David Newton, ESPN Staff Writer 153d

Cam Newton admits to fashion faux pas, approves Ryan Fitzpatrick's 'groovy' attire

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It wasn't so much that Cam Newton gave his seal of approval to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s postgame attire, calling the outfit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback borrowed on Sunday from wide receiver DeSean Jackson "groovy."

It's that the Carolina Panthers quarterback admitted he sometimes makes a fashion faux pas with some of his own postgame choices.

That may have been a first.

Newton considers himself the NFL's fashion guru. He has his own clothing line, MADE Cam Newton, and has appeared on the cover of GQ Magazine with an article in which he reminded that "NFL players can dress wild, too."

But on Wednesday, when critiquing Fitzpatrick's wild outfit featuring gold chains, aviator sunglasses and a black jacket zipped down to his belly button that was as unexpected as Tampa Bay's 2-0 start, Newton admitted he has looked back at some of his outfits and said, "Golly! What was I feeling? What was I wearing?"

"You swing sometimes and you hit a grand slam," the 2015 NFL MVP said. "You swing sometimes and you miss. But as long as you keep swinging, you know what I'm saying, it's all that matters.

"I pride myself in being able to not only just wear certain things that may catch the blogs, but I'm willing to wear it. I really could care less what a person may think, say or whatever."

Reminded he's worn postgame outfits that have drawn comparisons to everything from a Batman villain to a "chicken in a freezer," Newton laughed.

"I'm lucky to have that pinnacle that people look at and draw inspiration [from], joke on sometimes," Newton said. "I'm very soft-tempered when it comes to myself. If you can't laugh at yourself sometimes, it is what it is."

Newton used one of his favorite fashion words, "saucy," when describing Fitzpatrick's look, which has been compared to the look of MMA fighter Conor McGregor.

"Groovy. Groovy. Sauce," Newton said. "A lot of help, but at the end of the day, we all do need help. His beard game is strong. I've been trying to get my grown man on this, about three years in the making. But I was impressed."

Newton, 29, has most of his postgame outfits specially made for his 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame. Most of his hats are custom-made by Nick Fouquet's hat shop in Venice Beach, California.

None of it is cheap.

In 2015, he arrived at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco wearing a pair of black, yellow and gold zebra-print Versace pants that sold for just under $900.

"A lot of people bring a lot of different things to the table," Newton said. "Fashion is like beauty. It's in the eyes of the beholder. Whatever kind of cracks your eye.

"I look around the league, not only just in football but in all of sports, in modeling and entertainment and everywhere. I get inspired to do certain things and I see things that trigger the inside to try to look this certain type of way, feel this certain type of way."

Newton's warmup cleats also are unusual. Last season he wore a pair with a foxtail attached to the back. For this year's opener against Dallas they mimicked a pair of cowboy boots, complete with a silver star with the word "sheriff" written on them.

But his postgame outfit that has been described as "pajamas" and "chicken in a freezer" got the most attention. It featured a black and white checkered robe with a wide black lapel and tight black pants that stopped at his ankles and featured a pencil-thin stripe down the front.

There also was a bandanna involved.

That outfit got more laughs than criticism. The one that may have gotten Newton the most grief were the man capris cut well above the ankles that the first pick of the 2011 draft wore after a loss to Pittsburgh in 2014.

"I would want to have a conversation with his tailor and talk that out with him," Mark Anthony Green, the "Style Guy" for GQ, told ESPN.com for an article in January 2016.

Chances are, Fitzpatrick will go back to his normal postgame attire after Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Newton doesn't plan to ever look normal.

"You can best believe I'm still going to try to be groovy, swaggy, saucy, drippy, all of the above come Sunday," Newton said as he looked ahead to a 1 p.m. ET game against the 2-0 Cincinnati Bengals. "'Cause you look good, you play good; you play good to pay good.

"The rest is history."

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