There was obviously a ton of controversy surrounding Cam Newton before he was selected first overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft, mostly regarding his recruitment in college and whether or not he was paid or offered money. That seems to be all behind Newton, but his troubles in professional football seem to just be beginning.
Newton isn’t a criminal; he’s not out in the world off of the field dabbling in illegal activities and no one is accusing him of that. However, questions from fans and critics alike are arising about whether or not Newton is the savior of this struggling team or if he’s a mirage of that person, a peasant dressed as a knight in shining armor.
After a picture surfaced of Newton partying flamboyantly in Miami, James Dator of Cat Scratch Reader published an article referring to the quarterback as Jay Gatsby. In the conclusion of the article, after calling Newton, like Gatsby, a fraud and phony, Dator addresses Panthers fans by saying, “You’re Nick Carraway, in love with Gatsby’s wonder without any clue who he really is. It’s a shame your irrational, undying love has clouded your judgment, and I won’t laugh when you mourn over the coffin of his NFL career, because we’ve all been tricked.”
There’s no question that Newton can play. There’s a reason he won Rookie of the Year in 2011. He’s thrown for 7,920 yards and 40 touchdowns over two seasons and rushed for 1,447 yards and 22 touchdowns over that same time. However, that doesn’t dismiss the reports of him having a bad attitude and his immaturity and the criticisms of him regarding his leadership abilities. It also doesn’t eliminate the interception issues that he’s had recently and other areas where he needs work.
Newton is one of the most entertaining players in the league to watch and he has the talent to lead a team to great heights. However, to win over the fans, the league and his team, Newton needs to take a long look in the mirror and decide if he wants to be entertaining or if he wants to be great. If it’s the latter of those two that he wants, his attitude and antics need to change.