We wrote a bit yesterday about how Panthers QB/super-rookie Cam Newton has been shortchanged by the national media. We framed it through the prism of Tim Tebow, although Newton deserves plenty of recognition in his own right.
Today, well, ESPN the Magazine has named him "NEXT." Hooray?
With good reason, Killa Cam takes shots at his media doubters in the ESPN piece. They're not racist, he says, just biased against quarterbacks picked toward the top of the first round (who, it occurs to me, also happen to be black).
"I can't sit up here and look at it like, oh man, my critics are racist," Newton says. "I blame JaMarcus Russell and to some degree Vince Young. If you have the opportunity to make that kind of money doing something you love to do, why would you screw it up? I'm trying to be a trailblazer. If Baylor's Robert Griffin decides to come out, I want people to say 'He can be the next Cam Newton' instead of 'He's gonna be the next JaMarcus Russell.'"
Cam also gets in more digs at his critics:
"I had people who can't throw a football telling me my mechanics were wrong," says Newton. "I had people taking shots at my character, classifying me as a thug, as a hoodlum. After Week 3 or 4, all these same people wanted an interview. I said, 'You were giving me all this crap and had so much to say about how I was gonna play, and now you wanna talk? No. Just sit back and watch the show, man.'"
And what a show it is.
Cam Newton is NEXT [ESPN the Magazine]