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July 15, 2013

Newton: I'm a Falcons fan except twice a year

Favorite teams from childhood are tough to let go of for Cam Newton.

The Panthers third-year quarterback told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the weekend that he's still an Atlanta Falcons fan after growing up in the greater Atlanta area.

D. Orlando Ledbetter asked Newton, in an interview after the Cam Newton Foundation's "Fun Day" at a YMCA in southwest Atlanta, about the difficulties of playing his hometown team.

Q: The Panthers came pretty close to sweeping the Falcons last season. How tough is it playing your hometown team?

A: It's always a heavily critiqued game. ... I've always been a Falcons fan, and I'm still a Falcons fan except for those two times a year.

This, of course, comes just days after San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick was spotted sporting a Miami Dolphins hat while at the beach.

Newton idolized Michael Vick and those Falcon teams from his adolescence, but that doesn't mean he gives the Falcons any breaks when the Panthers play them. 

Last year's Week 4 meeting in Atlanta saw the Panthers blow a late lead in what would have been Newton's first-ever fourth-quarter comeback win. Ron Rivera later said the loss especially hurt Newton, who wanted to beat the Falcons in his hometown.

The Panthers would get revenge later in the season, beating the playoff-bound Falcons 30-20 at home. After, Newton admitted he plays against the Falcons with "a chip on my shoulder."

If Newton is a fan of the Falcons outside of those two meetings, and if he had a Twitter account, maybe he wouldn't have expressed the glee his teammates did when Atlanta was knocked out of the playoffs in January.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on July 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Permalink


This is the mindset of today's athlete. Much like in the NBA and players wanting to "team up" somewhere, it is just different today. Yesterday's athletes played with who they had and turned on their "favorite team" if said team didn't pick them.

Posted by: Tvan | Jul 15, 2013 12:20:58 PM

I'm a Falcons fan exactly zero times throughout the year

Posted by: David Hovis | Jul 15, 2013 12:25:53 PM

I see nothing wrong with what he is saying... He grew up in the ATL as a fan of the Falcons. How many people who live in Charlotte are actually from another city with an NFL team? And how many of them still love that team they grew up with? I would say there are more people in Charlotte who consider the Panthers their "second" or "adopted" team than those who only are Panther fans. We call these folks bandwagon fans - because when the Panthers are bad they only talk about their home town team. When the Panthers are good they are all over the home team. I actually don't have an issue with this - I grew up here so I pull for the Panthers. But if I moved to another city I would pull for the local team - second after the Panthers (unless I moved to Dallas....)

Posted by: Dom | Jul 15, 2013 12:26:07 PM

Again, CAM SUCKS!!

I can't wait until his rookie contract is over so he can take his bum rear out of this town! We will NEVER win with this bum as our QB.

Posted by: Chumpsky | Jul 15, 2013 12:28:02 PM

So our starting QB roots for a division opponent except when we play them? Nice. Hey Cam....it doesn't help our cause in getting to the playoffs when Atlanta beats somebody. And we need all the help we can get. Only time a player should be rooting for the Falcons to win is if that win makes it more likely we get to the post-season. And with Atlanta being the best team in the NFC South lately that isn't very often. He should have kept this to himself. Not a good move for a starting QB who is supposed to be the leader of the team. Still immature. Great.

Posted by: pelchul | Jul 15, 2013 12:31:08 PM

Nothing wrong with this. Big So What. And of course he'd root against the Falcons if it helped the Panthers get to the playoffs. It would only help him. No big news here at all.

Posted by: PantherD | Jul 15, 2013 12:46:38 PM

Cam was asked a question (again from the team captain question) and Cam gave an honest answer (again). There is nothing wrong with that. You fools that attempt to find everything wrong with Cam; even down to his favorite childhood team? You katz dont have a life. Find another team to root for. Dont root for the Panthers. You make us look bad. Cam is our qb for the next 15 years. It is not going to change for a long time, get use to it. GO PANTHERS.

Posted by: DaIngMan | Jul 15, 2013 12:53:58 PM

Cam will not be here in 2015. That is as sure of a bet as has ever been. Bet the house, the car, the savings. He can't wait to get out of this one horse town. I know, I have spoken with him a number of times. He wants to be a star, not an average QB on a bad team. When he gets to a real NFL market, you will see him SHINE! GO Cam, you are bigger and better than all of these backwoods haters!

