Cam Newton doesn't plan to change because the spotlight is on him

AP Photo/Butch Dill

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and safety Roman Harper both were at the Auburn-Alabama football game on Saturday pulling for opposite teams.

Only one had an exchange with a fan that was taunting him recorded and plastered all over social media.

It wasn't Harper.

"I got hassled, too," said Harper, a 2006 second-round pick out of Alabama. "I'm just not as famous as Cam, so nobody has a camera on me.

"I probably said some things I shouldn't have said, but nobody is recording me every step I'm taking."

Newton, who led Auburn to an undefeated record and national championship in 2010, was videoed making the walk into Jordan-Hare Stadium, dabbin' on the sideline and getting into a brief shouting match with an Alabama fan over his alleged college pay-for-play.

That's the price of being the highly-visible quarterback of the only undefeated team in the NFL.

"Yeah, it is," Harper said. "I'm not envious of Cam in any way, especially when it comes to that."

Don't feel bad for Newton. He certainly doesn't, saying he won't change what he does or who he is just because the Panthers are in the spotlight with an 11-0 record.

"At the end of the day I do what I want to do, and I say that in all respects of what I stand for," Newton said. "I had a pretty good Thanksgiving weekend. It was good to be around friends and family."

Newton's weekend began with a 33-14 victory on Thanksgiving Day at Dallas. He got to say hello to LeBron James at a Cleveland-Charlotte Hornets game on Friday at Time Warner Arena, and then turned up on stage at a Future concert.

On Saturday, he went to the Iron Bowl at Auburn as an honorary captain.

There were pictures on Twitter and Instagram documenting almost every move he made.

But Newton doesn't plan to live his life differently because he's successful and everyone with a cell phone has a camera. He'll continue to ride his hover board to the stadium on days when the weather permits and he'll continue to attend other events.

If he doesn't go to Wednesday night's game between the Hornets and his good friend Steph Curry of the 19-0 Golden State Warriors it will have nothing to do with anything that happened this past weekend.

It'll have everything to do with getting ready for Sunday's game at New Orleans.

"I don't know if I'm going to go to the game," Newton said. "It depends on when I leave here. I do have priorities.

"I do have Time Warner Cable, though. I can stream it to the TV at the crib."

Asked which would lose first, Golden State or Carolina, Newton smiled and said, "You know what I'm about to say."

Newton never said.

That may be his best tact with fans such as the one he ran into at Auburn.

"That's probably better," Harper said.

As Harper reminded, it's hard being an athlete as popular as Newton and all the attention he has on him.

"I don't blame [Newton], though," added Harper for the way Newton responded to the fan. "I thought it was funny."