The Heisman nominees have been announced and to the surprize of only those living in a yurt in Outer Mongolia Cameron Newton is among those selected. He shouldn't have been. One of the stated purposes of the group that hands out this trophy is to recognize the best player in all areas of life. This isn't to say they want a Boy Scout-although that wouldn't hurt-but the person they select should be close to morally straight and ethically proud. Those two facets alone eliminate Mr. Newton.
Much is made of his father attempting to peddle his son's talent and there is some suggestion that the son had some knowledge of this. However, as stated, it's just suggestion and not proven fact. What is proven fact is that felony charge whilst Newton was a Sophomore at Florida some years back. In a clever legal shuffling of charges and penalties he avoided any messy aftermath by pleading guilty and submitting himself to a pretrial diversionary programme mandated by the court. It's the legal equivalent of being re-virginized after the hymen has already been hung by the city gate. Following that he withdrew from Florida-a fact for which Tim (Gospel Boy) Tebow must be grateful-and attended a Juco in Texas where he won a championship for them. Clearly the man had choices as to where to continue his education at this point but, accustomed to the SEC, he favoured Auburn with his presence. It's during this period that Daddy Newton, himself a former NFL'er so he knows how the game is played, attempted to sell what wasn't his to sell and, under any circumstances, wasn't legally allowed.
Let us see the Newtons as a cut rate faux Manning family. They have some of the talent but little of the Manning ethic. Oh, what the hell, none of the ethic. Whether Cameron Newton will hit the heights of either Peyton or Eli is yet to be known but Newton Pere is no Archie, unless you count the one who hung out with Jughead, Betty and Veronica. Another son already plays for the lightly regarded Jacksonville Jaguars and it's an upcoming guessing game as to who will get Cam for themselves. After the ball is over, and by that I mean the BCS Championship game in Phoenix, there's little question as to whether Newton will stay at Auburn, complete his education or run like a thing possessed for the draft. (Those who chose stay and learn stand over there, by the quick sand.) Why shouldn't he? Studs like this are rarer than we might believe although he faces the question of whether he can make the transition from NCAA to NFL. Many have tried, few have succeeded. The main problem he might face is that some desperate team, the Cowboys come to mind, get him and elect him their starting quarterback. What might happen then is still in the future.
But the past is well known even if heavily carpeted over. Its been interesting to watch the sins of the father used to deflect attention from the sins of the son. Indeed it's possible to find some who say and write that the incident in Florida was just a horrible mix up and that he really never did anything wrong. This is the sort of logic and defense that is often trotted out when what is ultimately wanted is still behind a hot smelly pile in the field and it's necessary to jump it. It's the sort of thinking that allows any sort of mis-deeds so long as the outcome suits the desire of the speaker. In this case, the speakers are those who can see a glorious financial future and, in that group, we must certainly and correctly include Mr. Newton. Why not? No one denies his talent. No one denies that it's worth beaucoup bucks when buck handing out time comes along-and it's coming very soon.
What I am against is his being nominated for, and,probably, receiving, the Heisman Trophy. In his own particular way he's a latter day Reggie Bush, only their crimes are a bit different. Both broke the law only Newton got caught far quicker than did Bush. Both are morally bankrupt, Bush more so, and in the history books both will be remembered as terrific players and their crimes and punishments will be forgotten. Of course, if Newton doesn't make it in the pros, he'll barely be remembered at all which may be the best solution.
It's ninety here and not even summer yet. Push those shovels ladies and gentleman. I believe I'll go to La Plata and make Sand Angels.