Cam Newton, the dancing Panther, has inspired a meme of celebratory dancing that is sending shockwaves through social media
If you follow NFL football at all, you probably know by now that there are only two teams still undefeated in the NFL, and one of them is the reigning super bowl champion New England Patriots. The other, is a team that managed to sneak into last year’s playoffs after going 8-8 in the regular season after a streak of wins towards the end of the year. While crushed by the previous year’s Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 divisional playoffs, the Carolina Panthers refuse to be pushed off the stage, and are now standing in the spotlight.
In week 9 against the Titans, there was dancing happening on both sides of the ball. During a drive where linebacker Avery Williamson sacked Newton, Williamson celebrated by imitating Drake’s “Hotline Bling” dance that has gathered the attention of the internet as one of the more popular memes this fall.
Cam Newton then responded by driving the ball down the field and into the end zone, which was followed by one of the longest and possibly well-choreographed end zone dances in the history of professional football. Williamson reacted defensively to Newton’s Dance, as team-mates and referees had to separate both players, while Newton continued to display his moves.
Williamson wasn’t the only Titan offended by the dance, prompting a letter to the editors of The Charlotte Observer from the mother of a nine-year-old fan in the end zone of the home team, criticizing his behavior and
“The chest puffs. The pelvic thrusts. The arrogant struts and the ‘in your face’ taunting of both the Titans players and fans.”
The letter went viral, and drew mixed opinions from fans and the media about the celebration, and where to draw the line. In a press conference on the 18th, while being grilled about his dancing and questioning it’s excessiveness, Cam responded to reports about the letter by saying that, “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion,” adding “it is what it is, if she feels offended, I apologize to her, but at the end of the day, I am what I am.” When reporters asked if he was going to continue his on-the-field dancing, he responded “What’s today? Wednesday. I think we’ll have to find out on Sunday.”
Just after the press conference, The News & Observer sent an email to the mother of the distraught nine-year-old, asking her for any thoughts on Newton’s response to the letters in the press conference. The next morning, the mother, Rosemary Plorin, responded to The News & Observer’s question in an email that read,
“I watched the video of Cam Newton responding to media questions about my letter to him earlier this week. I really appreciate his comments and his respect for my thoughts, and I was impressed with the sensitivity and graciousness with which he spoke. I am sorry I didn’t understand him better until this week. It is clear from his remarks that he recognizes his leadership role, both on and off the field, and that he truly cares about the kids watching him. I respect his comments just as much as he did mine, and I wish him nothing but continued success on the field and in life.”
Then Sunday came around, and Cam kept dancing. In fact, he started teaching his team-mates how to do the dance, which is known as “dabbing.”
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 22, 2015
At one point during the game, Newton made a run from scrimmage for a first down, and paused to do a little dabbing, which you can watch thanks to Jorge Alonso of BroBile, who created a gif of the dance in the 44-16 road win against the Washington Redskins.
I’m not a dancer. In fact, I’m usually the guy in the back of the club with his arms across his chest, leaned up against the wall, bobbing my head. However, I’ve always been a fan of Cam Newton since his days with my favorite college team since childhood, the Auburn Tigers, which Newton led to a National Championship win in 2010 against the Oregon Ducks.
Now Cam has inspired me to quit bobbing my head, get off the wall and dance again. Maybe it’s the fact my team is on a roll, but either way dancing gets me through the week until the game next Sunday. A movement of Panther’s fans that unite under the hashtag #KeepPounding on twitter are now starting their own trend to defend Newton’s celebrations with the hashtag #KeepDancingCam as the Quarterback leads his team towards their goal of reaching “the big dance,” Super Bowl 50.
The best way to describe how to “Dab” is to act like you’re sneezing into the crease of your elbow. Here, I’ll just leave to this to a professional:
Feature photo via YouTube