Growing up in Atlanta Monday Night Football was a big deal for Cam Newton.
“It’s every kid’s dream growing up, just visualizing playing on Monday night,” Newton said during a press conference ahead of Monday’s game versus Miami Dolphins.
Before even understanding the significance of football he understood the importance of the primetime game from others around him as a kid. Hearing that theme song before kickoff “All Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” performed by Hank Williams Jr. left an impression on Newton as well.
“My man with the cowboy hat ‘are you ready for some football.’ That’s good sauce, that’s good swag right there,” Newton said.
He admired that guy so much that Newton brought out his cowboy hat during Monday’s postgame press conference after Carolina Panthers defeated Dolphins 45-21.
With Newton preparing for his sixth career appearance on Monday he couldn’t escape the nostalgia.
“Its game like this where you feel the buzz of the community. Everybody is on edge, primetime game and we’re peaking when we’re suppose to peak,” Newton said ahead of the game. “This game coming up is the most important game but it’s also an opportunity for us to prove to the fans that we’re the real deal…come Monday night everybody is juiced up and ready to roll.”
Ready to roll Newton was as he threw four touchdowns on the night and broke off for a 69-yard run. But even after a performance that led to an NFC Player of the Week honor he couldn’t escape trash talk from one of his best friend’s.
He “has been jinxing me for years. He said that I don’t have in my repertoire, or skill set, to break for a 50 plus yard [rushing] touchdown,” Newton said.
On the break away run he couldn’t manage to finish the job as he was tackled inside the red zone 18 yards away from the end zone. While running he admits he was hoping the defenders behind him would slip. After the game was over he received a text message from his friend. The text read “I told you so.”
“There wasn’t enough explicit emoji’s in my options to send him because he was right,” Newton said.
While he may have come up short on the run, he didn’t come up short on Monday night. With 254 yards passing on the day he added 95 yards on the ground. The win brings his career Monday night mark at 5-1 where he’s thrown 15 touchdowns to four interceptions, with at least two touchdowns in each game, accumulating a quarterback rating of 101.1.
“There’s something about him when the lights turn on,” head coach Ron Rivera said of Newton during the postgame press conference.
Newton’s latest outing earn him his ninth career Player of the Week honor, the most ever by a Panther.
By Gino Terrell