Newton, asked about the comment Monday during Super Bowl 50 Media Night, did not disagree.
“Anything the Sheriff says, you can probably ink it in gold,” Newton said with a smile, referring to Manning’s nickname.
But Newton said he still has plenty of work ahead on Sunday against Manning and company before he can think about being the face of the league. He reminded reporters that his primary goal was to win the Super Bowl.
Newton was asked everything Monday, from why he dabs to why he named his son Chosen. He answered most with a smile, enjoying the moment he said he has been dreaming about most of his life.
When a 9-year-old boy named Riley asked Newton what it would mean to win his first Super Bowl, Newton responded by asking Riley what he dreams about.
When Riley said a million dollars, Newton responded: “That’s the type of feeling I have right now. I have been dreaming of this moment since I was 7 years old.”
Newton arrived in the arena wearing a Gatorade Super Bowl towel wrapped around his head.It was somewhat symbolic, considering the first two years of his career were defined by him wearing a towel over his head and sometimes sulking while the Panthers were going through 6-10 and 7-9 seasons.
Newton’s session began with NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders presenting him with a pair of “swag pants.”
They were nothing like the gaudy yellow, black and white zebra-line Versace pants that Newton wore on the plane ride from Charlotte, North Carolina, to California. Newton said he picked the pants because they represented the gold and black colors of the 50th Super Bowl.
“The black and gold attire I had in my closet was extremely limited,” Newton said. “So when I looked at my pants I said, ‘These are black and gold, the shoes are black and gold to tie along with the whole Super Bowl 50 black and gold.'”
Sanders, known during his playing days as “Primetime,” told Newton those are “must-win pants.”
“Every time I put on an attire, every single morning of my life, it’s a must-win attire,” Newton said. “Trust me.”
Mark Anthony Green, also known as the Style Guy for GQ magazine, said the pants were Newton’s way of saying the big stage of the Super Bowl isn’t too big for him.
“Like the rapper Future says, you do what you want when you poppin’,” Green said, referencing one of Newton’s favorite artists. “Cam is the biggest ticket on the planet right now, so you can get away with it.”
Headlines are nothing new for Newton. He has been making them all season, whether it has been for his dabbin’ touchdown celebrations, ripping down banners or his NFL-best 45 touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing).
In many ways Newton has become the most polarizing player in the league.
“I’ve said this since Day 1,” Newton said last week. “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”
At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, with the ability to dominate with designed quarterback runs and throw 50-yard passes with pinpoint accuracy, Newton is unique at his position.
He is likely to be named the NFL MVP during the NFL Honors show on Saturday night. Through it all, Newton has continued to be himself, ignoring criticism about everything from his dancing to his sometimes outlandish style in clothes.
He all but laughed before the NFC Championship Game, a 49-15 victory over Arizona, when asked if he gets nervous.
“I don’t get nervous,” Newton said. “I’ve been playing football for too long for me to get nervous. I used to dream of being in this type of position.”
Newton wasn’t nervous on this night. He was extremely confident, saying that if the Panthers played their best and any team in the league played its best, “we still win.”
His most poignant statement came when asked who he is. He smiled once more and said, “A Super Bowl quarterback.”