while wrestling another guy to the ground in pads. There doesn’t seem to be too much to worry about, even though he’s the quarterback with the red jersey on.
Without question, Cam Newton is a winner, he’s proven that up until now. The Carolina Panthers had the #1 scoring offense in the regular season this year and were second in rushing yards as a team with 142.8 yards per game. Their 15-1 record regular season record is a franchise best. The team ranks #1 in point differential and #1 in giveaway/takeaway ratio (in other words, their #1 in taking the ball away from you more often than they lose it). On paper, there’s no clear cut winner because both teams have very good defenses, but judging by how much fun the Carolina Panthers have been having especially in defeating the Cardinals, you would have to give them the edge here.
Remember that picture cliche too, cause this picture was taken shortly after the Carolina Panthers’ victory and if it’s any indication, I think the team has Cam Newton’s back…