Cam Newton takes Peyton's 'Face of the NFL' prediction in stride

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said Monday night that Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton would be the face of the NFL the next eight to 10 years.

Newton, asked about the comment Monday during Super Bowl 50 media night, did not disagree.

"Anything the Sheriff says, you can probably ink it in gold," Newton said with a smile, referring to Manning's nickname.

But Newton said he still has plenty of work to do on Sunday against Manning & Co. before he can think about being the face of the league. He reminded reporters that his primary goal was to win the Super Bowl.

Newton was asked about everything Monday, including why he dabs and why he named his son Chosen. He answered most with a smile, enjoying a moment he said he had been dreaming about most of his life.

When a 9-year-old boy named Riley asked Newton what it would mean to win his first Super Bowl, Newton responded by asking Riley what he dreams about.

When Riley said a million dollars, Newton responded: "That's the type of feeling I have right now. I have been dreaming of this moment since I was 7 years old."

Newton arrived in SAP Center wearing a Gatorade Super Bowl towel wrapped around his head. It seemed to recall the first two years of his career, when he was repeatedly seen wearing a towel over his head and appearing to sulk during games as the Panthers struggled through 6-10 and 7-9 seasons.

Newton's session began with NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders presenting him with a pair of "swag pants."

They were nothing like the gaudy yellow, black and white zebra-striped Versace pants that Newton wore on the plane ride from Charlotte, North Carolina, to California. Newton said he picked those pants to match the colors of Super Bowl 50, black and gold.

"The black-and-gold attire I had in my closet was extremely limited," Newton said. "So when I looked at my pants, I said, 'These are black and gold, the shoes are black and gold to tie along with the whole Super Bowl 50 black and gold.'"

Sanders, known during his playing days as "Prime Time,'' told Newton those are "must-win pants.''

"Every time I put on an attire, every single morning of my life, it's a must-win attire," Newton said. "Trust me."

Mark Anthony Green, also known as the Style Guy for GQ magazine, said the pants were Newton's way of saying the big stage of the Super Bowl isn't too big for him.

"Like the rapper Future says, you do what you want when you poppin'," Green said, referencing one of Newton's favorite artists. "Cam is the biggest ticket on the planet right now, so you can get away with it."

Making headlines is nothing new for Newton. He has been in the media spotlight all season, whether for doing the Dab in his touchdown celebrations, ripping down banners, or scoring an NFL-best 45 touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing).

In many ways, Newton has become the most polarizing player in the league.

"I've said this since day one," Newton said last week. "I'm an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven't seen nothing that they can compare me to."

At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, with the ability to dominate with designed quarterback runs and throw 50-yard passes with pinpoint accuracy, Newton is unique at his position.

He is likely to be named the NFL MVP during the NFL Honors show on Saturday night. Through it all, Newton has continued to be himself, ignoring criticism about everything, including his dancing and his sometimes outlandish clothes.

He all but laughed before the NFC Championship Game, a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, when asked if he gets nervous.

"I don't get nervous," Newton said. "I've been playing football for too long for me to get nervous. I used to dream of being in this type of position."

Newton wasn't nervous on media night, either. He was extremely confident, saying that if the Panthers played their best and any team in the league played its best, "we still win."

His most poignant statement came when he was asked who he is. He smiled once more and said, "A Super Bowl quarterback."