Cam Newton was Carolina's hero Sunday. He passed for 297 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 57 yards and another touchdown. The Panthers held off the Packers, 37-29, for the first 8-0 start in franchise history.
For one boy, Colin Toler, Newton has greater heroic meaning. After a touchdown rush earlier in the second quarter, Newton flipped the ball to the 6-year-old. Unbeknownst to Newton, Colin's father passed away of a medical condition Sept. 30.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 8, 2015
Colin's father was never able to fulfill his promise of taking Colin to a Panthers game. Family friends did what they could, providing Colin and his two grandfathers with tickets to the Packers game.
When Newton sprung into the end zone, he almost lost Colin's future artifact. Former Panther Julius Peppers took the ball and tossed it toward the sideline.
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) November 8, 2015
A persistent Newton tracked down the ball and brought it to the crowd, where he hands off most of his rushing touchdown balls.
"I was like 'Oh gosh, oh gosh,'" Colin, who is from Danville, Virginia, told WSET13. "Am I going to be on the big screen or am I going to be on TV? I was jumping up and down like 'Yeah!'"
Colin became an instant celebrity among the Panther faithful.
"The back people were like, 'Can I take your picture?'" Colin says. "And I was like, 'Yeah.' And the side people gave me high fives and stuff, it was pretty fun."
It's an unfortunate time in Colin Toler's life. By accident (or by karma), Cam Newton made it a little bit better.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.