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Cameron Newton


Hey girl, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is still very handsome and confident - Also a word on “diva” wide receivers

There’s this awesome parody account of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s VP pick Paul Ryan on twitter and all the tweets start out with “hey girl.” I think it’s so hilarious and have been dying to use it in the title of post. And lo and behold GQ magazine gave me a perfect excuse to do it when they posted pics of the cute caramel quarterback and Carolina Panther Cam Newton! Now yall know I love my Cammy and I’ll use any excuse to post on him.

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton poses for GQ Magazine

This dude exudes charm that is beyond his 22 years.

You can read GQ’s cover story here and see other photos of Cam.

Here’s the part of the article I loved the most. I think Cam nailed the public’s hypocrisy when it comes to athletes being confident.

[To read the rest of this post and what I think of arrogant athletes and so-called "divas" click Read More]



Brees and Dalton Are Great But Rodgers and Newton Are Tops

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Andy Dalton has shown a lot of poise and promise, but Cam Newton deserves the ROY nod.

I have this theory-some people don’t watch sports for the love of the game…they watch just to have something to argue about. And in my mind, arguing for Drew Brees to be MVP or Andy Dalton to be offensive rookie of the year is an example of that. There’s no doubt that Drew Brees and Andy Dalton have been impressive, but there’s also no doubt that Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton have redefined the word.

If you want to know why I think there’s no debate about Rodgers being MVP, look no further than the New Orleans Saints games against the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Saint Louis Rams. Both were embarrassing displays. New Orleans looked like a team without any identity in particular on offense and that can be traced back to poor performances by Brees. Brees finished both of those games with a quarterback rating below 74. Brees has had 5 games with multiple interceptions-NFL listed his number of interceptions at 14 but I think it might be 13. Either way, it’s more than double Rodgers’ number which is 6. Brees threw three INTs against Tampa Bay which certainly doesn’t have anything approaching a great defense.

And this has been the issue with Brees-among a lot of very brilliant games he throws in some serious doozies that are rare enough as to be uncharacteristic but common enough to be expected. This year Rodgers was by far the most consistent quarterback in the league-with only two games in which his passer rating dipped below 100- and he shouldn’t have to share honors with anyone else.

I realize that stats don’t tell the whole story but in the case of Rodgers they come mighty close. Not only is Rodgers consistent numerically he’s been largely consistent across game quarters as well.

Onto the darling rookies. I think we’ve all been pretty surprised by both Dalton and Newton. I’m actually more surprised by Dalton than Newton though…I guess because I was aware of the fact that Dalton had little experience taking snaps under center, I thought he’d be a slow moving target for a lot of professional front lines, and his personality on Gruden’s QB camp just didn’t strike me as formidable. But Dalton has had very little trouble adjusting to the pro style offense (and, more importantly the speed of the pro defense) and he’s better than many of the 2nd year guys that are playing right now. And, quite frankly, though still mistake prone he may be in some areas outperforming some 3rd and 4th year dudes like Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco. But he is certainly not outperforming his fellow rookie Cam Newton.

In the past few weeks as Newton stormed through a slew of records including Peyton Manning’s rookie passing record, those championing Dalton over Newton have quieted a bit. I’m glad, because there simply should be no debate about Newton’s worthiness.

Newton has single-handedly reinvigorated a franchise that had barely been relevant since jailed wide receiver Rae Carruth pathetically stuffed himself in a trunk in an attempt to avoid capture for the murder of the mother of his child. Now, even volatile-but-talented wide receiver Steve Smith can’t hide his delight in catching Newton’s passes. it hasn’t calmed his temper, but it’s ignited his enthusiasm for sure. Newton has been on fire and he’s done it all with a defense that barely gives him 5 minutes to catch his breath in between possessions.

Beyond passing yards and rushing touch downs, Newton and Dalton are neck in neck statistically. But Dalton has the benefit of a more balanced team-including a MUCH better defense- and some scary weapons on offense including the talented rookie AJ Green and the high flying acrobatic Jerome Simpson. Thus it’s no wonder that Dalton is headed to the playoffs his rookie season while Newton is headed home.

