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Newton a gravitating personality even when bored

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Cam Newton smiled and rolled his eyes. It was Wednesday morning, just two days after the Panthers arrived here in California and it became official: the quarterback was bored.

Not bored with preparation or game planning. Not with the sights and sounds of the biggest stage in football. Just bored with answering similar-sounding questions over and over.

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"You know what's confusing? How can I reword questions I've been asked so many times? Golly," Newton said when asked what it means to him personally to lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl. "Nothing pretty much has changed since I've seen you guys 24 hours ago. I had an unbelievable sleep, but yet I'm up here again. It's cool. It's like I don't know how you want to say it.

"I sound like a broken record, but yet for a dream to play out as it has through the ups and downs, it just means the world for us to get what you prepare for. For us, the ultimate goal for this sport is to win a Super Bowl."

Newton has been phenomenal on the field during Carolina's run to the Super Bowl. But off the field, he's done almost as much for the game.

Despite mounting criticism, Newton has been brutally honest about his feelings on everything from race to media ethics. There is always a media curiosity at every Super Bowl, with Marshawn Lynch of Seattle stealing the show in 2014. But this year, Panthers players don't seem to mind being asked about Newton.

As running back Jonathan Stewart noted, its due in part to the way Newton's teammates gravitated toward his personality. Newton never really changed, but everyone else did.

"It's been amazing to watch, just thinking his maturity and his openness," Stewart said. "The one cool thing that stays the same is his personality, he hasn't changed. We as a team, as a whole, have gravitated toward that because he plays the game the right way and that's to have fun and to enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, then why are you playing it, why are you doing what you do?"

Newton wasn't wrong about the question, either. The Super Bowl setup is such that players get put through a daily spin cycle Monday through Thursday. People don't remember what has been asked the day before, and players are expected to treat these questions like it's their first time hearing them.

Everyone except for Newton.

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