Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has a habit of celebrating first downs and touchdowns. Plenty of players do. Plenty of quarterbacks also do.
And more than plenty of people have a problem with Cam’s celebrations.
The periodic curiosity officially became a thing on Sunday, when the Titans took exception with an extended touchdown dance from Newton, who responded to players getting in his face by doing it a little more. And a little more.
I thought it was hilarious. Others, like the Titans fan who sent a letter to Newton to the Charlotte Observer (apparently she thinks he works there), thought it was harmful.
“My [nine-year-old] daughter . . . started asking questions,” Rosemary Plorin of Nashville wrote to Cam. “Won’t he get in trouble for doing that? Is he trying to make people mad? Do you think he knows he looks like a spoiled brat? I didn’t have great answers for her, and honestly, in an effort to minimize your negative impact and what was otherwise a really fun day, I redirected her attention to the cheerleaders and mascot.”
So, in other words: “Honey, don’t watch the bad man who is fully clothed. Look instead at the scantily clad women who aren’t really leading any cheers.”
Predictably, Panthers coach Ron Rivera has no problems with Cam’s celebrations. “As long as I don’t feel he’s instigating things, I don’t think there should be issues,” Rivera told reporters on Monday, via ESPN.com.
Just as predictably, Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey does. “I think that’s a little rub-it-in-your-face type of deal, and there is a little code of ethics in the NFL and not a good move,” Mularkey said.
Here’s the reality. The so-called No Fun League, which fines guys for eye-black messages and flags guys who ride the ball like a horse or throw it into the stands or pretend to take a nap with it, has no problem with Cam’s celebrations. So if the No Fun League is fine with it, why should anyone have a problem with it?
More importantly, as Cam has said, there’s a way to keep him from celebrating.