Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Cam Newton's teammate, center Ryan Kalil, had just finished telling reporters, "We didn't keep our composure" when the quarterback slouched in to the media area.
There was no poofball hat, no Louboutin loafers, no dabbing, no megawatt grin. Just a hoodie pulled high and a chin slung low. He was still in his sod-besotted game pants.
The regular-season MVP sat down, sighed, looked down, and then mumbled a few short answers to unassuming questions. A microphone was adjusted, pulled closer to his face, but Newton sat back in his chair. He peered out from under his hoodie as he spoke, his shoulders slumped and his words barely audible. Superman had morphed into the Incredible Sulk.
He was asked whether head coach Ron Rivera said anything in the locker room.
"He said a lot of things," Newton droned.
He was asked if Denver did anything special to take away his running lanes.
He was asked if he could put his disappointment into words.
Finally he was asked about how difficult this defeat was for his team.
He stood up and left.
There was no answer to Denver, not for Shula or Olsen or Kalil.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. — They've got a foxtail inventory issue in Atlanta.
"We can't keep 'em in the store," says Domenick Towns, manager at Exclusive Game Style House.
The foxtail sales escalated quickly after Cam Newton, who shops there often, wore one to a postgame press conference during the regular season. He's followed that with a poofball hat and zebra pants in the postseason. The pants, which he wore on his flight to the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50, sold out quickly despite a $850 price tag.
Newton is already a big name in football, but fashion experts say he might become one in the style world as well. And not just because a North Carolina city is giving out awards for the best "Cam Pants" at a Panthers rally.
"Designers definitely love him, trust me," says Yahoo Style editor-in-chief Joe Zee.
Eric Adelson at Shutdown Corner 7 days ago
SAN JOSE, Calif – Wade Phillips prepared for the 2011 NFL draft in hopes of getting an outside linebacker.
Von Miller was there, and the then-Houston Texans defensive coordinator realized the Texas A&M star wouldn't fall to Houston at No. 11. But then there was Aldon Smith out of Missouri. Draft day came and Smith went in the top 10 as well.
Phillips figured he could move Mario Williams over and grab a player out of Wisconsin. The Texans made a controversial pick: J.J. Watt.
Nearly five years later, that top 11 is remarkable in terms of the NFL talent it produced. Cam Newton went first overall, and is the MVP frontrunner on the eve of his first Super Bowl appearance with the Carolina Panthers. Miller is his foe in the game, his second Super Bowl (he was sidelined in Denver's last title game appearance, a loss to the Seattle Seahawks).
The next five picks all became Pro Bowlers: Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, and Smith. Tyron Smith went ninth to Dallas and Watt went two picks later.
There's more: six other Pro Bowlers went in that first round – Robert Quinn, Mike Pouncey, Ryan Kerrigan, Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram and Muhammad Wilkerson.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The sting that netted Denver Broncos practice player Ryan Murphy was one of many over the past several weeks.
Murphy was detained near a Motel 6 here on Tuesday as part of an ongoing attempt to crack down on prostitution by a human trafficking task force that has been ramping up its efforts for months.
"He was in the area or somehow involved," Sergeant James Jensen of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. "We detained him and during our investigation we found he was not involved in any criminal activity and released him at the scene."
Others were cited, including Murphy's brother. Murphy, in town for Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, was sent home from the Bay Area by Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, even though he wasn't arrested or charged. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera used it as a teaching moment for his team, only hours after former Falcons safety Eugene Robinson addressed Carolina players about his solicitation of an undercover police officer before Super Bowl XXIII in 1999.
"We look at this as a human aspect, not a criminal aspect," Jensen says. "We try to be victim's advocates."
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Fans who walked into Stanford Stadium for Super Bowl XIX found a gift waiting for them: a seat cushion to soften the hours they were about to spend sitting on benches. On one side of the cushion was a logo of a local tech company. It was multicolored and shaped like an apple with a bite taken out of it.
It was 1985, and this was long before Apple became a part of everyday life in America. It was before Silicon Valley became a mainstream term and a seat of the Internet revolution. And yet just as technology was about to transform the way we live, this Super Bowl brought a harbinger of change in the nation's biggest sporting event.
