Cam Newton was roundly criticized for his sullen remarks to the media and sudden exit in the wake of his Carolina Panthers’ loss in the Super Bowl. However, another team is trying to put the quarterback’s podium performance to use — as an example of how not to behave.
That team would be the New York Yankees, who know a thing or two about having their players surrounded by reporters asking tough questions. Oh, and the Yankees also had an example of a good media performance at the ready: Russell Wilson’s comments in the wake of his Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl loss in 2015.
This news arrived via ESPN’s David Marchand, who noted, “During the Yankees’ media training, the Super Bowl is being used to portray the right and wrong way to act. Part of a video shown to pitchers and catchers compares how Cam Newton handled his Super Bowl loss to the way Russell Wilson dealt with his defeat the previous year.”
Following his team’s 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, Newton showed up for his media session wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head. He gave terse, flat answers and departed abruptly, saying, “I’m done, man.”
Wilson suffered an arguably more bitter defeat, given that he was intercepted at the goal line in the final minute, but he was more expansive and even-keeled during his post-Super Bowl press conference. “I expect us to be back here, I expect us to continue to keep our head up and keep moving, because we’ve got guys with great character, guys who love the game of football and guys that love each other,” Wilson said, after the Seahawks’ agonizing, 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots.
There is little doubt that Wilson, who is a half-year older than Newton despite having played one less NFL season, is the more polished product in front of cameras, at least in terms of being able to answer questions without causing controversy. However, Newton’s candor can be refreshing, and even in doubling down on his Super Bowl remarks by saying two days later, “I’m a sore loser,” he displayed unusual honesty.
The Yankees, though, prefer to keep their players looking (i.e., no beards allowed) and sounding as bland as possible. That certainly won’t stop the New York press corps, of course, from trying to elicit something interesting from the likes of Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia.