Super Bowl 50 is in the record books, now. The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10, surprising many who thought that Cam Newton would take his team to victory. Including Cam Newton.
In an interview that ran before the game, CBS sportscaster James Brown asked Newton what he meant when he said that he was an “African-American quarterback who may scare a lot of people” because they had nothing to compare him to. Given the opportunity, Newton said that no other quarterbacks did what he is doing, obviously forgetting players like Warren Moon. In the interview (posted below) Newton came off as cocky and brash, something he’s caught a lot of criticism for. His race — and his attitude — has been brought up often as an excuse for a certain audience to hate on him.
It was with the expectation, that the racists would surely take this opportunity to attack, that I camped out on Twitter for the entire game, watching the feed for the hashtags #CamNewton and #SB50. It was weird and surreal and left me puzzled. You will see why…
There were the comments at the start of the game attacking Newton for not showing the proper (to them) respect during the singing of the national anthem (a quick aside; Lady Gaga killed it). But when the camera cut to Newton, he was attacked immediately:
— Michael Ray (@whitetrash4954) February 7, 2016
— James Wester (@JamesWester69) February 7, 2016
— Katie Burger (@Katie_Burger2) February 7, 2016
Then there were the actual racist Tweets, as ugly as you’d expect:
— Lance Truax (@SweetBeefTruax) February 8, 2016
— Ovenkin (@Ovenkin) February 8, 2016
— Black Larry King (@BlackLarryKing) February 8, 2016
— Spectre ✘ (@SpectreReturns) February 8, 2016
As the game progressed, Tweets criticizing Newton’s playing began to pile up, (much like the Broncos defense on him — sorry, I had to). They were mostly from Panthers fans who were growing more and more dismayed at the direction the game was taking. Some Tweeters had noted even during the first half that Newton seemed tired, off his game. And that did seem to be the case. The last turnover — a fumble that Newton appeared to try to avoid rather than fall on — was the final straw. When it was evident that the Panthers were going to come out on the losing end of the battle, Newton seemed to grow morose and “sulky.” He was called out on it by fans of both teams:
— Wolfe (@Wolph6) February 8, 2016
— R Marin (@duranmarin) February 8, 2016
— Candy Cottage (@Foxtippy1) February 8, 2016
— Makailynn LaGarone (@makailynn712) February 8, 2016
That last fumble had some folks thinking conspiracy. Many accused Newton of throwing the game. Seriously? Who would think that a multi-millionaire athlete with an ego as big as Newton’s would take money to lose the biggest game of his career?
— Jeff Harbeson (@thefuneralcmdr) February 8, 2016
— thatdude02 (@Greg6324) February 8, 2016
This informal poll gives you an idea of how many actually believe this was possible (vote to see the numbers):
— Dyani Buttahfly (@buttahflydream) February 8, 2016
But the weirdest Tweet of the day came from @TheFlatEarther (who blocked me after I asked him what the heck he was talking about). So, silly me, I didn’t get a screen capture. You can probably see the Tweet if you search for him. Be warned, though; the Tweet accused Newton of throwing the game to please the Illuminati. I told you it was weird. Oddly, someone anticipated this sort of strangeness:
— Mike Lopez (@Pyroradiomike) February 8, 2016
Newton drew even more criticism after this post-game press conference:
"I don’t know what you want me to say, I’m sorry." – A dejected Cam Newton walks off the podium abruptly. #SB50
— NFL (@NFL) February 8, 2016
The best advice sent Newton’s way was this, which was stated in many ways by many people from among both teams’ fans:
— Coach Villasenor (@winnthedaymavs) February 8, 2016
Cam Newton came into this game with a lot of baggage. His words and actions leading up to it were those of a quarterback untested on such a large stage. No doubt he is jousting with humility tonight.
Here’s the pregame interview with James Brown:
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons