Here’s Why Cam Newton Bailed on His Post-Super Bowl Press Conference

And why it doesn’t bother us.

Ask most sports fans why they think Cam Newton walked out of his post-Super Bowl press conference like a angry toddler and they’ll probably tell you it’s because he’s a sore loser. They’re right. 

“I’ve been on record to say I’m a sore loser,” Newton said in Charlotte on Tuesday. “Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I’m going to show you a loser.”

That quote’s sure to draw the ire of the same people who thought his 28-second press conference was some kind of war crime. If you’re one of those people, here’s something you should know: Newton was quoting Vince Lombardi. Yes, the “petulant child” and the Midwest’s patron saint of pigskin are on the same page when it comes to how one should behave after a loss.

That won’t stop the same people who chided Newton Sunday night from doing it again. But you won’t find any of that here. When the league’s best player loses the season’s biggest game, in part because of mistakes he made, it seems illogical to expect graciousness. 

Yes, superstars often lose and handle it in the commonly accepted manner—gamely answering meaningless questions with a bunch of cliches. Newton refused to do that. Instead he gave us real human emotion, something we so rarely see in athletes. He was disappointed, upset and unwilling to entertain nonsense questions like, “Do we sometimes forget that defenses can still take apart offenses in this game?”

Two days later, he’s making no apologies for it. If you already didn’t like Newton, this won’t help. But if you’re entertained by his exuberance when times are good, it’s hard to be mad at his dejection now that they’re not.