Super Bowl XIX, between the San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins, was the last NFL championship played on a college campus. There were no metal detectors, no luxury suites, no celebrity halftime performers. Many tickets were in the $60 range, with prices closer to $100 that got people talking about exorbitance.
"It was a really neat atmosphere," Doyle says, "to have a worldwide event coming to the Bay Area."
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – It's been 12 years since the Carolina Panthers last played in the Super Bowl, and in a very real sense, their loss in that postseason was far overshadowed by a lasting triumph.
For it was during that run to Houston that linebackers coach Sam Mills gave a speech to the team that transformed the franchise and, to some extent, the entire region.
Mills was an undersized player, counted out from the beginning of his career, a reclamation project from the old USFL after taking a job as a high school teacher in New Jersey. The fact that he became a five-time Pro Bowler, including once with the Panthers at age 37, was enough of a tribute to his heart. But after being diagnosed with intestinal cancer, Mills gave a speech as a position coach that still rings throughout the Carolinas today.
Ricky Proehl, who was on the team then and coaches wide receivers now, still gets emotional when he speaks of that moment.
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Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – America loves a greatest-ever debate. Especially around the time of major championships, current teams are stacked up against history, often favorably. It's almost a default discussion when rings are on the line.
Shouldn't the Carolina Panthers be triggering this kind of talk?
"Best Team Ever" status usually goes to the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the 1985 Chicago Bears or the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, all one-loss or fewer Super Bowl teams. If the Panthers win Sunday – especially if they win decidedly – why not them?
There are several reasons for the relative apathy about this team. The first is the tried and true, "They haven't beaten anybody" argument. Carolina comes from a weak division and won only seven regular-season games in the 2014 season, so its schedule was relatively light in 2015.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Josh Norman didn't want to hear about Odell Beckham Jr. Didn't want to say his name. Didn't want to understand Deion Sanders' reasoning, either.
"That guy," as the Carolina Panthers cornerback labeled the star New York Giants wide receiver, appears to be just as unwelcome on Norman Island as he was when the two came to a near-brawl in their matchup in December.
This is more than just the continuation of a drama. This is a good sign for the Panthers.
Carolina was a freight train all season, blitzing through its schedule unblemished, except for one game: at Atlanta the week after things got testy between Norman and Beckham in New Jersey. The team won't take any credit away from a division rival, but things weren't quite right on that Sunday in the Georgia Dome, and Norman wasn't quite right, either. Falcons receiver Julio Jones had 178 yards in that game, and Roddy White had 67.
"Man, what you think we got going on," he told Sanders at one point.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago
Cam Newton does not care what detractors say about him.
He doesn't care if they think he's flamboyant, arrogant or an attention-hound.
"I'm an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people," he told reporters Wednesday, "because they haven't seen nothing that they can compare me to." That's a significant statement in a cultural sense because Newton showed no fear in addressing the race issue.
"Athletic pioneers, especially those in leadership positions, were always expected to put their/our best face forward," says Louis Moore, associate professor at Grand Valley State (Mich.) who specializes in African-American and sports history. "As a leader, Cam has been one of the few to have the chance to express who he is on his own terms."
And he has a head coach who is just as unafraid as his quarterback and his team.
Rivera is literally letting them play.
"It may be a surprise to so many people," he said, "but that's how I envisioned it in the dream."
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago
"How many have won a championship?" he asked.
He paused for a moment, then asked …
"How many have wanted to do something special?"
He paused again before stating …
"Well, we have 30 minutes to do it."
A short time later, Newton delivered the signature play of his career, a designed run in which he rolled to his right, then slammed the throttle down and vaulted head-over-heels into the end zone.
"When Cam scored that touchdown," tight end Ed Dickson said, "we finished it."
But lost in that discussion will be how many people he has drawn to his side. Those who wish Newton to fail will find like-minded skeptics. Yet this story of his success is how a young, rich and wildly talented superstar has wooed so many followers.
On Sunday he emerged before the game with Future and Jeezy, one giant arm around each celebrity. Michael Jordan showed up in the press box 20 minutes before the game, almost unnoticed as he went to his luxury suite to watch his friend. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was here last week, becoming a mentee to Newton. Braylon Beam has been here every week, the 6-year-old "honorary coach" who is battling cancer.