There was no dabbing. There was no hitting the folks. There was no Superman poses. There was only defeat, and lots of MJ crying memes.
To preface, Jericho Cotchery and Ted Ginn Jr. couldn’t catch a cold yesterday. And that line couldn’t block Von Miller and Demarcus Ware, who ended up having the best playoffs from a defensive line we may ever see, even if they had 10 more o-lineman out there.
But that’s not to take everything off of Cam. When you’re winning, it’s easy to keep your cool. It’s easy to suppress a lot of your anger and disdain towards media and fans. Your true colors are shown when your back’s against a wall, and you have to face the music.
From not seeing Von Miller coming at him in the first quarter to not diving for a fumble late in the game, Cam didn’t seem like he was ready for such a big stage. There wasn’t as much fluidity in his game as we were used to this season, both rushing and passing. And then you get to the postgame press conference, and he walks out mid way after giving 2 word answers. That’s where he wasn’t ready.
I understand that after losing the biggest game of your career, the last thing you want to do is talk to the media. The last thing you want to do is answer questions about why you didn’t win. Because if you knew the exact reason why you didn’t win, you would’ve changed that in game right? But that’s part of the process. That’s part of being an MVP-quarterback.
Almost all year we’ve talked about how Cam deserves respect, regardless of past character issues. And for the most part, he proved that he did. He proved that dabbing and hitting the folks is just a celebration, it doesn’t make him a terrible person. But his reputation as a sore loser can’t be overlooked. If anything, it’s now been beefed up. Cam went to the podium and said the Broncos “didn’t do anything special”. Didn’t do anything special? Sacking you 6 times and forcing 4 turnovers was nothing special? Holding the most explosive offense in the league, including shutting down Greg Olsen, to 10 points on the biggest stage is nothing special?
If you want to be considered in a category with Lebron James, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, and more of the all-time great athletes, you have to be able to lose with grace. It’s not easy, and Cam’s not the first star to struggle with it (Lebron was such a sore loser he moved 1000 miles away to Miami). Football’s such a difficult sport because you only get one shot in the championship. There’s no 7 game series. There’s no coming back 2 days later to get yourself back in it. Steph Curry struggled in Game 1 of the NBA Finals a year ago, but was able to come back and win the championship.
Cam doesn’t get that privilege. There’s no Game 2. There’s only next season. I can’t imagine how great this offense will be with Kelvin Benjamin back next year, and maybe a WR from the draft. Cam will have at least 1 more MVP trophy and multiple more shots at a championship. But it’s evident Cam still needs to grow up more. The last piece of the puzzle is his mental side. It’s unfortunate that the last image from the great season he put together will be a couple memes and what Stephen A. called a “cowardly” press conference. When he becomes ready to face the music after a loss, we’re going to see some of the best football in history. When he can get his mind ready, Cam will be ready.