Newton, Panthers thrive despite negative criticism

by: DOMINICK PUENTE/Staff Writer

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has faced a large amount of criticism due to some of his on-field actions during the 2015-2016 National Football League season.

Many people throughout the United States have expressed their opinions on Newton about his presumed “cocky” attitude and his loud behavior.

As the NFL season began in early August, much of the media and nation’s attention was focused on the early powerhouse teams that were selected in the off-season. Many sports analysts had chosen the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton to be an underdog among the top choices, such as the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos.

In the first weeks of the 2015 pre-season, the Panthers had solid performances and took a sizeable momentum advantage into the regular season. Carolina received recognition for their impressive winning streak over more than half of the league. However, there was still skepticism due to their somewhat easy schedule during the first half of the season.

I find it difficult to understand the concept that any professional team could be an easy opponent. There are thousands of athletes who compete in the sport of football at the college level, along with the Canadian league. The ultimate goal for those players are to earn a spot on any of the NFL’s 52-man rosters. Credit is due to when it is earned, and for Newton’s pursuit of greatness, why should credit not be given to him?

Many critics claimed that his luck would run out, or that his arrogant statements would haunt him in the long run. The Panthers and Newton are currently 17-1 this season. Along with that, they will be competing against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

I believe that because of the Panthers’ record, Newton can say the Panthers are one of the best teams in the NFL, if not the best overall.  Newton and the Panthers are one of the two remaining teams in the league for this season. They have made a statement throughout the duration of the season with the team’s wins, scoring abilities and solid defensive outings.


Newton has not been shy about the thoughts of his team and how they have performed this season. If Cam can help his team to a Super Bowl, create a distinguished MVP campaign and have fun in the process, that should be enough to gain the admiration of most people.

Newton has influenced many people throughout the world with his unique pre-game gear, or his famous “Dab” dance and contributions to society. But somehow many people still find Newton to be obnoxious and pig-headed. I find that Newton has been the exact opposite of some of the negative statements pointed toward the MVP candidate. He has been associated with multiple charitable organizations, as well as the NFL’s “Play 60” campaign, which encourages young children to exercise and be more active.

The Panthers and Newton have encouraged having fun while playing sports. I see that some people prefer the game to be more “old-fashioned,” such as no celebrating after a big play and keeping the game clean and wholesome as if it was a family sport.

The sport of football consists of men competing with full-contact against one another. I understand young people of America are practically born into the sport due to the long pastime. But as generations pass by, the culture of the sport adapts. Newton is a prime example of change that occurs within football. Cam has been a spark-plug for the younger children as he shows his enjoyment during the game. It might be a serious and stressful game, but Newton has shown the public that anyone can have fun while engaging in the game of football.

Playing professional football can be called business and a serious ordeal. However, I believe there should be some enjoyment within the sport of football and in all other sports. Winning and gaining championships is a big part of the sport, and it is the players’ jobs to bring that opportunity to the franchise.

However, I would not poor my life into something that I do not love. Newton is a powerful example of someone who knows that football is his job, but he manages to keep a healthy balance between fun and business. His achievements this season have proved these points.

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