Posted by: I'm Hyped! | Jul 15, 2013 1:00:36 PM

I love Cam, I love him as my QB, I am from Charlotte and this is the stuff that drives me crazy when I try to defend him. His favorite team is his own personal opinion, I have no problem with that. But as the QB and hopefully team leader or captain wouldn't some maturity prompt him to say 'I am the QB of the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons are a division rival'...that's it, that's all...

Posted by: What the.. | Jul 15, 2013 1:02:24 PM

why does he only play the falcons with a chip on his shoulder?

Play that way the whole time please, like a professional.


Posted by: big gulps | Jul 15, 2013 1:09:36 PM

random thought:

The bobcats have really upgraded in coaching with the latest move. Things are looking up, team improving, have some good draft picks for next year. Young talent ready to improve.

Panthers made a great upgrade at GM in the off-season. Time to upgrade our coaching asap. Rivera is in over his head. That is the next big piece I see.

Posted by: big gulps | Jul 15, 2013 1:14:28 PM

Sometimes I just wish Cam wasnt so honest...I think he just lacks professionalism. Could be a good or bad thing I guess.

Posted by: DNYCE | Jul 15, 2013 1:20:02 PM

Well - BofA stadium looks like a home game for every opposing team. When your Franchise depends on a guy who is a fan of another team in your own division...it's a failed business model.

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 15, 2013 1:26:39 PM

Anyone who thinks this is "OK" must never have played a team sport in their life. What a giant DB. Just go on Cam. We will be better off without you.

Posted by: Section 103 Season Ticket Holder | Jul 15, 2013 1:39:14 PM

If you grew up a fan of a team, you're still going to like them. I bet if any of you were drafted by the Falcons, you would still like the Panthers.

Posted by: Nope | Jul 15, 2013 1:53:03 PM

Insert negative comment in 5....4....3....2....1... .

Posted by: freeze8575 | Jul 15, 2013 1:53:58 PM

Just another stupid answer from a stupid and immature QB. Why would you cheer for a division rival for every game except the two we play them? Even if he is a Falcons fan, he should have just said he grew up a fan watching Vick, has no ill-will toward them, but his allegiance is with the Panthers. He's just too stupid to realize what he said. Can you imagine Aaron Rodgers saying he was a still is a Vikings fan!?! It's not the same as him wearing another teams hat to match his outfit like other NFL players have done, but to come out and say you're a fan of your division rival is a slap in the face to Panther fans. I'm through with this clown. Get him out of here.

Posted by: ktown8 | Jul 15, 2013 1:56:30 PM

This is no different than Tom Brady loving the 49ers because he idolized Joe Montana as a kid.

Posted by: Al | Jul 15, 2013 1:58:01 PM

Who cares. I'm not a Newton fan except for 20 times a season.

Posted by: Fan (Joe Fan to be exact) | Jul 15, 2013 2:01:17 PM

Yeah lets start jimmy clausen at qb and tell cam to leave....wait wait lets get kerry Collins out of retirement...no no no EVEN better lets call up green bays front office and tell em we will send em byron bell armanti edwards and two fifth round picks for Aaron Rodgers..... so many people want to replace the qb but don't know who to replace him with or they throw out dumb ideas that would only work in madden...qb is the hardest position to evaluate and even harder to find a good one let alone a ELITE one....fans my goodness....

Posted by: freeze8575 | Jul 15, 2013 2:03:26 PM

Of course Cam will leave when he gets the chance. Who would want to play in a state where racists take every opportunity to bash him over even the smallest of remarks. I think he would be a good fit in New England. Brady should be about ready to retire in a year or two.

Posted by: deepenwide | Jul 15, 2013 2:04:06 PM

I pull for the Panthers every game but I don't pull for Cam. This guy wants to be a captain? He has no leadership skills. Sadly he's just an immature big child. He just never gets it. I have defended his childish behavior thinking that he would mature. It just is not in him. Fyi: I grew up a Redskins fan until the Panthers came here. I never pull for the Redskins unless in can help the Panthers situation.

Posted by: Dardjohn | Jul 15, 2013 2:05:29 PM

Its simple deepnwide this fan base doesn't get it....lol

Posted by: freeze8575 | Jul 15, 2013 2:07:47 PM

Patriots gonna make a run at Cam? come on, are you serious?

outta your mind

Posted by: big gulps | Jul 15, 2013 2:12:16 PM

So anyone that takes issue with Cam is a racist? I then suppose everyone who took issue with Jimmy Clausen are racists too. Bunch of white devils. Go sell crazy somewhere else pal.

Posted by: Fan (Joe Fan to be exact) | Jul 15, 2013 2:12:50 PM

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