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Cam Newton to Tony Gonzalez: “You’re a role model”

camgonzalez AP

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who played the last game of a Hall of Fame career on Sunday, was one of the most respected players in the NFL. Players on the Panthers made sure Gonzalez knew that.

NFL Films had Gonzalez wear a microphone for Sunday’s Panthers-Falcons game, and among the moments shown on this week’s Inside the NFL was an exchange Gonzalez had with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after the game. Newton embraced Gonzalez and told him how much he has looked up to him.

“You’re a role model to a lot of people like me,” Newton said.

An even more interesting exchange took place during the game: Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis approached Gonzalez on the field and asked him, “Any way possible I could get a signed jersey from you?”

Gonzalez looked a little taken aback to get that request during a game, but answered, “Yeah. Like, after the season.”

There aren’t many players who get hit up for autographs on the field between plays, but there aren’t as many players who have earned as much respect around the NFL as Tony Gonzalez.

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22 Responses to “Cam Newton to Tony Gonzalez: “You’re a role model””
  1. boogymanoflamancha says: Jan 2, 2014 7:08 PM

    That dude was Good, with a capital G

  2. sirsupersouthern says: Jan 2, 2014 7:08 PM

    Tight Ends don’t belong in the HoF, like kickers and owners…

  3. chargersdiehard says: Jan 2, 2014 7:11 PM

    Asking for an autograph during the game? These guys don’t have an email list?

  4. christiandrew25 says: Jan 2, 2014 7:33 PM

    Brave words.

  5. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: Jan 2, 2014 7:59 PM

    Best tight end of all-time?

    Yeah. I can see that.

    Always a class act on and off the field and a great player as well. I’ll be lookin forward to seein you in Canton!

  6. lazrrocketarm says: Jan 2, 2014 8:16 PM

    This is what it should be like….
    Absolutely love seeing players show respect where it is earned. You can be adversarial AND respectful.

    Hope some young players see Cam and follow his example.

  7. elliottcovert says: Jan 2, 2014 8:20 PM

    Tony Gonzalez may be the only person ever to play in the NFL for over 15 years and not make a single enemy.

    Cam hit the nail on the head. Tony G worked hard every day, never complained, and never got a big head despite out-producing everyone else at his position. Kids could genuinely look up to him. He’s universally respected just like Walter Payton.

  8. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 2, 2014 8:21 PM

    It was Gonzalez who made Newt decide to become a tight end.

  9. provguard says: Jan 2, 2014 8:22 PM

    Like Peppers, Gonzalez played NCAA basketball because I have always been amazed that a man can excel at two sports. It isn’t like the two were just warming the bench. They played!

    Mr. Gonzalez needs some kind of trophy in his name for being the perfect mentor.

  10. pantherdick says: Jan 2, 2014 8:33 PM

    If the Falcons organization had any class they would have traded him to KC so he could be competing for a ring someone like him deserves.

  11. purplepillager says: Jan 2, 2014 8:39 PM

    Cam has always seemed very full-of-himself especially during his Superman touchdown celebrations. From fans of other teams, this is very off-putting. However, his respect for Tony was genuine and refreshing. It allowed me to respect Cam more than I had.

    From a Vikings fan, nicely done Cam! That was a class move and Tony won’t forget that.

  12. bucshorty says: Jan 2, 2014 8:47 PM

    Great Players regardless of position, and COACHES do belong in the hallowed HOF. Owners, meh…You have coaches that were innovators of the game, which contributed to the greatness of talented players who successfully executed these innovative plays, formations, etc, ultimately making the game greater. The HOF allows we as fans to remember and appreciate the contributions of these innovators.

  13. fryeways says: Jan 2, 2014 8:59 PM

    Tony is all class. The greatest at his position in the history of the sport and a great guy to boot. I was proud to be a vegetarian the day I learned he was, too.

    Enjoy your gold jacket, Tony!

  14. jpalughi823 says: Jan 2, 2014 9:01 PM

    Not even a Falcons fan but I was hoping to see them go a good way so he could get one more crack at it

  15. gb4mn0 says: Jan 2, 2014 9:08 PM

    After last Sunday’s game, watching Newton after he was done with his postgame interview take the time to run up and down both side of the stands and slap the out stretched hands of the Panthers fans showed me that Newton has grown into one classy young man who is proving his pre pro critics wrong. Including me. Good on ya mate!

  16. nfl4days says: Jan 2, 2014 9:42 PM

    Remember when people were saying RG3 is better and humble, while cam was an overrated egomaniac? Funny how much changes in a year.

  17. despenc925 says: Jan 2, 2014 9:59 PM

    the only other player in the league now who deserves that level of respect is Larry Fitzgerald!

  18. hehateme1 says: Jan 2, 2014 10:00 PM

    Wow. Cool story.

  19. aces79 says: Jan 2, 2014 10:05 PM

    Tony G pushed off alot during his career and got away with it i dont have respect for players like that

  20. steelersfanfromtheseventies says: Jan 2, 2014 10:16 PM

    A tip of the hat to one of the greats, a class act all around. Good luck on what ever you do from here on out.

  21. lance19 says: Jan 3, 2014 1:49 AM

    My Cal Golden Bears sure were horrible this year.
    But there was SOME comfort in the fact that we are being represented in the NFL by guys like Keenan Allen, Marshawn Lynch, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Gonzalez.

  22. skippynj says: Jan 6, 2014 3:55 PM

    tg was a fool to go to such a lousy franchise and a double fool for coming back this year to be shamed by the best TE in the game, Jimmy Graham who will own all the records when his career is finished. He never should have left KC.

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