A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
CAM: I JUST WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-–Austrian-American film director Josef Von Sternberg said that, “The only way to succeed is to make people hate you.”
Cam Newton had no problem accomplishing that goal.
Because, while at the University of Auburn, he had plenty of people hating him after the “pay for play” scandal involving Mississippi State placed an ugly cloud over his head. Plus, he upset even more people after he won the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship in 2010.
Despite the whispers and eye-rolling in the room, Newton went onto to win the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and the AP College Football Player of the Year as well.
But the hating, however, didn’t stop there.
It, in fact, continued through out the 2011 NFL Draft, where scouts claimed Newton couldn’t read NFL defenses, wouldn’t be able to run a pro style offense, was an inaccurate passer and had a “fake smile.”
He also “rubbed some people the wrong way” when he suggested that he was going to be “an icon and an entertainer.”
ROOKIE RECORD-BREAKING SEASON
But as singer-songwriter John Otway said, “There’s no point in success if you don’t let it go to your head. That’s what it’s for.”
Newton, matter of fact, became the walking embodiment of that statement when he silenced his critics, naysayers and “haters” in his NFL debut against the Arizona Cardinals on September 11, 2011, by throwing for 422 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His 422 passing yards broke Peyton Manning’s rookie record for passing yards on opening day in the 28–21 road loss.
Through out his rookie season, Newton also became the fourth rookie quarterback to pass for over 3,000 yards in his first season, joining Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, and Sam Bradford, while setting the NFL rushing touchdown record for quarterbacks on December 4, 2011, when rushed for his 13th touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And after all the high-flying super-man performances, by the end of the season, Newton had become the first rookie QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards.
Along with all of these accomplishments, Newton’s record-breaking rookie season also included other astonishing feats:
- First rookie in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards in back to back games, September 11, 2011 vs. Arizona Cardinals and September 18, 2011 vs. Green Bay Packers
- First rookie in NFL history to throw for 10 touchdowns and run for 10 touchdowns in a season. First rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.
- Most total touchdowns by a rookie NFL player: 35 (21 pass, 14 rush).
- Most rushing yards by a rookie quarterback: 706
- Most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a quarterback 14
- First player in NFL history with 4,000+ pass yards and 10+ rush TDs in a season.
First player in NFL history with 4,000+ pass yards and 500+ rush yards in a season.
SUCCESS IS A LOUSY TEACHER
While Newton’s rookie season was impressive, according to billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Psychologically, this is exactly what happened to Cam during his rookie season with the Panthers after leading them to an unimpressive (6-10) record, despite his individual numbers.
This attitude has also damaged Newton’s psyche in the early part of his sophomore season as the Panthers’ starting QB.
Let’s not forget, Newton won a Junior College Championship at Blinn College in Texas after leaving the University of Florida in 2010.
Then after transferring to Auburn, he won a NCAA Championship the following year.
In other words, Cam is a winner.
And losing is not part of his resume.’
Now, with the Panthers posting a (1-3) record with an opening season (16-10) lost against Tampa Bay, an embrassing (36-7) lost to the NY Giants and a heartbreaking last second( 30-28) lost to Atlanta, Newton, who has been seen pouting on the sidelines of late, must lead his teammates to victory this week against the Seattle Seahawks.
Therefore, Cam can use the words of General George S.Patton, who was nicknamed old blood and guts, in the pre-game huddle before going into battle this Sunday.
“Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.”
This quote, in fact, fits the Panthers perfectly because only one team, the New Orleans Saints, who are currently (0-4), are preventing them from being in last place.
Note: Newton was sacked four times in the Panthers (16-12) loss to the Seahawks on Sunday. Stat wise, he only completed 12 passes out of 29 attempts for 141 yards, with zero touchdowns. Plus, on the potential game-winning drive, with only 54 seconds left in the game, after Seattle purposely took a safety, Newton had the ball stripped out of hands, which ended the game.