This Sunday, Cam Newton might lead his team to win the Super Bowl, but he’ll never forget the time he lost against a Mexican university football team.

“Monterrey Tech, yes. Although it was an exhibition game, [so] it didn’t count,” Newton recently said when asked about the game, according Medio Tiempo.

Before all the fame and glory that came after he was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 2011, and from being the starting quarterback of the impressive Carolina Panthers this year, El Dinosaurio once played at modest Blinn Community College in Brenham, Texas after being kicked out of the prestigious Florida Gators Football program due to legal problems.

CamBlinn

As if the humbling experience of being sent from the Gators to a community college wasn’t enough, his new college team also got their ass kicked by Tecnológico de Monterrey during an exhibition game. Football is growing in Mexico, but it is still highly unusual for Mexican universities to defeat American ones, especially when they have a future NFL star in the lineup.

Perhaps it was the wide score of 35-14 favoring the Borregos, or the fact that it was a game with an international element, but judging by Cam Newton’s last press conference, he still remembers the game well.

“They had a lot of players. We barely had 60, and they were at least 100. The funny thing about playing against them is that I remember they were very well-organized with colored jerseys, and we didn’t even have matching uniforms,” said Newton, trying to play down the loss, only to later explain that the defeat was actually very helpful for his team.

“It’s incredible how close the team became after that game, which led us to win the NJCAA National Football Championship. We all believed in something at that moment, and didn’t let anything bring us down,” he added.

If what Newton says about the team coming together is true, perhaps the loss against Tec de Monterrey was not so insignificant after all. But however you look at it, it’s definitely one of those curious stories that happens once in a while in the world of sports.