From JUCO to the pros, Cam Newton has done nothing but soak up all of the criticism like a giant sponge and manifest it into a chip the size of Texas. He's boasted school and league records, a trophy cabinet that every high school football player dreams to collaborate, and most importantly, has a smile that sends teenage girls into a hizzy.
But when you start to deny his play, you start to deny his character, and when that fails, you start to deny his loyalty to a school that gave him what he valued the most -- a second chance.
"Cam Newton won't return to Auburn, and why would he? They were only a small step in his road to stardom."
You aren't an Auburn fan if you haven't heard that, or at least a somewhat similar statement before.
Cam returned to Auburn last week, where he hung out in the athletic building with some of his former coaches, had lunch with a young Auburn signee, and even paid a visit to a nearby elementary school, a year after his first initial visit. He then took part in a signing in a Huntsville mall with his fellow Heisman winners Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan, signing for those who were willing to wait in line for several hours.
Woah now! Isn't Cam supposed to be done with Auburn? The NFL rookie of the year cannot somehow be linked with Auburn? That can't be right, can it?!
Well, you read correctly. His return sent Twitter into a frenzy. Fans flocked to meet him and he, more than kindly, took it all in his stride, something he has always done. Nevermind spotting polls asking whether Robert Griffin or Cam Newton will have a better NFL career, or a group of analysts sitting around a table, giving their own reasons why Cam won't succeed every time they hold the precious talking stick. Newton's career is becoming the benchmark.
Cam's time in the spotlight has been an habitual plate of crow. It's been -- and will continue to be -- a give and take process.
He feeds off his critics; his work ethic cannot be questioned, and you can ask any member of the Auburn, or Carolina Panthers football staff and have that statement validated.
He has the potential to be the best quarterback to ever play the game, and he won't stop until he reaches that goal -- and maybe a few Super Bowls along the way, as well.
But by all means, please continue. It's not like everything we've read before is true, is it?