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Sports Then and Now



Cam Newton’s Dad Really Blew It 67

Posted on September 12, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Before news broke that Cecil Newton had shopped the services of his son to college teams, they appeared to be the feel-good story of college football in 2010.

You know how sometimes you make a decision that seems to be a good short-term choice, but when looked in the bigger context probably wasn’t such a smart idea? Well, I can’t help thinking of that kind of notion when thinking about Cam Newton and the record-setting performance he had yesterday in his first game for the Carolina Panthers.

Even though the Panthers lost, given that Newton threw for more yards in his professional debut than any quarterback in NFL history, today should be a day when Newton is celebrated nationwide as a budding superstar and starts to cash in on his mile-wide smile, dynamic personality and athletic ability.

However, while I believe there is general appreciation for his performance and ability, I get the sense that many people across the country aren’t really interested in signing up for the “Cam Era” and likely will never embrace him in the way that his talent and potential might deserve.

You can choose to say that the reason for this is that he is a black quarterback in what is still predominately a white quarterback world, but I will respectfully disagree.

Instead, I believe that players such as Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, Doug Williams, Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick and others have paved the way for someone like Cam Newton to be the face of a franchise and the face of the NFL.

In my opinion, the biggest reason that Cam Newton isn’t receiving the unbridled love of sports fans across the country can be traced to one of those short-term decisions. When Cam’s father, Cecil Newton, chose to hold discussions about how much it was worth to certain universities to secure the services of his son, Cecil unknowingly forever altered how his son is perceived by the sports world.

Whether or not you believe that money changed hands (to my knowledge no evidence of this has been proven) or whether you believe that Cam knew about the discussions (as of now the NCAA has ruled that he didn’t), you cannot help but look at Cam in a different light than if his father had respected the rules of amateur athletics and the NCAA and waited until after his son had completed his college career to cash in financially.

I have little doubt that if the world had never learned that Cecil Newton tried to trade the services of his son to Mississippi State for a six-figure cash deal, Cam Newton would have been the toast of the sports world even before his amazing NFL debut. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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