One of the most highly-criticized and polarizing players across the NFL is Cam Newton. I have one question that I want to ask you, the readers. Why?
For starters, he’s talented and a thrill to watch. Typically, duel-threat quarterbacks are solid at best; most times, they’re rarely as effective in the pros as they may have been in college. Newton has really come into his own as a passer, not just as a runner. This was his best season in the NFL- He threw for over 3,800 yards, 35 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, while adding over 600 yards on the ground with 10 more touchdowns (the most scores he’s run for since his rookie year). #1 can literally run an offense all by himself. This season, he was the NFL’s best quarterback, and I don’t even think it was close. Newton is the runaway MVP.
Newton is also a leader. Look at the Panthers roster, specifically, on offense. Other than Greg Olsen, there’s not one exceptional player on the roster. Sure, there’s some solid players and solid athletes, but they’re all made better by Cam Newton. Obviously, the quarterback is the de facto leader of any team. If you look over the last few seasons though, the Panthers’ offense is simply better when Newton is. That has to do with skill to an extent, but it’s no coincidence that his best 16-game season has led to 15 wins in the regular season, along with 2 more playoff wins. This team believes him when he talks, and believes even more when he plays. As talented as he is, Cam’s not afraid to play real, physical football.
Finally, he’s a good guy. One of my buddies always contests that he infamously stole a laptop during his time at Florida, which led to his dismissal. Then, he points out that his dad tried to take money from Mississippi State in exchange for Cam’s commitment to the school. Two things: 1- Newton was in college, and while it was stupid, my point has already been stated. He was in college. How many people do stupid things in college? That doesn’t cement his place in hell. 2- The Mississippi State scandal is on Newton’s dad, not Cam himself.
Anyways, Newton runs his own foundation that helps out underprivileged kids academically, athletically, and socially. Furthermore, he’s actually at these events that the foundation organizes in person. Not the same can be said of many other athletes who have their own foundations. Just look at whenever he scores- he always gives the ball away to a child in the stands.
Cam Newton is definitely confident- just yesterday, ESPN wrote about how Newton said that he’s “criticized because he’s incomparable”. He celebrates whenever he scores, and it’s usually a pretty long ordeal. To me, that speaks more about his joy of playing. He also isn’t afraid to talk trash. Who doesn’t talk trash or celebrate when they play pick-up sports? Why can’t Cam have fun at his job?
He tears down visiting teams’ signs (most notably, the Packers and the Seahawks). He didn’t break league or stadium rules, and it’s his home stadium. He isn’t perfect. But are these really fatal flaws to make people hate him?
I, for one, love Cam Newton. I wasn’t a fan in college because I don’t like Auburn. But once he was gone? I jumped right on the bandwagon. He’s an excellent player, an ideal leader, and an exceptional person. When I hear a real reason to not like Cam Newton, I’ll be sure to think about it. I probably won’t change my mind though.
Cover photo courtesy of Sporting News.
GIFs courtesy of SB Nation and giftsports.com.