By Joe “Cright” Cardoso
By now, we all know his past. A stolen laptop from a fellow student at Florida. Tried to hide it by throwing the PC out his window. While transferring from JUCO, he and his father were accused of asking for pay to play.
Well, that’s all history. I’m here to talk about the present. About being the first player in the modern era to win the Heisman Trophy, National Championship, and the first pick of the NFL draft.
Cam Newton has been everything the 8-0 Carolina Panthers and Panthers Nation could have asked for. I’ll give a shout-out to Andy Dalton and Tom Brady, who are MUST mentions when talking MVP, but for my money it’s been Cam all the way.
Look at what he has to work with and his team’s record. The guy has improved by leaps and bounds, and is showing the league why the 6’5”, 245-pound ATL product is the real deal and worth the mega contract they gave him.
Some NFL fans find the Panthers style play to be boring or predictable. Well, it’s working. A QB is the heart of the running game which is not easy. Ask RGIII or Colin Kaepernick.
Before the season started, everyone (including me) thought the Panthers were done without Kelvin Benjamin. Teams would double all world TE Greg Olsen, and that’s a wrap on how to beat Carolina.
In one word…WRONG. UFA’s off the streets and draft picks like Devin Funchess have been thrown into the fire and making plays. Road wins against the Seahawks, beating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers… Cam is doing it and shows no signs of slowing down.
Now, don’t get me wrong: it hasn’t been all perfect. He still makes throws that make you close your eyes and pray. James Byus always says football is a game of emotion, and that’s true; but it doesn’t excuse him for ripping a banner down. Fans have the right to cheer for whoever they want, and tickets are not cheap, Mr. Newton. The banner was perhaps a sign of disrespect towards an undefeated team.
I’d like to stick to on the field, but for those who don’t and will say there’s a reason for him NOT to be in the MVP talks, I give you this: Elijah Aschbrenner has a rare form of cancer. It took a possible turn for the worse. His neighbors threw him an early Halloween party, and guess who shows up in an ice cream truck and food? Mr. Newton. So for all the first down pointing and superman effects, it’s not all bad. The season is only half over, but how do you NOT have Cam in the top-three for the award? With eight games left in the season, I can’t see him falling out of the discussion, so long as he can stay healthy and keep making plays.
Throw in a LOCK DOWN defense that saves him if and when he makes a mistake and it is a tasty recipe. Luke, Thomas Davis and crew also keep the games close so Cam isn’t forced to be something he’s not.
The old school hates his confidence and showmanship, while the younger generation loves it. I suspect that is how the voters will see it as well. With the talent he has around him, the results he is producing, and what he means to his team, I vote Cam. For now, Newton is living up to the hype, while many other “Can’t miss” QB’s are holding clipboards.