ChicagE – In just four games, rookie Cam Newton has done what no other rookie quarterback has done before in NFL history. His extraordinary skills were on display in Chicago for his fourth NFL outing, but the 34-29 loss to the Bears left the Carolina Pan 1-3 in the win loss column, and at the height of frustration. No one took it harder than Newton.
After the loss, the imposing young quarterback sat for some time at his locker with a towel draped over his head. As he stood to head for the showers, teammate Greg Olsen tapped him on the shoulder and extended his hand for a handshake saying, “Good game.” Newton looked at his hand, refused his hand shake and said “F*** you.” In disbelief Olsen responded, “What? You don’t have to take it out on me,” as Newton walked away.
Olsen, also in his fourth game with the Panthers, was returning to Chicago for the first time since being traded by the Bears before the start of the season.
When Newton finally returned to his locker and addressed the media, he addressed the situation saying , “I shouldn’t have reacted like that. Greg is an excellent, excellent player and I don’t ever question a person like that [about his] effort on the field. Sometimes I feel like I can be too much and that was too much. That was the wrong thing to do.”
By game’s end, Newton, in a polished-beyond-his-years display had passed for an impressive 374 yards and ran for two touchdowns. Greg Olsen caught the only passing touchdown from Newton with :03 seconds left in the game, and the Bears safely in the lead.
“You ain’t supposed to be smiling and giggling after we lose,” Newton said. “I’ve never had the mentality of losing in my whole life and for a person to tell me you can’t win them all, that’s a loser’s mentality.”
Adding to the frustration was an apparent bad call by the officials on what would have been a Jeremy Shockey touchdown catch that was flagged for offensive pass interference. The call came in the third quarter with the Panthers trailing the Bears 24-20.
“They should be held accountable as well,” said Shockey of the officials. “They get paid a lot of money. They go around and hang out and do whatever they do before the game. Fly for free and do all kinds of (stuff) for free. Very disappointing, disheartening. I don’t know what else to say.”
Shockey held his post-game media interview next to Greg Olsen’s locker also just a few spaces from Cam Newton’s locker area. The replay showed insignificant contact on the Bears Charles Tillman long before the reception. Likewise for the Panthers tempers flared long after the final whistle in the loss. All four of Carolina’s games have been decided by a touchdown or less. (Contact Lenn Durant at [email protected] .) -Lenn Durant