Cam Newton has been heavily criticized for his pouty press conference following a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in Super 50. The near-unanimous MVP was standoffish with reporters, gave short answers, looked annoyed and ultimately walked away from the podium.

In some ways, the criticism is deserved. After all, if you’re going to rub it in people’s faces when you win, the least you can do is show grace and class when you lose. In other ways, people are blowing this whole thing out of proportion. It’s almost as if Newton is so cocky that people just want to see him fail, and when he doesn’t handle that failure exactly like they want him to, they jump on him.

“People don’t like change,” NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We’ve seen this. That’s the reason why it’s different. Going back to the conditioning: The guys who call the games, especially the guys who were former quarterbacks, all were traditional drop-back guys, so they don’t have a point of reference. I will say this: While I do believe race is a factor in this, I say it’s more about Cam, Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel, Vince Young – they’re the trailer-trash of quarterbacking. And the guys who call the game, they have a disdain for the way those athletic guys play quarterback. But who wrote the book to say there’s only one way to play quarterback?”

Newton had 45 touchdowns (35 pass, 10 rush) in the regular season and five more in Carolina’s playoff wins over Seattle and Arizona. In the Super Bowl, however, Newton was wildly ineffective. He was sacked six times and finished 18-of-41 for 265 yards and an interception. He also ran six times for 45 yards and fumbled twice. The first fumble, which Denver recorded in the end zone, gave the Broncos a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

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