Cam Newton played a blinder on Sunday as the Carolina Panthers ran out 27-22 winners over the New Orleans Saints.
With the win, the Panthers continued their unbeaten start to the season, reaching 3-0 in an NFC South division that will be hotly contested between them and the Atlanta Falcons.
However, despite his turnover-free game, Newton still left the afternoon with a sour taste in his mouth, thanks to the words of referee Ed Hochuli, who said something to Newton during the game that really rubbed the quarterback the wrong way.
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Newton stirred up some drama during his post-game press conference yesterday, claiming that Hochuli told him he wasn’t “old enough” to earn a personal foul call.
Yes, apparently you have to be a veteran quarterback to earn late hit flags in the National Football League. Something tells me that addendum isn't quite in the official rule-book.
“I was really baffled by what was said to me,” Newton said of Hochuli, via Black and Blue Review. “I was rolling out trying to string out the play and create some kind of opportunity to get a completion. The defensive lineman kind of hit me. It was close, right on the cusp, late hit, I don’t know."
"The response I got was: ‘Cam you’re not old enough to get that call.’ . . . I didn’t think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul.”
Ageism in the NFL?
While there is definitely an unwritten code that older quarterbacks tend to get an extra layer of protection, as well as some leeway on flags themselves, a referee saying it is something else entirely.
You can see a video of the incident below. Following the play, Newton and Hochuli come together, with the ref clearly saying something that bewilders and annoys the QB.