A dream 2015 NFL season, during which he won his first league MVP award, ended in disaster for Cam Newton. In the Carolina Panthers’ loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, Newton was constantly harassed by an unrelenting Broncos defense (specifically linebacker Von Miller) and absolutely crushed in post-game commentary for his seeming disinterest in jumping into the scrum to recover a ball he’d just fumbled. To make matters worse, in his post-game news conference, Newton wore a hood over his head and a scowl on his face and walked off in the middle of a question from a reporter. Despite his having had the best season of his career, the perception of Newton following that Super Bowl was predominantly negative.
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In a new spot from Gatorade set to debut just before the Panthers kick off their 2016 NFL season tonight, Newton does what he’s been forced to do throughout his career: he embraces the hate. The first scenes of the commercial are images of the aforementioned fumble and press conference, with Newton watching pundits criticize him on television. From there, Newton’s off-season work is documented, both in the weight room and on the field, before the spot ends with Newton in full uniform, smiling as he prepares to run out for the game.
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If this commercial doesn’t give you goosebumps or get you hyped for what Newton has in store for an encore, we can’t help you.