Dalton will get his due. But this year Newton has really made a name for himself. And I’m thinking that sooner rather than later Newton will be among the youngest to ever join the much talked about cadre of elite quarterbacks.









Ouch That Hurt: Swiping Cam Newtons Talented Butt Cheeks Across the Fiery Pits of Reality

 love Cam Newton.

Now that thats out of the way its time for me to swipe those cute little buns across the fiery pits of racial reality. Beware there are about to be some 3rd degree burns on those talented little ass cheeks.

ESPN posted an interview with Cam that will be in their Magazine next month where he touches on all of those who criticized him when he was coming into the NFL. If you remember scouts said a number of things-that he was one-read and his smile was fake among other (mostly petty and untrue) things. As you all know by now, along with breaking a boat load of records, Cam has shown himself to be mature, poised, and a more than capable passer and runner. In fact, he is rookie of the year no matter which way the vote goes. He has single-handedly reinvigorated the Carolina Panthers franchise despite a defense that Football Outsiders hasnt ranked above 30 all season long.

But on race, Cam has it painfully wrong:
I cant sit up here and look at it like, Oh man, my critics are racist, Newton said. I blame JaMarcus Russell and to some degree. If you have the opportunity to make that kind of money doing something you love to do, why would you screw it up? Im trying to be a trailblazer. If Baylors Robert Griffin decides to come out, I want people to say He can be the next Cam Newton instead of Hes going to be the next JaMarcus Russell.

What Cam doesnt realize is that the very need to link athletes who have little in common besides their race could be considered, itself, to be racist. No I dont think Cam is racist, I think that Cam, like most black people, live in a world where they worry about being judged by the actions of other blacks. This is a feeling that many blacks experience at different times in life but at work is where it haunts us the most. Often youll hear blacks say they dont want to mess it up for any blacks that apply for a position after them. Frequently its not until later in life when you realize that its wasted mental and emotional energy to try to take on the image of an entire race on your own. People who are racist like their racist thoughts just fine, and you shucking and jiving-despite what your parents may have taught you- trying to be one of the good ones is just one way to stress yourself into an early grave.

Cam will learn that as well-hopefully sooner rather than later. No matter how well Cam plays into the future it wont stop some folks from deliberately choosing to compare up and coming black QBs to black QBs who are considered failures. The entire time Newton was coming up, McNabb and Culpepper were right there as two very OBVIOUS available comparisons (if you just had to choose black QBs to compare Cam to) yet people, including Cam, prefer to hold up Young and Russell as barometers. What makes Cam think that performing well will afford future black QBs with a luxury he, himself, does not afford Robert Griffin III?

On some level, it seems Cam has forgotten he is not the first black QB to perform well. I think he has some research to do.

To speak specifically to Vince Young and Jamarcus Russell…they faced vastly different circumstances coming into the league. To compare the two of them is disturbing. Further, Young isnt the first interception King to lose a starting QB position and to go play backup with a chance to someday start again. And that experience is certainly not limited to black athletes. Washington Redskins QB Rex Grossman, who is white, went to the Super Bowl, played backup for the Houston Texans and now starts for the Redskins. Russell wasnt the first QB or player to underperform, display poor personal conduct and find himself out of the league altogether. That is something that happens to both black and white athletes on a yearly basis, take your pick there are many available comparisons. Ryan Leaf?

Ill save my tirade on how Russells problems werent completely his fault for another post. But for now…

The undercurrent here is that two big dumb black studs squandered an opportunity that some people think they never should have had in the first place. But failing to meet expectations is not special to black folks. And I wish Cam would have taken a step back and thought about why the connection between the three of them was ever even made. When I see Cam play, I see more of Ben Roethlisberger than anyone else who currently plays. Football Outsiders said he was Peyton Manning and Herschel Walker rolled into one. I think thats a much more thoughtful comparison.

