NFL's Cam Newton Tries AFL, Says Footy Is 'Cool'

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Cam Newton
Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates with fans after beating the Arizona Cardinals in the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. REUTERS/Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton considered himself as a new fan of Australian Football League after trying footy in Richmond Tigers’ workout at Punta Road Oval. Newton attended his first two AFL games in Australia as part of Gatorade’s Athlete Exchange program.

The two-time Pro Bowler in the National Football League was not able to translate his American football instincts in his first try of the Australian sport. Tigers’ defender Chris Newman said it was great to see someone “so cool struggle at a sport” after Newton joined them at the club’s practice.

"We have a little cheeky smile when he gets a football in his hand. But he's been impressive. The boys have loved him, and no more than me. The boys have been giving it to me — I've been in his back pocket for the entire trip,” Newman said as per AL.com.

Newton knew nothing about footy, but said that the Australian brand of football earned his respect and converted him into a footy fan adding that “it’s a very cool sport.” The 26-year-old quarterback also noticed the difference between American football and Australian football in terms of physicality.

"It’s extremely physical. In our sport, they are constantly putting things on you to protect you, but in this sport they're taking things away. I'm seeing guys get prepared and all they're wearing in essence is a tank top and a pair of boxers and going out there and giving it all they have. That makes them courageous,” Newton said in an interview with Herald Sun according to reports of ABC News.

Newman said the Richmond Tigers have learned a lot from Newton’s visit. He mentioned that Newton spoke to the leadership group about his experiences and “the way he speaks and his demands of others is something we could take something out of.”

Newton recently signed a five-year extension worth $103.8 million and will play for Carolina until 2020. He was drafted by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft as first overall pick. Newton’s participation in Australian Football was not confirmed if it was permitted by the team officials.