How I learned to stop worrying and love Cam Newton

As someone who does a touchdown dance every time I chase down and kill a cockroach, I can’t fault a football player for doing an extended dance in the end zone after escaping 11 massive men who just tried to eradicate him from the planet.

Yet one debate remains a hot topic of the 2015 NFL season: why does Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spend 15 seconds after every touchdown dabbing and “revealing the ‘S’ on his chest” and whatever else he does?

My response to the question is simple – why does it bother you so much?

(More: As a Falcons fan, would you sign this petition?)

See, I used to be one of the guys who would get downright offended by the way Newton acted. Maybe it was because he’s a Panther, and as a fan of the Falcons, I’ll never like anything those guys do. Or maybe it was all the dancing.

But then, I learned about everything else.

You see how he’ll wrestle a football away from a referee to make sure a young Panthers fan gets a souvenir every time he scores. He’ll also make sure everyone else on his team who scores does the same. That’s good behavior.

But what you often don’t see is what Newton does off the football field. He takes hours out of his busy schedule to surprise sick children around the Charlotte area, invites them to Panthers games and gives them all kinds of memories and memorabilia, and raises every last dollar he can for his foundation, which helps children in need.

By all accounts, Newton understands and welcomes his status as a role model, and he has changed hundreds of lives for the better, even when the cameras aren’t rolling. Why let a 15-second end zone dance bother you when 15 seconds later, he’s going to make the day of a little kid every single time he scores?

It’s quite evident Cam Newton is a good person. And as soon as the Falcons are done playing the Panthers Sunday afternoon, I’ll go back to liking him again.

Photo: AP/Jonathan Bachman

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