When San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick mocked Cam Newton and his Superman touchdown pose in the playoffs after scoring against the Panthers, Newton did not have much to say about it in the postgame.
On the set of NFL Network’s “NFL AM” show Thursday, he said a little bit more.
“He hurt my feelings, and I think so highly of Mr. Kaepernick,” Newton said playfully, laughing before he added that the subject was still “tender.”
Newton said there will be a response to Kaepernick at some point but people would have to wait and see what it would be. A number of defensive players have mocked the Superman pose after sacking Newton, but Kaepernick is believed to be the first quarterback to do so. The Panthers and the 49ers do not face each other during the 2014 regular season.
Newton then lavishly praised all the young quarterbacks in the NFL, including Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. He added he was envious, but in a good way, of Wilson getting Seattle to the Super Bowl in his second season.
Newton is in town for the Super Bowl, and as part of that is doing promotional work for Pizza Hut’s “Go for Greatness” campaign.
• Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy is also in New York.
“I’m here to see everybody and be seen,” Hardy told me. He sported a gray suit with a name tag attached that read “Kraken!”
Hardy, an unrestricted free agent, said he and the Panthers have not begun contract negotiations.
“They are still working on their cap situation as I understand,” he said. “We’re playing the waiting game right now. … If they can afford me, man, I’d love to be there. That’s my team. My family. We got a good thing going right now.”
I continue to hope the Panthers will find a way to keep Hardy, who tied a team record with 15 sacks in 2013.
• You can make lots of crazy bets about the Super Bowl. My favorite offbeat one is this: What number will be higher, the number of seconds Renee Fleming will take to sing the national anthem or Peyton Manning’s first-half passing yardage?
You can also bet on what song Bruno Mars will play first during the halftime show. “Locked Out of Heaven” is the current favorite. And you can bet on how many times Manning will be heard saying “Omaha,” with the over-under currently set at 27.5.