Article first published as Cam Newton and NFL Draft on Technorati.
After much posturing and predictions, the NFL draft will occur on Thursday, April 28th. Of course, the main topic of discussion will be how high in the draft will the NFL take Cam Newton? Already many experts are questioning his commitment to greatness, and if he has what it takes to become one of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks.
Cam Newton and the draft will be the dominating story in sports this week. He has an advocate in the person of Warren Moon. Warren Moon is one of the first NFL quarterbacks, who made it to the Hall of Fame in the most unconventional way. After college ball at the University of Washington he was un-drafted because of his insistence of playing the position of quarterback. Football is very political. There is no position in the game of football more political than quarterback.
Warren Moon went on to play pro ball in Canada for Edmonton and led them to five Grey Cup Titles. Then walked onto the NFL un-drafted, at the ripe old age of 28 when most players have their best years behind them. Mr. Moon played 17 years in the NFL and a total combined of 23 years of pro football. Ultimately, Warren Moon was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2006. Warren Moon suffered racial slights and hostile treatment from Houston fans and never complained through it all. If anyone has experienced racism in the NFL, it’s Warren Moon.
Cam Newton is undoubtedly one of the most exciting players in this years NFL draft. At 6’6” and 260 lbs, he runs like a cheetah and has a cannon for an arm, and yet the so-called “experts” claim he is not competitive and his smile is disingenuous – are you kidding me? If this kid had blond hair and blue eyes, he would be seen as the second-coming in pro football!
Cam Newton does come with some baggage. Let he who is among us without sin cast the first stone. We’ve all made mistakes, so let’s move on. There was the incident of Cam Newton buying the stolen laptop. He as atoned for his sins. He stepped back and went to junior college, then worked his way back into division I football and redeemed himself. Get over it!
There was no need for Cam Newton to return to Auburn for a senior season. He did it all as a junior. He led Auburn to an undefeated season and won the Heisman Trophy! How much more evidence do you need to prove this kid has the “right stuff?” Cam Newtons critics claim that his college offense won’t transfer into NFL football – really? Sam Bradford is a case in point that his similar style of college offense worked for him in the NFL; give me a break!
There is no position in the game of football more political than quarterback. There are some detractors of Cam Newton, who say, that he doesn’t have the leadership skills or character necessary to make it in the NFL; I beg to differ. Then there is the issue of Cam Newtons father, who tried to negotiate some type of pay for play deal with major college football. Well, that’s Cam’s father not him! Thanks to the sacrifices of his predecessors (Warren Moon and his ilk) today’s young black quarterbacks have an easier path to acceptance. It’s not always easy, there are some who still feel that black athletes don’t possess the traits of intelligence and leadership as the field general on the grid iron.
In an era where you better be careful about playing the “race-card” (and you better have proof), Warren Moon has it right. He has lived through blatant racism as one of the black prototype quarterbacks in the NFL. He is more than qualified to speak on this topic. Remember, he never complained after all he went through. In the case of Cam Newton, it appears he couldn’t ignore the obvious and had to speak up. After all Mr. Moon has been through, I would listen to what he has to say. Cam Newton should thank his lucky stars for an advocate of Mr. Moon’s stature. I’m sure Cam Newton will do the right thing off the field, and will continue to amaze fans on the field.