This year was a revelation for Cam Newton. Behind his 1000-watt smile, giving game balls to kids and dabbing in the end zone, he became the face of the NFL. Many called him polarizing, but there was no doubt he would become the face of the league if he wanted it.
Maybe just as important, his antics/attitude this year helped everyone forget about the Cam Newton of last year, it was that Cam we saw postgame after the loss in Super Bowl 50.
Perhaps the best example of how the NFL memory is constantly wiped clean week-to-week, no one said anything about the Cam Newton who would pout at the podium after every Carolina loss. His attitude then made him look childish, immature and unworthy of being the face of the NFL. Heck, around the league we were contemplating hoisting Colin Kaepernick up there to represent the shield, what we were thinking, I have no clue.
But Carolina went 15-1 this year, therefore Newton never had the opportunity to parade his sadness and negativity for us to see. Therefore everyone was ready to crown him king of the league leading up to Sunday, and he pissed that opportunity down the drain.
Next year, the most important thing for Cam Newton will be to prove he is not the poor loser he has shown himself to be. The fun loving oversized child schtick was fun this year, and the league needs more of that. However Cam needs to show that he doesn't take himself too seriously, those type of guys don't sell much greek yogurt.
Sorry America, Cam Newton isn't who we thought he was. Or maybe he confirmed who we thought he was. For now I guess we'll have to settle for Russell Wilson as face of the league.
Way too early predictions for 2016 season
First, lets get the Seahawks out of the way. Many who follow the league are predicting that Russell Wilson and co. again will be Super Bowl contenders, however I tend to not agree.
For starters, their offensive line which was already horrendous, will be deprived of one if not two of their top talents next year. Left tackle Russell Okung is most likely gone, and JR Sweezy could just as likely waltz out of town in free agency as well.
Though more notably, we saw this year that no one is scared of them anymore. For the two years previous, no one could match their physical style and when the games were at Century Link Field, just put the W next to the Seahawks name. Now though the tables have turned, not only are teams not intimidated by their physicality, coming to Seattle is just like any other road game for opposing teams now.
The first thing the Hawks must do if they want to get back to the Super Bowl next season is reestablish the feat and intimidation factor. They have the necessary skill, but those other two things will seal the deal.