When he was a young football player growing up in south Atlanta, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton would get home from practice on Mondays, eat dinner and then settle in front of the TV.
The “Monday Night Football” theme always pulled him in.
“Monday night is a very historic and prestigious night, kind of like set aside for NFL football,” Newton said Wednesday. “I can remember coming home from practice and when you hear the “dah-dah-dah-dum,” that little tone just embellishes what football is all about. Every person who has had that want-to, it kind of puts us all in that little child-like mode and remembering the first time we witnessed Monday Night Football.”
Newton, whose Panthers host Indianapolis on “Monday Night Football,” remembers listening to John Madden in the broadcast booth on Monday nights. Newton is among the current and former players featured on ESPN’s intro video for the telecast.
Newton relishes the chance to play prime-time games. He is 2-1 on Monday nights, including a come-from-behind, 24-20 victory over New England in 2013.
“It’s like a dream come true for me, every time I have an opportunity to not only play this football game but to play on a national stage and just inspire people,” said Newton, who is 4-5 in prime-time games overall.
The Panthers had lost four consecutive prime-time contests, dating to the win over the Patriots, before beating Philadelphia 27-16 on Sunday night. Carolina is 14-20 all-time in prime-time games.