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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cam Newton for The Heisman Trophy

Suburban Atlanta - This blog post is complicated because the motivation for writing it was because, first, of my good friend Oakland Tribune Sports Columnist Monte Poole's passive agressive Heisman Trophy take. Second, my current proximity to Cam Newton's College Park residence, just outside Atlanta, Georgia.  Third, seeing Newton and Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck (who Poole picked for the Heisman) play, and finally Southern Culture and the fact that I can't sleep.  Blogging should knock me out.

Cam Newton is quite simply the best quarterback talent I've ever seen and should be the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner.

The main difference between Newton and Luck, is that for all of his accomplishments, Luck is a product of an offensive system formed by Cardinal Offensive Coordinator David Shaw, who gets little credit for his work. Cam's success has little to do with a particular offensive scheme, but his god-like talent. Consider this is Newton's first year in Auburn's system, and his third system in three years, where Luck has played in the same system for the three year span.

We've seen Cam do things, like score six touchdowns in the SEC Championship, that even the most rabid college football fans only dream of.  And all in his first year in a new system with new players and at a new school.  That's wild.

Cam's only problem is he's in an area of the country known for scams. To one from the San Francisco Bay Area (I go back and forth to help my Mom, who's here) it seems an inordinate number of people have their hands out, selling this or that. Robocalls are rampant. Newton's only hell has been growing up black, male, and physically gifted in football-crazed, dollar-sign-driven Georgia.

Frankly, I find the young man impressive. He handled himself extremely well when being questioned by CBS Sideline Reporter Tracy Wolfson.  He never broke his winning smile, and came off quite charming.  He certainly passed the Mom test, as mine was sold on his presentation at the SEC Championship.

What Cam knew or did not know, does not matter. Spend a little time down here and you don't have to be a genius to know that someone made Cam the focus of their sell / scam efforts. That's not Cam Newton's fault, yet it's being held against him.

Look, let's be honest with each other.  What we're tired of is yet another example of the African American male student who's great on the sports field, but has questions about his character off of it.  The Reggie Bush Heisman give-back has left a bad taste in the mouths of many.   But Cam Newton is not Reggie Bush.   Cam's not the smart, militant, chip-on-shoulder guy that Mr. Bush can be at times.  Cam Newton is an innocent kid with King Kong talent.   And like Kong, Newton can't help how society responds to him.

The question is, did Cam do well on and off the field this year in Auburn?  Yes.  He did.  And what Newton did on the field was jaw-dropping amazing.

Cam Newton for The Heisman.  

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