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Cam Newton Walks Out of Press Conference

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Following the Panthers’ loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, Cam Newton made what was then considered his most prominent gaffe with the press. In a terse session with reporters, Newton kept the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head and remained slouched in a chair while answering questions with as few words as possible.

Off to the side, you could see offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey both trying to get his attention from a vacant podium in what seem to be Shula trying to tell Newton to remove his hood and sit up. Perhaps they knew what was coming based on Newton’s mood after the 24–10 defeat.

Let’s fast forward to his sexist remarks toward Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue at the beginning of this month obviously made that back and forth in the belly of Levi Stadium seem like a tame, distant memory. Saying it was “funny” to hear a female “talk about routes” escalated from a perceived, general dislike of reporters into a profound lack of respect for a female beat reporter asking a fair football question and women working in sports altogether. No matter who wants him to change or who instructs him to change, he seems to have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to the press.

Let’s look as well to this past week where, upon Rodrigue’s return to the facility (after Newton’s comments, it was discovered that Rodrigue made racist jokes on her Twitter feed four and five years prior to the incident, for which Rodrigue issued an apology), Newton did not attend his required weekly briefing with reporters. During the open locker room session where journalists had access to the entire team, Newton played music at an obstructively loud volume, theoretically hampering reporters from doing their job.

On Wednesday, Newton left the podium after Rodrigue’s beat partner, longtime Observer writer Joe Person, asked Newton the following question: “Cam, big plays—chunk plays—can get you that energy you’re talking about. Does this offense, and I know you had several in Detroit and New England, do you think you guys have the wherewithal to do that consistently week in and week out?”

Newton then said “Next question,” waited three seconds and left the area. Newton did answer previous questions from Person, and Observer columnist Scott Fowler before the clipped incident:

In a statement provided to The MMQB, the Panthers said: “Cam didn’t intend to be discourteous toward any specific media member. In his mind after answering questions for nine minutes he had fulfilled his obligations.”

Because of Newton’s prior actions, his walk-off on Wednesday will appear to have malicious intent no matter what his true motive was. If Newton’s goal is to suggest that reporters don’t ask questions worth his time, or that he has better things to do than stand and discuss Carolina’s recent loss to the Chicago Bears, there’s probably an interesting and legitimate debate to be had. After that Super Bowl, I do remember thinking that because of Newton, post-game questions probably do need to improve to some degree and be sharper.

However, the way Newton has chosen to go fight this battle left him all alone. Like that Super Bowl night, it seems there are people in the periphery waving, trying to get his attention and help him. Like that night, Newton opted to ignore them.

My suggestion to the Panthers is, STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR CAM NEWTONS TANTRUMS!

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Lona assistant coach hospitalized, Gaels player dismissed after reported physical altercation

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A physical altercation between Iona assistant basketball coach Garfield Johns and one of the team’s top players, Roland Griffin, left Johns hospitalized and Griffin without a team after he was dismissed following the incident.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium first reported the news and cited a source close to the situation in reporting that Johns spent nearly eight hours in the hospital on Monday. He sustained a head injury and did not return to work this week.

“We got in each other’s face,” Griffin told Stadium. “It was really heated. He eventually grabbed me by the jacket and tried to throw me down on the ground physically. We were against the locker, wrestling against the locker. He was grabbing me and holding me.”

According to the report, Griffin punched Johns “four or five times” in the incident, which stemmed from a disagreement about whether Griffin had study hall on Monday.

“I had a tutor later and wasn’t scheduled for study hall,” Griffin told Stadium. “He started yelling at me.”

Griffin was a preseason All-MAAC second-team selection for the Gaels. He averaged 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season for Iona.

 

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Atlanta News & Entertainment

Body found in ballpark cooler before Reds-Braves game

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The body of a third-party contractor has been found inside a beer cooler at SunTrust Park.

The body was found Tuesday by a worker from the same company. Cobb County police spokeswoman Sarah O’Hara tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she could not say if foul play is suspected because the investigation is ongoing.

Cobb County police say in a statement that officers responded to a “call of a deceased person located at SunTrust Park” before the Atlanta Braves’ game against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Braves declined comment, referring reporters to the statement from Cobb County police.

O’Hara tells the newspaper the identity of the person would not be released until the family is notified. She says the Braves are assisting in the investigation.

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Tiger Woods shoots 1-over 71 to sit 4 back at Honda Classic

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Tiger Woods faced a rollercoaster late, but he enters the weekend right in the thick of it.

A late double bogey-bogey stretch dropped Woods to a 2 over but he fought back with a late birdie to post a 1-over 71 in the second round of the Honda Classic and put himself with four of the lead (T-14) when he reached the clubhouse at PGA National.

A week after Woods faded late at the Genesis Open to miss the cut comfortably, he has looked demonstrably better. His opening 70 was promising, especially on the ball-striking front, but he needed to back that up.

He did so on a windy and difficult Friday.

The 42-year-old looked shaky early in Round 2, hitting wayward shots over the first three holes – including an iron off the par-4 second tee that went so far left Woods ended up inside a lateral hazard.

In fact, he nearly lost that ball but ended up finding it in a plant and took an unplayable. He later made a 9-footer on the hole just to save bogey.

But Woods rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the fourth and seemed to calm down from there. A series of pars followed, and then Woods electrified the course when he dropped a 24-footer for birdie at the ninth to go out in 1-under 34.

He was now 1 under overall and just three back.

Woods missed a good birdie chance from nine feet at the 10th but vintage Tiger reemerged at the next hole.

An iron into the rough at the par 4 forced a lay up, from which he knocked a wedge inside 13 feet. Now two off the lead, Woods faced this important par-saving putt to keep his round on track.

He drained it, and then showed what that meant by authoring a spirited fist pump. Woods then knocked one inside 9 feet at the 12th and had that birdie putt to move to 2 under and within one of the lead.Tiger

But the putt was always right and Woods settled for par.

From there, it was a scramble to the finish. Woods got up and down for pars from bunkers at 13 and 14, but his round appeared it might fall off the rails thereafter.

He immediately got swallowed by The Bear Trap (Nos. 15-17) when on the par-3 15th tee he dunked one short in the water. It would lead to a double bogey. Woods compounded the mistake by three-putting for bogey at the 16th.

He now entered No. 17, the toughest hole on the course and one of the most dangerous with water all around, 2 over and fading hard.

But Woods then hit a brilliant tee shot at the par 3, getting a draw to finish 12 feet away. He buried the putt for a huge birdie putt to move back to 1 over.

This is another great day to build on. After some early struggles, Woods looked pretty good driving the ball. His driver came alive a bit, especially on a 361-yard bomb down the fairway at the 10th.

He seemed to be hitting the shots he wanted from tee to green and most of his misses were good. His short game remains sharp and his putter was overall solid.

He just looked so comfortable, especially tee to green for a majority of the round, on a day where conditions were quite difficult.

But there remains plenty of room for improvement. Some sloppiness is definitely still there, and Woods missed some key birdie opportunities.

But through 36 holes, Woods is in firm contention to win. Just three starts in, that’s pretty exciting to see.

 

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