Chris Canty, Cam Newton

While there are still a few months till the start of the season, I cannot help but be excited by the anticipation for the game. For much of this season, we are looking to see new and exciting prospects make their name on the field. But for me, as well as the rest of the world, we are expecting to see some of the best quarterbacks battle it back for a chance for Super Bowl glory.


Usually with an all-star quarterback on your team’s roster, you have a level of comfort and satisfaction at what is to come at the start of the season. For many of these great players, year after year, they become more mechanical with their technique and skill. But how do you react when you make a mistake? How do you come back after a moment of failure? For much of the world, all eyes are on the superstar and wonder kid Cam Newton. After having a demoralizing loss to the Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, many people questioned his ability to bounce back. While it was not the loss itself, it was more of the reaction Cam Newton gave to the public and the media after the game. His million-dollar smile and happy-go-lucky personality seemed to have washed away as he avoided and dodged various questions from the media. While the media continue to speculate about ‘the greatness’ that is Cam Newton, we as football fans can agree that his reaction was simply based on passion and disappointment. All we know is that, for the 2016-2017 NFL season, Cam will be a something else.


But let’s examine that question again. What happens when you fail as an athlete? For much of this, it becomes psychological. The idea to overcome failure will continue to burden you to a point where it simply just breaks you. Take for example Lionel Messi. While this is a different sort of football, the talented mastermind simply called it quits for the international team having lost again in the Copa America tournament. When it comes to failure, like in anything in life, it will always be difficult. But to move beyond it, you have to view failure as an opportunity for success. It is a chance to begin again more intelligently.  During Cam’s time with the Panthers, we have seen him continuously grow as a world-class quarterback. Even after facing countless criticisms during the beginning of his quarterback career, Cam and the Panthers were able to overcome adversity and bring about one of the most exhilarating seasons of the Panther’s franchise history.


So how do you bounce back? To overcome failure, you have to, of course, realize that you are human. Even if the rest of the world sees you as Superman, there is only so much that you can do to bring that glory to your team and fans. By accepting the errors and assuming those responsibilities, you will be able to learn, grow, and develop as a player. From there on, it’s all about understands those mistakes. That level of evaluation and self-reflection plays a constant role in achieving success in any field. To watch various game film and note specific things you or your other teammates could have done will always be a great lesson down the line. The simple idea here is seeing this as an improvement. Lastly, the best way to continue your success is to move forward. Many quarterbacks, and athletes for that matter, seem to allow that negative to impact how they think and how they play. That level of thinking can only lead to more mistakes. To fully move on, you need to put the past behind you. Now I am not saying to forget the moments of failure. Instead, move on mentality by thinking positively and confidently.


For now, we will just have to wait for the start of the season to see Cam do this thing. But with his mechanics, technique, and sheer unwillingness to lose, I can confidently say that the Panthers are in for one hell of a season.