Full disclosure here, I am a Cam Newton fan. I was never sold on him as a pro-prospect, but I surely hoped he would develop to be a solid NFL starter. I definitely never imagined he would be this good. Outside of an unforeseen meltdown in one of his last 2 games, Cam has runaway with the MVP award and his team, the Carolina Panthers, are running away with the NFC. Not to say that Carson Palmer, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady are not having spectacular seasons, but none of them are doing it as well as Sir Cameron Newton. I do not have to list you the stats to tell you how good he is. Turn on the television any given Sunday and you will see Cam carry a bottom-third offense, in terms of skill players, and make them the highest scoring team in the league. Similar to when he was at Auburn, this team has an offense that maximizes Cam’s entire skill set. His versatility is what makes him so deadly. He is the best short yardage threat in the league, has a cannon for an arm, and can break off big plays in the running game. He is the first quarterback that can truly be considered a freak athlete and even without his number one receiving option, he has become unstoppable.
While the numbers and his athleticism are great, none of that has anything to do with why I like Cam. There are plenty of successful quarterbacks that have carried sub par rosters. I like Cam because all of the undeserved hate he receives. Since his troubled days at the University of Florida to fighting Josh Norman in training camp just a few months ago, people have been waiting for Cam to truly fail. There are plenty of people out there who would like to see Cam stumble again. Similarly to how I described Odell Beckham’s situation, Cam was young so mistakes were warranted. No, I am not saying it is okay for young people to break the law, but I am saying it does not make them bad people or adults destined to be criminals.
Cam is the model for how someone can mature. Cam transferred from Florida amid legal trouble. Then Cam succeeded at Auburn when everybody accused him of accepting illegal benefits (I don’t care if he did or not, he earned it). After that, analysts questioned whether he should be drafted ahead of the likes of Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Jake Locker (Dalton is the only one in that group who is not currently a laughing-stock). Now Cam has dominated the NFC South, the home of a couple notable QB’s named Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.
The only thing Cam Newton has not done is win multiple playoff games in a year. This year he could do just that while winning a Super Bowl in an undefeated season and he would make a lot of people mad in the process. What is even better is that Cam has staying power. Cam has a big smile and even bigger personality. He comes off as the football reincarnation of Magic Johnson. He is also the best quarterback in the NFC South and will not relinquish that throne anytime soon. So similarly to Luck, Rodgers and Wilson, you can get used to hearing his name in January for the foreseeable future. The same way we have heard Brady and Manning for the past decade and a half.
Honestly, a lot of the hate on Cam is misguided. I enjoy the fact that he made a very human mistake. It gives great contrast to the fact that his on-field actions are often superhuman. The most important part is that he has grown from it, like he does so often when it seems he has met his match. I remember Cam silencing the Alabama crowd in Tuscaloosa and single-handedly reviving his team’s championship aspirations. I remember Cam leading Auburn on a methodical game-winning drive to capture the BCS championship. I remember Cam getting in a car wreck in early December of last season, only to return a week later and lead the Panthers to 2 straight victories and a second consecutive division title. I also remember Cam losing to the Seahawks in the playoffs for the second time that season and putting the towel over his head to sulk. Now I cannot wait to remember Cam winning the Super Bowl. It may not be this season, but I have complete confidence that eventually Cam will get the job done. That is because he always gets the job done. Cam has overcome adversity time and time again which is why he is so special. Even though he has been described as a criminal, a cheater, and a whiner, there is only one word that describes Cam and that is resilient.