cam newton leads carolina to super bowl 50

last week ebenezer samuel had an insightful (wise, perceptive) article in the new york daily news about carolina panther quarterback and likely 2015 nfl mvp, cam newton.

starting from his early days as a panther…

newton has drawn criticism ever since the panthers chose him at no. 1 in the 2011 nfl draft and his “body language” in losses led to questions about his leadership.

draw criticism is attracting or taking the criticism.  body language is physical, non-verbal communication.

frustrated cam at press conference
early in his pro career, critics dissed cam and doubted his leadership for making these faces when the panthers lost. (ap)

frustrated cam in uniform


leadership (characteristics a leader has) is one of several nouns that end with the suffix -ship.  some others are censorship (removal of part of a production or publication by people who find it offensive), citizenship (being an official member of a country),  friendship (what two friends share) and championship (the super bowl, for example). unfortunately, there is not one unifying characteristic for all the -ships.

fun esl practice :) richyrocks english on youtube


despite carolina’s success, criticism of cam has continued

this season, as carolina emerged as the nfl’s most dangerous team and newton blossomed into the game’s most dangerous player, the bashing found new — and more nonsensical — levels.

blossomed into compares cam to an opening flower and is a reference to his development. bashing is a synonym for criticizing. nonsensical, an adjective related to the noun nonsense, means ridiculous.

hydrangea blossom
do these lovely hydrangea blossoms remind u of the panthers’ qb? (

critics have lined up, dissing newton’s touchdown dance known as “dabbing.” parents have written letters attacking; labeling his dances “arrogant struts” and “pelvic thrusts.” a fan of the seattle seahawks dubbed newton “mr. classless.”

lined up means they got in line, they had to wait their turn, i.e. there were a lot of critics. diss is another synonym for criticize.  strut is walking with an attitude. like the kitties and overall attitude in this video….

pelvic thrusts are strong, often sexual movements made with the abdomen. viners dan nampaikid and jerry purpdrank use pelvic thrusts to close drawers in this clip

dubbed means a seahawks fan gave cam that name. and classless, like all words with the -less suffix,  indicates that the fan thinks cam has no class.

even in the city where cam plays

someone wrote into the charlotte observer, calling him a bad role model because he hadn’t married the mother of his son.

a role model is someone other people, especially kids, look up to, admire, or imitate.

cam dabbing
cam’s celebrated touchdown celebration: the dab.

cam drew some more criticism last week with this observation

i’ve said this since day one i’m an african-american quarterback that scares people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to

day one means the beginning. newton also observed

…..they [the media, critics] talk about maturity. they talk about skill set … the only thing that has changed is that we’re winning now.

skill set is a fashionable expression used to describe someone’s abilities as a whole, all together. it’s not much different than just saying skills, but football analysts in particular love to say skill set.

airborne cam
this move is in the skill set of very few humans.

cam’s perspective is that since he arrived to the nfl, there has been misunderstanding about him as a player because his skill set is not what fans and the media are used to seeing from a black quarterback. the stereotype is that black quarterbacks are good runners, but not always effective throwing. cam excels at both.

some commentators may inisist that cam has matured (grown up, developed) over the course of his 5-year career, but the only difference he sees is that the panthers are winning now.

coach rivera
coach rivera has no problem with cam’s pelvic thrusts, arrogant struts or dabbing. (getty)

in an effort to explain newton’s position, panthers coach ron rivera said

[cam] wants to be known as a quarterback. i think that is what drives him, to be able to transcend those boundaries, which i think is great.

boundaries are limits; in this case, the limit is race.

cam talking to the press at the superbowl
cam didn’t want to talk with the media about being a black quarterback on tuesday. but he did.

cam has echoed his coach’s sentiments (expressed similar ideas) in interviews since the reaction to his remarks last week. in an interview during halftime of the pro bowl last weekend he said he didn’t mean what he said as “a race thing”, and at a press conference tuesday he said the game was bigger than the topic of “black quarterback”.

cam goes airborne for a touchdown in the nfc championship
cam scored this spectacular touchdown during the third quarter of the nfc championship.

in fact, last week cam was also talking about the game….

find a way — any way — to win a football game [the super bowl]. because when you win, that’s going to give them something else to talk about.

however, ebenezer samuel is less enthusiastic about this possibility. his response is also the final sentence of his article…

don’t count on it.

count on means be sure or confident about a result. samuel’s opinion is that even if cam wins the super bowl people will still probably see him as a stereotype.

cam ready to throw
will people stop talking about cam as a “black quarterback” if he wins the super bowl? (getty)

will u watch the super bowl?  do u want cam’s team, the panthers, to win? what do u think about cam’s skill set? share your answers under leave a reply


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *