Even though Super Bowl 50 turned out to be an ugly game in which both defenses dominated, there was plenty of fun to be had by just about everyone not affiliated with the losing Carolina Panthers. Whether it was halftime "BEY-NGO" or focusing exclusively on the commercials, it was easy to let the circus around the game itself take center stage. As for those Panthers, well, it was a tough day, to say the least, and the face of the whole organization took the loss the hardest.
For two days, the dominating narrative following Cam Newton's downcast post-game press conference has been how much of a poor sport he is. He sat slouched in his chair with his hood up, gave short answers to every question, and eventually walked off in disgust. It's not really the ultimate picture of class and respect toward the game, but Newton works hard, plays hard, and is open about his emotions and who he is. It made sense for him to be upset in that moment and showed how truly devastated he was by the loss.
Because the Super Bowl is one of the biggest media events of the year, though, he didn't help himself much with behavior that paved an easy path to being completely skewered by former players and journalists alike. While it's true Super Bowl 50 winner Peyton Manning could also be called a poor sport for walking away from his Super Bowl XLIV loss without shaking Drew Brees' hand, Newton is under a bigger microscope for this sort of action. That's not really fair, but it's the way it is — when many consider you a showboater for your celebrations in the good times, they'll jump on you for pouting excessively in the bad times.
Instead of going back and forth on whether or not he's a poor sport, though, it might just be easier to make light of the whole situation, which is exactly what Conan O'Brien did. In a sketch on Conan, the talk show host discussed Newton's dejected nature, then set himself up for a good joke with a bad joke: "Man, Cam Newton?" he quipped. "More like Fig Newton." Then he promptly got crickets, and transitioned into "Post-Joke Press Conference," where he mimicked Newton's hoodie and bummed demeanor while discussing the terrible joke.
Newton probably wouldn't find it all that funny, but it's a nice, lighthearted take on a subject that's already been beaten to death in less than 48 hours. So block out the negativity, watch for yourself, and let out a laugh.
Cover image: Team Coco via YouTube