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Newton follows Panthers coach's script, gives TD ball to kid

It has become a common scene these days for the Carolina Panthers.

Rookie quarterback Cam Newton struts his way into the end zone, pauses for a second and then pretends to rip off his jersey to reveal a figurative "S" hidden beneath his uniform. It's Newton's signature move, which The Charlotte Observer calls it the "Clark Kent Becomes Superman" routine.

But after he scored a third-quarter touchdown in Sunday's 33-20 victory over the Washington Redskins, Newton slightly altered his go-to celebration.

Newton still played Superman, but in a different fashion. After he made his transformation, Newton spotted a young fan in the Bank of America Stadium crowd and gave the boy the ball.

But, as The Observer later revealed, the charitable donation wasn't Newton's idea. There was some public-relations spin involved.

"Each and every week, my quarterback coach, Coach (Mike) Shula, always talks about learning how to celebrate," Newton said after the game. "He says when you celebrate, it's not a celebration unless you give back. He says, 'You do all that riff raff, whatever you do, but at the end, you give that football to a little kid. You find a little kid.'

"So after I did whatever I did, I heard somebody in my (helmet) headset saying, 'Give it to a little kid! Give it to a little kid!' I looked, and there was this kid just gleaming from ear to ear, so I gave it to him."

A close encounter from a bona fide superhero and a souvenir? Not much more a kid could want.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday that he appreciated Newton's following instructions.

"We're trying to develop who we are as a football team, and at the same time, we're trying to get our fans to understand and realize that this is a football team that wants to give back," Rivera said. "We appreciate the support, we need more support and we need to have more fans in the stands. We want them to understand we're going to give a product, we're going to play as hard as we can, give them everything we can and we hope they appreciate them. ...

"I saw the clip last night on the news, and the look on that young man's face, it was tremendous. I think that speaks volumes about Cam and who he is, but hopefully it speaks volumes about who we are as a football team."

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