How Super Bowl 50 Taught Young Athletes How Not To Act

Super Bowl 50 had everything you could have hoped for…if you’re an avid football fan.

The contest thrived on exciting defensive stands and culminated with one of the most well-respect quarterbacks walking away hoisting the Lombardi trophy once again, and possibly for the last time.

The Denver Broncos left Santa Clara with the victory over the highly-confident Carolina Panthers. The game certainly had it’s moments, but the aftermath was what got me really thinking about what today’s youth could take out of watching.

Super Bowl 50 taught us that defense really does win championships and, most importantly, how NOT to act after winning or losing a game.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Cam Newton. Newton was sacked six times and pressured all game by the number one-ranked Broncos rush defense. He never got comfortable in the pocket and when he was, his receivers were guarded perfectly.

In short, Newton didn’t play up to his MVP-caliber level as he has all season.

We all saw Newton’s post-game press conference where he walked out after hearing Chris Harris Jr. remarking on how the Broncos defense stifled Newton. His body language was poor and his one word responses were out of irritation.

Newton’s post-game performance is teaching kids how not to act after being defeated. Newton, who is a fixture in the media and is looked up to by kids all over, are watching someone they respect take defeat by throwing a fit and pouting.

The first lesson I was taught in sports was to accept defeat graciously. Newton did neither of those things all season long and especially after the biggest game of the season.

Yes, he is young and he just lost on the biggest stage in football. But his job is to accept that loss and talk to the media, whether he likes it or not.

Newton’s pouting and overall negative attitude is something that today’s youth should take into account. If you choose to be a sore loser and not accept a fair defeat, no matter how talented you are, you’ll be viewed negatively.

It wasn’t just Newton who taught us how to act, but also the Broncos themselves.

After taking home the title, and proving you don’t need offense to do it, the Broncos took their celebration to begin making comments about Newton.

Aqib Talib commented that, “there ain’t no Superman.” Von Miller posted an entertaining, yet distasteful, Instagram post mocking the Panthers and their signature dab. T.J. Ward even claimed the Panthers were only looking for fame, not a championship. Danny Trevathan added that, “that’s the way (Newton) is…playing for himself.”

The second lesson I learned as a child? Always celebrate victory humbly.

It seems kind of odd coming from a Broncos team that was handed a brutal loss just two years ago to the cocky and confident Seattle Seahawks. The Broncos just won the championship…why not just celebrate your accomplishments?

The Broncos have been on the other side of that field, watching another team celebrate a Super Bowl victory after a tough defeat. So why do they feel the need to celebrate someone else’s failures instead of their own successes.

The Broncos won fair and square, so celebrate that victory, not what Cam Newton didn’t do. Being a sore loser is bad, but being a sore winner can be just as bad. Kids need to learn to celebrate their own victories without tearing down those who lose because we’ve all been there…and being ridiculed makes it worse.

And then, kids can learn from Peyton Manning. But that is nothing new.

Super Bowl 50. Tears were shed, touchdowns were scored and lessons were learned after the game…or at least they should be.

 

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