CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton may not be over the sting of losing the Super Bowl quite yet, but he’s getting there.
At least the familiar smile has returned to the Carolina quarterback’s face.
”Time cures all, right?” the NFL MVP said Friday. ”Having an unbelievable team on the field as well as off the field makes everything better.”
Newton spent a good portion of his offseason acting in his new Nickelodeon show ”All in with Cam Newton,” as well as participating in various charity events, including his second annual Kicking It With Cam celebrity kickball tournament Friday in Charlotte.
For a day, Newton was back to being his playful self, smiling and joking and laughing while playing pitcher for his team. He danced around on the pitcher’s mound, feigned an injury, argued calls with the umpire and even did the dab – something he vows will end when the season begins in three months with a rematch against the Broncos in Denver.
He playfully fielded questions at the beginning of his press conference from former teammate Josh Norman, one of the many well-known athletes who attended the event.
Newton talked about the matchup with Norman, the All-Pro cornerback who signed a $75 million contract this offseason with the Washington Redskins.
”I can’t wait,” Newton said. ”I really can’t. It’s going to be reminiscent of how we used to battle in practice. Usually going back to the film, there was a lot favor toward the offense. So I look forward to it.”
When Norman asked Newton about who would win a one-on-one matchup, Newton replied, ”there’s nothing that Josh Norman could do that I couldn’t do.”
It was a much different acting Newton than when he brooded over the loss to Denver in the Super Bowl, answering questions with brief answers before walking away from the podium.
Former NBA star Allen Iverson, former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller, and dozens of Newton’s current Panthers teammates also participated in the event to raise money for the Cam Newton Foundation.
Newton said he’s proud of the growth of the kickball tournament, now in its second year.
”From the fan support to the celebrities to the teams that came out. We have more people chipping in for a great cause,” Newton said.
Since Newton runs the tournament, there is a running joke that he makes up the rules as he goes. Newton’s team made the championship game for the second straight year.
At one point during the semifinal game Newton was called out for the ball hitting his upper leg on a pitch. At that point he went over to fan, grabbed his recording from an IPhone and showed it to the referee, who changed the call creating a bit of an uproar.
”That’s very childish for someone to think that being that we earned our right to the championship game,” Newton said with a wide grin.
Newton made news earlier this week when he said he was done doing his popular ”dab” dance. But after a homerun, Newton broke out the dab one more time.
”When was I not going to dab?” Newton said. ”During the season.”
Newton joked that he’s surprised how much national attention his shelving the dab received.
”For something that is really irrelevant it’s funny how people pay attention to what I’m going to do,” Newton said. ”But it’s fun to hear. But I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do (next year).”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
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