Well, Rick Reilly appears to have gotten this one first on Twitter as well.
Whether it’s true or not is a matter for debate.
Hours after the Panthers beat the Eagles Monday night, Reilly took a shot at Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, accusing him of dawdling, apparently as evidence of a diva attitude.
“Cam Newton is really quick, until it’s time to get dressed,” Reilly tweeted yesterday morning. “Took him 54 minutes last night. Then did media. Team waited on bus for 40 mins.”
Well, it wasn’t a Steve Young bro-stare, but the Panthers have given Reilly the stink-eye.
Panthers assistant director of communications Steven Drummond tweeted out a denial today.
“. @ReillyRick report that Cam had team wait 40 minutes on bus is completely false,” Drummond wrote. “Cam wasn’t even the last player out of the locker room.”
Newton’s become an easy target, especially for people who made up their mind about him when he left Florida. The whole “icon and entertainer,” comment didn’t help, and neither does the fact he plays for a mid-market team with a 3-8 record.
And when the message is coming from a team PR staffer, you expect a passionate defense of a player.
Sort of like you expect Reilly, once known as one of the most talented sports columnists ever, to not have become a ridiculous and embarrassing caricature of himself.