After his phenomenal rookie season, all of the pre-draft criticisms about Panthers quarterback Cam Newton now seem pretty silly. But the one that seems silliest — about his fake smile — is one that Newton is still scratching his head over.
In an interview with Hannah Storm on ESPN, Newton was reminded that 14 months ago, draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki called Newton, “Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup.” Newton said he’s not angry about those comments, but he is puzzled about which sources might have told Nawrocki that he has a selfish, me-first makeup, because Newton doesn’t believe that’s something that people who know him would say.
“What gets me all the time with you analysts is it’s always the sources,” Newton said. “Where do people get the sources from? I was hearing sources from so many different arenas. ‘We have a source that says Cam Newton is this.’ I’m like, ‘Will the source please raise his hand or her hand?’ Because I want to know. Most of the things they were saying about me were not true by a long shot.”
Newton said his feelings weren’t hurt by hearing those things about him, but he acknowledged that it’s hard not to be at least a little bit taken aback by learning that people are questioning him not only as a football player, but as a person.
“I don’t think there was anything that hurt, but at the end of the day I’m still human,” Newton said.
And it’s only human to wonder which sources were doubting you — and to keep wondering even after you’ve proven them wrong.