Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 15 hrs ago
Cam Newton doesn't care if you think he was moody and sullen after the Super Bowl. And if you were expecting him to apologize for his actions, think again.
Speaking for the first time since Sunday, Newton didn't apologize, didn't clarify, didn't backtrack on his brief, pouting media conference. Instead, he doubled down on his belief in himself. Here's a roundup of writeups from reporters at the Panthers' exit interviews at Bank of America Stadium:
Cam Newton making no apologies for postgame press conference. "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser."
Cam Newton: "If I offended anyone, that's cool." But said he would not conform for anyone.
Cam: I don't have no more tears to cry
Cam: "I don't have to conform to what anybody wants. I am my own person."
Cam: I'm on record as being a sore loser. I hate losing. You show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser
Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 15 hrs ago
The Carolina Panthers returned to Charlotte without a Lombardi Trophy, but plenty of fans were there to welcome the team regardless. An estimated 1,000 fans met the team's plane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and hundreds more met the team at Bank of America Stadium.
It was a nice gesture, and well deserved for a brilliant team. Here's the issue: remember that as of Sunday afternoon, people were talking of Carolina as being one of the greatest NFL teams of all time. All it needed to do was beat up on a presumably fragile Denver and the Panthers would punch their ticket alongside the legendary Bears, 49ers, Cowboys, Steelers and Patriots teams of the past.
That's why the fans' turnout was so welcome for the team, and so necessary. Not many teams win 17 games in a season; the Panthers deserve all the respect they get.
Podcast: Super Bowl recap: Dominating Denver defense, Cam sulks:
Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 17 hrs ago
Cam Newton didn't make any new friends with his sullen news conference after his Super Bowl loss, but Peyton Manning indicated that the Newton onstage bore little resemblance to the Newton he met at midfield just after the end of the game.
"Cam couldn't have been nicer to me," Manning said on "The Today Show."
"He was extremely humble. He congratulated me, wished me the best. I told him just congratulations on his outstanding season and just what a great future he has ahead of him."
Podcast: Super Bowl wrapup: Denver's masterful defense, Cam's pouting:
Jay Busbee at Fourth-Place Medal 1 day ago
With fewer than six months remaining until the start of the Rio Olympic Games, a new threat has emerged to the Games' stability: the Zika virus.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has told the organizing bodies of various American sports that if athletes or support staff are concerned about the Zika virus, they should consider not traveling to Rio for the August Games, according to a new Reuters report. The USOC delivered the message to various sports federations in a late-January conference call.
"One of the things that they immediately said was, especially for women that may be pregnant or even thinking of getting pregnant, that whether you are scheduled to go to Rio or no, that you shouldn't go," said Donald Anthony, an Olympian and the head of U.S. Fencing. "And no one should go if they feel at all as though that that threat could impact them."
Moments after the Super Bowl ended, Cam Newton suffered through a disastrous press conference of his own making, keeping every answer short and not sticking around very long. That didn't sit very well with some NFL elders discussing the issue on NFL Network afterward.
"You are the face of our brand right now, you can't do that," Deion Sanders said after the game. "I understand the emotions of losing, but you can't do that. A Manning, a Brady ... all these guys who are a prototypical type of quarterback in our game, they're not going to do that ever. Would Drew Brees ever?"
"You're opening yourself for more criticism," he said. Because everybody is going to say you're dabbing and smiling and smiling and styling. So this is how you go out when you lose?"
Marshall Faulk, who knows the pain of losing a Super Bowl, tried to put Newton's sour attitude in perspective and staged a nice debate with Sanders that made for good television.
But a Super Bowl ring will cure a lot of back-end bruises, and wipe out the memory of a game where Talib had three penalties in quick succession that could have taken him out of the game. But Talib and the Broncos won, so everybody's grinning.
Of course, it's worth noting that someone else nearly fell at the Super Bowl, but caught herself:
Aqib, you're no Beyonce, sir. But that's OK.
Every season comes down to a single play, a single moment which could be the difference between defeat and victory. Sometimes it's obvious, like a missed kick, and sometimes it's hidden in the chaos of a fumbling ball.
The scene: 4:04 left in the Super Bowl. Panthers down 16-10 but with a chance to win. The Broncos defense had been fearsome, but the faltering Denver offense, which hadn't yet scored an offensive touchdown, had kept Carolina in the game. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton took the snap, dropped back, and was almost immediately swallowed up by Denver's Von Miller. The ball hit the ground, and ...
... Newton froze.
He didn't dive on the ball. He didn't make a play for it. He let it totter away at his feet:
Denver recovered the ball on the Carolina 9, and four plays (and one poorly-timed Josh Norman penalty) later, the Broncos were up 22-10 and the game was effectively over. Twitter was merciless in its opinion of Newton's actions in that moment:
Panther fans everywhere : why didn't u dive for the ball ? cam : pic.twitter.com/45Jyqzn9so
It's a reasonable enough question: where, in fact, does the President of the United States watch the Super Bowl? But when CBS's Gayle King, interviewing the Obamas just before Super Bowl 50, inquired about the White House's many TV-watching venues, the First Lady of the United States offered up an interesting tidbit:
"There's the, what I call, the Champagne Room," Michelle Obama said. "It's where my mother sits."
Yes! The White House has a Champagne Room! How sweet is that, huh? At the end of their combined interview, Michelle Obama left the president to continue, while she retired to a more comfortable locale:
"You guys can talk," Michelle Obama said. "I'm going up to the Champagne Room."
Let's get one last look at the president's reaction, shall we?
SAN FRANCISCO—The signs are still there, directing you to parking lots for a stadium that no longer exists. Bayview Hill is still there, looming over Candlestick Point. And the wind—oh yes, the wind is still there, whipping off San Francisco Bay in unpredictable and relentless directions.
What’s gone are the curving modernist wedges of concrete, the rickety escalators, the battered field that defined Candlestick Park. It was never the prettiest stadium, it was never the most beloved; even its most ardent defenders barely tolerated it. But as caravans of football fans head south on the 101 from San Francisco to Santa Clara, it’s hard not to glance over at the now-empty space at Candlestick Point and feel a twinge of … something.
“It was tough to get into, tough to get out of, and miserable while you were there,” longtime San Francisco sports columnist Ray Ratto said. “It was a constant endurance test. The fans who put up with that upholstered toilet were raising a middle finger to everyone who couldn’t handle it.”
And yet, and yet … every other stadium with such an iconic history has had armies of defenders. Candlestick had … survivors, is probably the best way to put it.
Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago
SAN FRANCISCO—A mile and a half into San Francisco Bay from the teeming souvenir-seeking hordes of Super Bowl City sits Alcatraz, the legendary now-shuttered prison. More fearsome than a Denver secondary, more confining than the gridlocked traffic around San Francisco, about as enjoyable as an open-letter writer complaining about Cam Newton, Alcatraz’s very name conjures up images of somber, terrifying imprisonment.
Over the course of its 30 years as a federal prison, from 1933 to 1963, thousands of prisoners passed through its somber halls. Only 36 tried to escape, and only two—maybe—pulled it off. You’ve got to be tough to get sent to Alcatraz, and you’ve got to be even tougher to try escaping. So we figured, why not check with some of the toughest guys in the NFL and see how they’d escape from one of the world’s most notorious prisons.
“I’d probably have to do some rewatching of The Rock , see how that went down,” said Owen Daniels, Denver tight end, one of many players to reference a prison-break movie. “I know I’m not swimming through those waters. Maybe I need a little submersible.”