Celebrity Quarterbacks and Jersey Swapping

By Eric D.Graham
Updated: May 6, 2011

Cam the Celebrity?

Cam the Celebrity?

NORTH CAROLINA—(BASN) “You don’t want to have a celebrity QB”

This has always been the philosophy of former NFL head coach Bill Parcell.

Many people believe this is one reason the Dallas Cowboys have failed to make the playoffs since Tony Romo became that celebrity quarterback Parcel warned us about.

Unfortunately, for the Charlotte Panthers, we, now, live in a celebrity-driven culture and a paparazzi planet that is filled with flashing cameras, face book postings, tweeter accounts and reality shows. Plus, their current potential starting quarterback, Cam Newton, is the No.1 overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The discussion of Newton’s quest for celebrity status is stemmed from his past “I want to be icon and entertainment” comment that occurred earlier during the year, which drew some criticism from several NFL analysts.

Panthers Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil even sarcastically send Newton a tweet Thursday after he was selected No.1 by the Carolina saying: “Congratulations to entertainer and icon, Cam Newton. Welcome to the team” with a photo-shopped picture of a star on Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame with Newton’s name on it.

Despite Kalil hilarious tweet, Newton is already a star in the city of Charlotte.

Consider the fact that last Saturday when Grammy-award winning superstar R&B singer Usher was performing at Time Warner Center, everybody was still buzzing about the 2010 Heisman hero coming to the Panthers.

Newton, who arrived in the Queen City on Friday in order to meet with team officials and corporate sponsors, participated in a charity kickball fundraising game for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at Providence High School on Saturday to the delight of several Panther fans.

As Newton tries to make a smooth transition from college to the pros, there is already a slight controversy brewing between him and last year’s starting quarterback Jim Clausen.

Because not only is Newton trying to take Clausen’s job, he is also trying to take his jersey as well as.

The conflict of interest involves a No.2 jersey that Clausen wore last season as a rookie.

Why?

Because Newton also wore a No.2 jersey at Auburn while winning a BCS National Championship against Oregon.

And he still wants to wear that No.2 while playing for the Carolina Panthers

“It’s mine right now,” Clausen told the Charlotte Observer referring to the No.2 jersey.

With the jersey swapping becoming a headline story, TonyKornheiser of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption jokingly said that Clausen should simply sell his jersey to Newton for a small sum of “$180,000,” which was the alleged amount of money his father Cecil Newton received from Mississippi State in the “pay for play scandal.”

Despite all the brouhaha, Clausen will probably give up his No.2 jersey for the right price but “fight like hell” to reclaim his starting position as the Panthers’ quarterback while Newton carries a clipboard on the sideline and learns the system before becoming the face of the franchise, if the NFL lockout is ever resolved.

“I’m looking forward to competing with him.” Clausen said.

“He’s a teammate of ours now, so you’ve got to embrace him and bring him in like anyone else.”