Photo Credit: Deadspin
Former NFL MVP Cam Newton had been in the league for four seasons coming into the 2015-2016 season. But it took until the beginning of that fifth season for the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft to become a breakout star.
His secret? The Dab, which became a common gesture among fans, particularly young children, after seeing Cam perform it week after week when the Panthers simply could not lose.
But prior to last NFL season, Newton announced that he was going to retire the Dab. And he did just that. For his own good, he needs the Dab to pull a Brett Favre and come out of retirement. Because when he’s dabbing, he’s playing on a level that even the all-time great Favre could not touch.
The numbers don’t lie. The Panthers went from being the NFC champion at 15-1 to a team in the bottom of the NFC South at 6-10. And prior to the 2015-2016 season, Newton led the team to just one season with a winning record, and during that season, he was not on a level anywhere near that of his Super Bowl season.
Newton himself was, to put it bluntly, a different player in that 15-1 season. His passing and total touchdown totals were (and still are) his career-highs by far, as were (and are) his total quarterback rating and passer rating.
Is there a scientific study to prove that dabbing helps quarterbacks carry teams to championships? No. That’s pretty obvious. But the definition of “dabbin” is “Atlanta lingo for a level of confidence to your swag.” When Cam had this extra level of confidence to his swag, his Panthers were almost untouchable. When he stopped dabbing, the Panthers turned into a joke and his statistics were awful.
Aside of whiny haters complaining about dabbing and redirecting their kid’s attention toward the cheerleaders (because cheerleaders are much classier than an inoffensive gesture…obviously), what does Cam have to lose? He honestly doesn’t care about those people anyway. Plus, it’s just a celebration, and the NFL is loosening their rules on celebrations starting next season.
Cam needs to take a page from Brett Favre’s playbook and un-retire back the Dab. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. He tried to fix what wasn’t broken, and he paid the price. But the time is now for him to return to stardom. And it starts with dabbing again.