One of the lasting images in the aftermath of Super Bowl 50 was Cam Newton's terse postgame presser and sudden exit from the podium. To his critics, he came across as petulant and immature, unable to handle the disappointing loss on the biggest stage and unwilling to face the music in defeat. The quarterback even later admitted himself that he was a sore loser but didn't shy away from defending himself.
While Newton's team was also quick to support him, one notable former NFL player came out to defend Newton's actions: Archie Manning, father of the winning Super Bowl quarterback, Peyton Manning.
"It's a hard time, winning the Super Bowl or losing the Super Bowl," Archie Manning said, according to the Charlotte Observer.
"I like Cam. I'm not going to blast Cam. As a parent you say, ‘I wish he'd have handled it a little different.' But it hurts."
The elder Manning noted that Newton's response was not unique among Super Bowl losers. In fact, you don't have to go back too far to find another example of a Super Bowl-losing quarterback dissing the traditional postgame obligations.
After the Indianapolis Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV, Peyton Manning jogged directly off the field and headed to the locker room without shaking hands with the Saints players. Manning was heavily criticized for that, similar to what Newton has endured this week.
For his part, Newton did embrace Peyton on the field after the Denver Broncos' 24-10 win and congratulated him on the victory.
Archie recalled how devastated his son was after his first Super Bowl loss. Similar to how Peyton bounced back to eventually win another ring, he believes that Newton can grow from this experience.
"Cam, he'll learn from it," he said.