I hate it when you tell yourself to not do something so much out of worry that you end up doing it by accident.

Alright, it’s time for one more lengthy thinkpiece about Cam Newton because the internet doesn’t have enough of those. Brace yourselves, it’s preachy Dave time. Everyone’s got thoughts about Cam Newton, so I might as well get mine out now.

I’ve been a big defender of Cam his whole pro career. I hated him in college. I thought he’d bust out hard, but he won me over pretty quick by actually being awesome and by actually seeming to be a pretty good person overall. He definitely doesn’t deserve to be judged as a bad person because he stole a laptop at Florida. We all did stupid shit in college and he was justly punished for it. At least he didn’t probably rape anyone like a certain other #1 pick. This season Cam fever hit peak hype, and this was pretty much the season of Cam. Because of his play but more because of his personality, Cam has quickly become the most controversial figure in the sport. You either love him to death and defend everything he does or you hate him so much you’ll write letters to the editor because he danced after scoring a TD. I, and probably most other young fans, have been the former. I think if you are over 40 you are contractually obligated to be the latter. There is no middle ground with Cam. He’s either the coolest dude ever or a disgusting repulsive selfish man-baby. Pretty much how the internet just works now. Pick a side, everyone on the other side is evil and stupid and wrong.

After a season of white knighting him, even to family members at thankgiving (a fight I should have known was pointless), these past few days have made me sit back a bit, because frankly I don’t particularly like how he walked out, even if I understand why he did. I think it was immature of him to walk out, no matter how bad he must have felt. If other players can deal with it, so can he. Just because he wears his emotions on his sleeve doesn’t mean we should just absolve him of anything immature he does just because we can empathize with his situation.

The fact is, like with most internet argument topics, the correct answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Cam is a passionate person. He seems like a quality guy. He gives back to children. He does a ton for the community. He’s by all accounts a great teammate and he was gracious and humble on the field after the game, just to the Broncos instead of the media. He’s extremely talented, deserves his success, and the fact that he dances when he scores should be celebrated because the NFL could use more fun instead of making everyone a stupid robot. But you know what? I think he is also kind of arrogant. I think he does have a rather large ego. I think he is a little immature. But I don’t let this define my opinion on Cam. I don’t mind that he’s arrogant or a little immature, because he’s fun to watch. Honestly, I think the people who hate him actually want him around just as much as I do. Having someone to hate is just as vital to the sport as having someone to love. I’ve touched on this before with Dez Bryant.  I’ll admit, I enjoyed watching RG3 falter because I couldn’t stand his personality and arrogance in the same way many people can’t stand Cam’s. But looking at RG3 objectively, he’s probably not a bad dude.

So I’m kind of done with Cam Newton arguments. I think the people who hate him simply value different things in their football players. Things I don’t agree should be as highly valued, but it’s just a difference in preference. The people who don’t like Cam aren’t evil and stupid or racist. I think some of the hate he gets is a little racially motivated, but it’s probably not nearly as much as some would have us believe. I genuinely think most of the people who hate him just don’t want their QBs to act like that. I think caring how an entertainer acts is kind of silly, but to each his own. If you hate Cam Newton, I strongly disagree with you, but from now on I’m going to try and respectfully disagree instead of calling you an idiot.

I still love him. I still think he is an incredible player to watch, and I think a lot of the utter hate he gets for enjoying the sport is ridiculous. But I think he’s also kind of arrogant and could stand to use a little humbling like this game should provide.

Now, onto something more relevant: his day after press conferences. I think he handled himself quite well actually, and he brought up some great points in his own defense. I think his sore loser comment is getting completely taken out of context in many cases. He “admitted” to being a sore loser but only in the context of a bigger point that no one likes to lose. A point I strongly agree with. Some people just show it differently.

The more interesting comment he made was probably the worst thing he could have said to squelch his detractors who find him selfish. When asked why he didn’t seem to go for the ball on the critical fumble late in the 4th that effectively cost Carolina their last good chance to win the game, he claimed it was because he didn’t want to get injured. That was probably the worst answer he could have possibly given if he wanted to quiet people who think he’s too “me-first”. Anything would have been better than that, like “I tried to anticipate the bounce and messed up” or “I’m honestly not sure, it happened so fast”. As expected, this answer has justified to many people that he is indeed selfish and full of himself. Especially since he had a teammate playing with a literal broken arm and he wouldn’t risk a possible injury trying to get a football.

But I think everyone is looking at that comment from the wrong perspective. I think that comment is incredibly interesting, especially if it is his honest answer, because I think it goes to show you not that he’s selfish, but how badly the Broncos had broken him by that point. before we call Cam a selfish pussy for not jumping on a ball for risk of injury, I’d like to remind everyone he is no stranger to contact. He’s not as reckless as RG3 or Vick, but he’s not shy about getting hit. I’d also like to remind everyone that he literally played a 4th of last season with a broken back after a car wreckHe led the Panthers to the playoffs with cracked vertebrae. He could have sat out the rest of the year and I doubt people would have blamed him for it. But he didn’t. Cam Newton is tough and anyone who thinks otherwise is…well I respectfully disagree with them is what I’m saying. But if that guy, who once played with a broken back, was too afraid to jump on a critical late game fumble to save his last chance at a Super Bowl win because he was suddenly worried for his health? The Broncos did more damage to Cam’s psyche that game then any of us could have predicted. The Broncos broke him. They shattered his confidence so badly that a usually fearless leader had essentially given up when he was still only down by 6 points in his biggest game.

Okay now that’s enough about Cam let’s get into the offseason.