As far as Robert Griffin is concerned I think theres something else to remember before we peg him. The college game is very different from the NFL game. Griffin is a good rusher but hasnt shown me anything that says he has a rush first, pass second mentality. I think Griffin is, at his core a passer first. He could spend his entire NFL career somewhere near the pocket and passing on the run ala Tony Romo when necessary. Its too soon to know. And its certainly too soon to limit our thoughts of what Griffin can be become by only considering comparisons to players he shares very little with beyond skin tone.

Back to Cam: Unfortunately, I wasnt surprised by what he said. In fact, I was alarmed by Cams earlier comments during the summer when asked about whether he thought black QBs were treated differently. He was very dismissive. But not dismissive in a way that indicated that hed given it any thought. Id love to hear Cams comments in a few years once hes lived a little outside of the deliberate shelter of big money college athletics.

But then gain, he could just end up being another Michael avoid-any-subject-that-could-hurt-my-pockets Jordan. And that would make me sad.

What we do know, for sure, is that most of the ticket buying public doesnt like to hear about race no matter how valid the conversation. Personally, Id rather Cam coddle those folks by avoiding the topic altogether in lieu of giving them some pseudo post-racial poster boy.


Peter King Says He Was “Stiffed” By Carolina Panthers Cam Newton

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King is doing his tour of football camps this week. According to his tweets, while at Carolina’s camp he was refused an interview by Cam Newton. King, a sacred cow in the NFL world-for those who don’t know, complained that his long-running “Monday Morning Quarterback” column comments about Newton would be “odd” cause Newton isn’t quoted.

If you remember, Peter King was the one that interviewed Cam Newton when he made his infamous “icon” statement. That was when he said “I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon.” That sent the NFL world snark machine at Pro Football Talk and beyond on a rampage. Perhaps that’s why Cam was hesitant. Since then Newton has been a star at dealing with the media and hasn’t made any additional missteps.

Though I still enjoy King’s column and there’s no denying the impact he can have on the image of players, I find he can uncomfortably biased sometimes. For example, his decision to blame the Steelers Super Bowl loss almost solely on Running Back Rashard Mendenhall didn’t sit right with me, in light of all the mistakes my favorite QB Ben Roethlisberger made in addition to the near-absence of Safety Troy Polamalu and Linebacker James Harrison.

I suppose this is an FYI post. It’s kind of fun to read King’s column and play guessing games about who he likes and who he doesn’t. Plus, the writing and information makes his MMQB column worth reading no matter how you feel about him personally. It’s one of the few long form columns I read regularly.

Quick note: I think that this might be a nod to how much media is changing. ESPN and Sports Illustrated aren’t the only media outlets in town. There’s a zillion other ways for players to get stories out. Whether it be via blogs like this one or even TMZ, which I’m noticing is a site where more PR folks are increasingly placing stories on football players. Soon, there probably won’t be as many sacred cow reporters.


Cam Newton Poses for GQ and Talks Black QB Stereotypes

I tend to look at men under 25 years old as babies and kids I want to drop off at the mall and take for ice cream.  But even I must admit that my child-in-my-mind Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is all grown up in these GQ magazine photos. He such a handsome young man and whoever took these photos did an outstanding job.

You can view the whole shoot here.

In the article, Newton responds to a question about whether black QBs are still accused of being naturally athletic while white QBs get the benefit of being labeled smart. Newton says:

“Sir,” he says with granite certainty, “it all comes down to whether a person wins or loses. I don’t bring race into the game, ’cause then you’re talking about excuses. I. Hate. Excuses. Excuses are a disease.”

I don’t totally agree, but I think that was the right response. He’s new and unproven and is right to keep his comments sanitized and reflective of his competitive spirit. God willing there will be plenty of years for Newton to notice the difference in how black NFL QBs are treated and discussed and to respond as maturely as he did here.

Newton has really impressed me with how he’s handled all the criticism. From the whole one-read controversy to the NCAA investigation to his dad’s generally odd behavior, Newton has made very few missteps in his public comments. I’m rooting for this guy.



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