Cam Newton could learn a lot from a comic book.
In Superman: Exile from DC Comics, Superman feels regret over some of the questionable decisions he has made and in response banishes himself from earth, entering a self-imposed exile wandering the universe.
It's time for Cam Newton to do the same and exile his "Superman" touchdown celebration to football outer darkness.
Uplifting When Cam Celebrates…
There is a big difference between celebrating and strutting.
I am a complete supporter of genuine, spontaneous celebration coming from Cam, but the strutting Superman move rubs me the wrong way.
I attended the Christmas Eve 2011 game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte, a game the Panthers won 48-16 and Newton was absolutely spectacular. After a Panthers' touchdown Cam ran along the back of the end zone, visibly smiling behind his facemask and pointing to the crowd as he made his way back to the sideline.
Cam's joy was genuine and thousands of us sitting behind the end zone cheered him and pointed right back at him. As weird as this might sound, as Newton and I pointed at each other I felt like I had a little moment with Cam. I bet thousands of us in attendance felt that way. I took a picture as he ran past my section, smiling and pointing, and I still have that photo hanging on my office wall.
It was uplifting to see Cam celebrate. Truly, genuinely, spontaneously celebrate.
I would love to see more celebration from Cam, but the predictable, strutting Superman has got to go.
…Embarrassing When Cam Struts
It is embarrassing as a Panthers fan to watch a strutting Cam Newton do the Superman celebration these days.
The Superman is a "me-first" move that never makes the young quarterback look good, especially when he pulls it at the wrong time in the wrong games.
Newton was lampooned in a Charlotte Observer cartoon for pulling the Superman during the Panthers' embarrassing 36-7 Week 3 home loss to the New York Giants.
Cam pulled the Superman on the road during the Panthers' Week 12 30-22 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, a banged-up disappointment of a team with a below-average defense. The move looked arrogant and disrespectful coming from the quarterback of a team that entered the game having lost seven of its last eight contests.
The arrogance and disrespectful nature of the Superman is not lost on Cam's opponents, either. The Denver Broncos mocked Cam's signature move during their 36-14 Week 10 drubbing of the Panthers by pulling the Superman once after a pick-six and another time after a Von Miller sack.
No Joy in Mudville, er, Carolina
Another reason the Superman makes Cam look so bad is that he really has no reason to strut. His individual play and the Panthers' terrible record under his leadership are nothing to gloat about.
During last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign, Newton was superb in the first half of the season. But he cooled off in the second half and has been a below-average passer since. Through Week 12 this year Cam's 255 passing yards per game ranks 16th in the NFL. His 11 touchdown passes tie him for 26th. His QB Rating of 82.9 is tied for 22nd among NFL quarterbacks.
True, Newon's ability to run is a major weapon, but from a pure passing standpoint he has been a below-average quarterback this year.
But the real reason for Cam to stop the strutting is Carolina's dismal record.
In two years with Cam Newton running the offense the Panthers have been among the league's worst teams with a sad 9-18 record. Even after their Week 12 win against the Eagles, the Panthers are ranked 28th of 32 NFL teams in this week's Shutdown Corner Power Rankings.
There have been very few positives for the Panthers this year, but this has not stopped Cam from strutting with his me-first Superman move.
Hopefully Cam will pick up a comic book sometime soon and get the message: It's time to exile Superman.
When he does Carolina fans will finally have something to celebrate this year.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check out these articles: