Cam Newton’s postgame pity party was uncomfortable to watch. The last place the Panthers quarterback wanted to be after suffering the biggest loss of his football-playing life was in front of a horde of media.
And the last thing he wanted to hear was a Broncos player gloat about it within earshot. Newton forced out one non-answer after another, reluctantly expounded just a bit while still saying nothing of import, then reached his limit when he overheard Denver cornerback Chris Harris describing to his own contingent of media just feet away how the Broncos got to Newton.
This doesn’t excuse Newton’s behavior throughout, but it does bring clarity to his breaking point moment — the moment he stood up and walked away after having heard enough.
There’s no question swallowing a Super Bowl loss is incredibly difficult. Having to bare that pain in front of the world cannot be easy. But Newton knows enough to understand that life doesn’t always break your way, no matter how diligent your preparation, how intense your desire. Sometimes you just lose. And it hurts like hell.
Accepting that like an adult comes, in his case, with being the NFL’s MVP.