John Isner and Cam Newton aren't two professional athletes that you would often mention in the same sentence. However, Isner caught the attention of many people earlier this week when he performed Newton's patented Superman touchdown celebration after a second-round win in the Australian Open.
Isner, 26, grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina and has been a Carolina Panthers fan since the team's inception in 1995. In fact, Isner, who is undoubtedly the best active player in American tennis, has been to Panthers training camp and even invited wide receiver Steve Smith to sit in his player box for some of his matches.
Isner defeated Argentinean David Nalbandian in controversial fashion after five sets of grueling tennis in Melbourne. Late in the fifth set, Chair Umpire Kader Nouni made a highly-disputed call to not allow Nalbandian to challenge an ace given to Isner, overruling a linesman's judgment.
Shortly thereafter, Isner sneaked a thunderous forehand volley past a diving Nalbandian, securing the victory. To celebrate, Isner trotted to the middle of the tennis court and imitated Newton's Superman routine.
Isner isn't the only professional athlete to mimic Newton. After making a game-winning jump shot against the Charlotte Bobcats in late December, Miami Heat guard Dwayne also performed the Superman celebration with Newton himself sitting courtside.
While Isner's tribute was certainly done with the best intentions, Wade's motivation was more suspect. Either way, it's nice to see Charlotte's great hope getting the attention of the best athletes in the country.
As I devoted Panthers fan, I hope this signature celebration becomes the symbol of success in Carolina for years to come.
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