Few things are as ugly as witnessing someone who is at the zenith of their profession, who can do no wrong, all of a sudden do everything wrong, and make that precipitous fall off the mountain top. (Well, Flava Flav, zombies, and the Cleveland Browns roster are all pretty ugly, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The world has partaken in the viewing of many celebrity self-destructions, many of whom have done it to themselves. Former Boston Celtics forward Antoine Walker, who grossed over $100 million during his playing career, filed for bankruptcy in 2015. He did it to himself. So did Allen Iverson, Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, 50 Cent, Mark Mcgwire, Sammy Sosa, Enron, MC Hammer and so on, and so on, and so on. We are witnessing Harvey Weinstein’s self-destruction right now. The same goes for Cam Newton.
On Wednesday, he walked out of a press conference after being asked about the Carolina Panthers’ offense big play ability. This comes a week after he skipped out on two media sessions over the course of the week, and two weeks after the “sexist” comments to a female reporter. Things aren’t better for him on the field. His quarterback play reeks of inconsistency, and his body language on the field is that of a seven-year-old who doesn’t want to eat their veggies.
Typically, every celebrity’s downfall can be traced back to one specific event. Many times, the event does not appear to be a big deal at the time, but with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, these happenings stand out when later examined. 50 Cent’s first moment of self-destruction was in 2007, when he and Kanye West released albums on the same day in a battle of who can sell the most records. Kanye’s Graduation beat out Fiddy’s Curtis, and the downward spiral began. His next album (ironically titled Before I Self-Destruct) was complete flop, then his nemesis Rick Ross achieved great fame and adulation, then bankruptcy happened, and now he is a mere shell of his former self.
The first big crack in the Superman armor of Cam Newton was February 7, 2016, the night of Super Bowl 50. After the 24-10 loss to Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos, Cam Newton walked out of the post-game press conference, pouting like a...seven-year-old who doesn’t want to eat their veggies. In the days after, some critics (and message board nerds drinking Monster all day) threw a laundry list of demeaning phrases at him, including sore loser, cry baby, and a “whiny ass punk”. When training camp rolled around later that year, however, the Panthers were still one of the favorites to win their conference, and, likewise, many thought Cam had finally turned the corner and become the elite quarterback many expected him to be. None of that happened. Instead, The former MVP proceeded to have his lowest completion percentage and QBR of his career (52.9%, 53.1, respectively), en route to leading his Panthers to a 6-10 campaign.
Newton has since undergone shoulder surgery, which he may not be fully recovered from yet. Injury aside, NFL teams have figured out how to play Newton: beat him up. As the hits pile up, and frustration mounts, we are likely to see more meltdowns as time wears on.
Not-so-Super Cam walking out of another press conference, may not seem like a big deal, right now. Some fans would, lazily, say it’s just “Cam being Cam”. That was just another ugly sign of the former MVP self-destructing in front of us. And it will only get uglier from here.