Commentary: Hating Cam Newton seems odd for Seahawk Fans

paulb

1/24/16

Super Bowl 50’s line-up has been set and it’s both #1 seeds as Denver and Carolina who oddly were both favored but many if not most “experts” picked the losers in New England and Arizona. I get the picks for New England simply because Peyton Manning looked like he was done after barely beating Pittsburgh who had what 1 healthy starter on offense? Meantime, this incredulous love affair with the media and Arizona Head Coach Bruce Arians, in my view one of the most over-rated Head Coaches in the League where he sports a 1-2 Post Season record as a Head Coach.

Maybe the over-love of Arians is a direct result of the hatred toward Seattle outside of the Pacific NW and the desire for the Seahawk success to be over as soon as they can make it happen. I don’t believe this is a PNW homer whining about how we are constantly overlooked or ignored but how else do you explain that Pete Carroll or John Schneider have never been close to winning a Coach of the Year or Executive of the Year award during this incredible run.

That being said I have to say I have been  surprised by the hatred toward Cam Newton especially from Seahawk fans. Now I get why you may not want to root for him or are a bit put-off by his celebrating on the field but the awful, sheer hateful things being said about Newton I was not only surprised but curious as to why many of my Seahawk friends were actually going to root for Arizona because of their disdain for Newton.

Not me, rule number 1, (there are exceptions) but I would rather have the team I lost to take the whole thing than to lose  to another team especially a division rival. I will never root for Arizona, San Francisco or the Rams to win it all unless they are playing New England or Pittsburgh, that’s where the exception kicks in.

I am already hearing many Hawks fans are lining up on the Bronco’s side because of Peyton Manning and how he is such a nice man and does so much for his community. I ask why and it’s I just hate Cam Newton, he is so arrogant, classless and selfish.

Again, (raised eyebrow in contemplation) where is this coming from? Are these the same fans that have spent the past few years defending Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch? Oh, Richard is just being Richard or Marshawn is shy, yah right. Then they defend them because of their foundations that raise tons of money and the time each of them puts into their home communities and in the Seattle area.

So back to Cam Newton and why the hatred. Is it because he smiles and truly is having fun? Is it because he has never been arrested or because he has never been accused of taking performance enhancing drugs? Is it because he hasn’t beat a woman or been found taking illegal drugs? Is it because he was doing what Russell Wilson is doing before Russell? No I am told its because he makes a 1st down motion when he gets a 1st down and because he pretends to rip his shirt like Superman when he scores a touchdown and does a little dance. Of course he does that just prior to finding a kid in the stands and giving the kid the football. The NFL normally fines players for giving away or throwing footballs into the crowd, they have since stopped fining Cam because he gives them to kids every single time.

He has never screamed into a microphone calling out another player as sorry. Before their game with Seattle last week you could see him go over and shake hands with several Hawks. Now the big controversy from Sarah who wrote a letter calling him classless for grabbing a 12th man flag when someone dropped it down in his face while he was circling his HOME Stadium and tossed it to the ground. “Sarah” went off on Newton claiming the 12th man is a community and were the real winners and hoped God would show him how to win with class.

So if Newton was classless for tossing an opposing teams flag to the ground after having it dropped down in his face what do you call screaming in a National post season interview calling out a player from the other team as a “sorry” player? What do you call a high profile running back grabbing his crotch and falling into the endzone, not once but twice? Oh that’s right, just Richard being Richard and Marshawn being “shy” certainly not classless though, right?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love rooting for the Hawks and I like the fact that Sherman, Lynch and many others give the proverbial middle finger to the rest of the NFL. (some cases not proverbial!)

Newton also does a ton off the field just like Sherman and Lynch beginning with his foundation that caters to kids supporting educational and athletic programs and outreach programs assisting those kids in need. He surprised a bunch of kids who did well on their grades just prior to Christmas with a $200 shopping spree for each kid and of course he was there to do it. He befriended a young boy suffering from cancer who has since passed away. He surprised 10-year-old Elijah on Halloween stopping in with an Ice Cream truck at the boys party with all his friends. Since his death Newton remains close to the family and has started an Elijah bracelet campaign raising money for Cancer research.

He has done a lot more and is very hands on with his community activities and is extremely generous. I know there are many more who do such things but Newton is a bit different, he tries to do many of these activities without press coverage. This reminds me of a story a fellow reporter once told me about Ken Griffey Jr who would make many visits to Children’s Hospital in Seattle. He would show up with a huge bag of toys on a regular basis and visit with the kids but would do it under one condition…no press. He did not want his visits turned into a news story.

It is hard to guess how many times he has hand-written a letter or stopped in to visit kids suffering. I do not write this to show what an angel Cam Newton is as I said there are many pro athletes that are extremely generous with their time and money. But I write this to put in prospective of disliking someone because they wear a different uniform and downright hating them for simply entertaining their home crowd with their on-field persona. If we simply took their on-field persona or dare I say the character they play on the field for whom they really are well then would anyone including Hawks fans like Richard Sherman?

We know the on-field Richard is not who he is. We know Richard is a Stanford grad, exceptionally bright and a fierce competitor but we also know he is humble, generous and giving. For everytime you defended him or Lynch because some ignorant fan mistook their on-field persona as their true character as a Seahawk fan the last thing you should  want is to be is that ignorant fan doing the same to someone else.

If you dislike Cam Newton that’s fine but I will never understand hating him and hurling insults like classless and selfish at this man, his record does not justify such harsh criticism. If a man who smiles, truly enjoys his profession is philanthropic with his money and time, is a positive role model for kids but may ham it up for the fans is someone you can find a reason to hate, then I truly feel sorry for you.

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