NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 2:11 PM
Cam Newton isn’t apologizing for his play during the Super Bowl, or for his performance after it.
The Panthers quarterback, who responded to postgame questions with a series of one-word answers and blank stares, addressed the issue Tuesday by effectively saying, Sorry, not sorry.
“I’ve been on record to say I’m a sore loser,” he said in Charlotte. “Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”
While many piled on Newton for his sulking in the postgame press conference, the narrative flipped Monday afternoon, with defenders pointing out that Broncos cornerback Chris Harris could be heard discussing the Denver gameplan in the background while Newton spoke to reporters.
“Load the box, force ya’ll to throw the ball,” Harris could be heard saying. “Can you throw the football? That was the gameplan.”
While Harris’ interview boomed in the background, Newton could be seen shaking his head before getting up and leaving. Even Harris said on Tuesday that the close quarters made for a bad setup.
“If I offended anybody that’s cool, but I know who I am and I’m not about to conform nor bend for anybody’s expectations because yours or anybody’s expectations would never exceed mine,” Newton, the league MVP, said Tuesday, which was reportedly the first time in his career that he’s addressed the media at season’s end.
Newton went on to say that his postgame performance is “being blown out of proportion” by the media.
“Who are you to say that your way is right? I have all of these people who are condemning and saying this that and the third but what makes your way right,” he asked the reporters at his locker.
While Newton said that he had no regrets about the way he handled himself, his own coach admitted that he would have liked to see his quarterback handle himself with a little more grace.
“There are a lot of young people out there looking at who we and we are role models for them and I think again we know who he is and he does take it hard,” Ron Rivera said. “Quite honestly if he is going to take it hard, as a public service, we should avoid having him talk right away. People take losses, not just football losses, but personal losses different ways. Time is probably the best thing.”
If his postgame walkout was just “fluff,” as he called it, his effort in the fourth quarter was more substantial, particularly when he didn’t make much of an effort to recover his fumble at the Panthers 25-yard-line with Carolina down 16-10 and 4:09 to play. Newton actually downplayed the importance of that play on Tuesday, saying “(At) the end of the day, we didn’t lose that game because of that fumble,” Newton said.
Four plays later, C.J. Anderson scored and a two-point conversion put the Broncos up 24-10.
On Tuesday, Newton suggested that he was concerned about getting hurt while trying to recover the fumble.
“OK. I didn’t get the fumble, but we can play tit-for-tat. I’ve seen numerous quarterbacks throw interceptions and their efforts afterwards,” Newton said Tuesday. “I don’t dive on one fumble because the way my leg was, it could have been (contorted) in a way.”
He says he has no regrets, but he might want that play back.