by Tom Raleigh
Clash Daily Guest Columnist
I’ve got a big problem with this guy, Cecil Newton Sr. I’ll talk about that goof in a minute.
About forty-eight hours ago, like a lot of us this past Sunday, I watched much of the goings on leading up to the Super Bowl, the unremarkable game itself (like my unremarkable homemade chili, which finished a distant 3rd out of three entries…too salty, I’m told), and much of the aftermath criticisms aimed at Carolina quarterback, Cam Newton, his abject performance on the field, not to mention his petulant post-game presser where he mumbled deflated monosyllabic answers, or none at all, before ending with an impromptu walkout.
Not what I expected from a dabbing, superman posing, ever-smiling, game lover, who personally handed out footballs to kids in the end zone after each of his 38 touchdowns during the Panthers regular season. But then again…I know exactly where that post-game misbehavior came from.
Yep, the kid had a bad day on Sunday. Who wouldn’t against a smothering defense that caused him two fumbles and a pick, and tackled him seven times behind the line of scrimmage?
Maybe surprising to most, I don’t have much of an issue with Cam Newton’s football prowess, per se. A lot of folks would disagree with me, but not many young football players can claim a Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football in 2010, a national championship as quarterback of Auburn University in 2010, being the very first player selected in the 2011 NFL draft, signing a $22 million guaranteed contract, and leading his 15-1 Carolina Panthers to the 50th Super Bowl a few years later. And, by the way, Newton was named the NFL’s 2015 season MVP just two days before.
Nope…the kid can play. Like him or not.
Unfortunately, what he clearly can’t do, or likely will not be able to do in the years to come, is to be able to deal maturely with adversity. Not a chance. Why so, you might ask? It’s because the poor kid’s father is a hypocritical, self-serving ass.
So here I am listening to this guy, Cecil Newton Sr., being interviewed at length on some ESPN pre-game show, touting his character building “fatherhood” skills, claiming ad nausea that he’s the big reason why Cam has transformed into a superstar at age 28 who will play in his first Super Bowl later that day.
Here’s a sample from his ESPN interview:
“The great evolution of Cam comes from a close-knit family, prayer, character building. I pull him into my laboratory and polish him off at the end of every season, tell him what works, what doesn’t work.”
“I think I’m the orchestrator of building the float that rides in the parade. I think I really deal with a lot of the critical things … the things off the field. What your image is around kids.”
“I’m just a parent, a father, one who has given commitment to three sons, one older than Cam and one that’s younger than Cam. I just spend a lot of time pouring character into them … being a good person. Commit yourself to that, which is by not expecting something for nothing. Don’t embrace phony stuff. Be who you are. And this is product of who Cam is evolving into.”
Ol’ Cecil sounded genuine enough, but he’s the same guy who admits asking Mississippi State for money ($180K by one source) when Cam was being recruited in 2009. Cam opted to attend Auburn, then was suspended and reinstated twice by the NCAA, which conducted a 13-month investigation.
Cam’s dad says that he “fell on the sword” for his son by admitting wrongdoing, a controversy that led to Cam opting to skip the 2010 Heisman ceremony even though he was a big favorite to win, which he did by a wide margin.
“I would like to speak on a different platform in greater detail about that investigation, but this is Super Bowl 50,” Cecil Newton Sr. said on ESPN.
“I came to experience greatness,” Cecil Newton went on to say. “How can you not like and admire the gold standard, Peyton Manning? But I’m expecting Cam to turn up and give me something to celebrate. Denver Broncos fans, this ain’t the year. I’m sorry.”
Good for you, Cecil. You came to watch your son win. But I have one question for you. What did you teach him in all those “character building” sessions you claim to have had with him, just in case he lost?
No “Father of the Year” awards to you, buddy. I’m betting your old man failed in that regard as well. Hopefully, your son will learn to break the mold, and stand tall regardless of the circumstances.