Wham, Bam, Thank You Cam!

cam-newton-slapping hands

Cam Newton is for real. I mean, for real, for real. He’s certainly not a one and done deal, or a one night stand, that’s for sure. They way things are going for him, Cam should shine in the NFL for a long, long time.

In the NFC Championship Game yesterday, he lead his Carolina Panthers to an annihilation of the Arizona Cardinals, the No. 2 team in the NFC, 49-15, and as they say, it wasn’t that close. The Panthers won by 34 points, and they didn’t let up in the second half like they did against the Seahawks to leave little to no question about how good they really are.

Cam is a ham. Yes he is. He runs the inside rim of the stadium after games and slaps hands with the fans, and he celebrates after touchdowns more than most.  But when you beat up and beat down your opponent like he beat Arizona, you feel that you have the right to flaunt and to taunt, even if you’re not supposed to. The domination was so bad that it was like a crucifixion, and as crucifixions go, it wasn’t pretty. But Cam the ham is the fruit of Cam being the sacrificial lamb.

At one point in his career, Cam was in a jam. Or two. He’s worked his way back from being kicked off of one team and playing for another unknown junior college team to winning the Heisman Trophy to being the No. 1 Draft Pick in the NFL to being on the verge of winning the Super Bowl. At age 26. So before you damn and sham Cam, walk a mile in his shoes.

On November 21, 2008, Newton was arrested for receiving stolen property after purchasing a stolen laptop computer from another University of Florida student. He was subsequently suspended from the team after the laptop was found to be in his possession.

In January 2009, Newton transferred to Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, to play for head coach Brad Franchione, son of Dennis Franchione. That fall he led his team to the 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship, throwing for 2,833 yards with 22 touchdowns and rushing for 655 yards. He was named a Junior College (juco) All-America honorable mention and was the most recruited juco quarterback in the country.

Then Auburn “came a calling,” and Cam went on to win the Heisman and the National Championship. The Tigers beat Oregon 22–19 to win the BCS National Championship in 2011. Newton threw for 262 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed 22 times for 65 yards, though he lost a fumble that later allowed Oregon to tie the game with limited time remaining. Once Auburn got the ball back, Newton drove the Tigers down the field to win the game on Wes Byrum’s last-second field goal.

One major story of the next two weeks leading up to the Panthers’ shot at a Lombardi Trophy against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl L will be how much people hate him. That’s been the case throughout his career, from those who saw him as an inevitable bust to those who resent his “antics” and his celebrations. But guess what? That shouldn’t be a surprise to Cam.

In the game of life, we all have haters and helpers, supporters and detractors. Cam’s got critics and skeptics as well as backers and boosters. You can’t have one without the other. It’s just like that. So the lesson is, just get used to it. Cam recognizes that everyone is not in his corner, but that does not faze him or raze him or daze him. Good for him.

Cam has risen and rocketed to sports stardom after being kicked to the curb and thrown from the train. And as heroes go, he’s garnered faithful fans and frightful foes along the way. Yet through it all, he has not bowed to the pressure of doubt but has allowed the force of his faith, and the attacks of his allies and his antagonists alike, to fuel his fire.

Go Cam.

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