Is Auburn’s Cam Newton guilty? I say it’s a sCAM.
Standing atop the heap is Cam Newton, flexing a once-in-a-generation smile, even as the multitudes pelt college football’s best player with rocks and scum.
Sticks and stones may break his bones, but I doubt it. And words? It appears as though words don’t hurt him either.
The scum throwing began when one high-profile journalist laid fecal matter to paper, and happening to mold in the shape of print, the foul words have become fertilizer for more allegations regarding Newton, more gossip. And the public is biting on the rancid fruit.
Ah, humanity, you’ve shown another shameful side. Innocent before proven guilty? Not in this cruel country. Not with the masses serving collective jury duty. They say Newton is a cheat. They say Newton is a liar. They say where there’s smoke, there is usually a fire.
But, to date, there is no fire. Just a couple of old, rusty smoke machines.
As stained information cascades from the mouths of pundits, opposing team’s fans are using it as ammo for a cheap shot at the title. And despite no proof of wrongdoing, some sports analysts have said they will not vote Newton for Heisman. Instead, they will likely vote for Oregon’s LaMichael James. The same James accused of strangling his girlfriend earlier this year.
But this should be made clear: No one deserves that Heisman Trophy more than Newton. No team deserves that No. 1 ranking more than undefeated Auburn.
As a journalist, it was my goal, only yesterday, to get my foot in the door at ESPN … so I could strangle its slithering throat for dragging the names of Auburn, Newton and journalism through the slime peeled off the backs of secondhand sources and desperate reporters.
That’s how I felt before a friend reminded me what the first letter in ESPN stands for: “Entertainment.”
Newton continues to build his sand castle on the shores of the American conscious, despite repeated kicks from grownups acting as children. If they’d gotten the mentorship that Newton voluntarily gives to students weekly at an elementary school I used to attend, maybe then, they’d behave as adults.
He is the sort of rare athlete that blossoms less frequent than the Youtan Poluo flower.
He is the best player to ever grace the college football gridiron.
And according to the NCAA and FBI, he is innocent.
I’m not oblivious to the fact Newton could be found guilty of wrongdoing. But that time has not yet come, and likely, never will.
Seemingly overnight, the charming college town of Auburn, Alabama, has grown one thousand alleged stories high, and is now the object of a nation’s perverted glare.
But there’s Newton, atop the heap with his team and city on his back, staring at his accusers, and smiling.
Oh, how it must feel, to be an Auburn Tiger.
Photo by J. Glover.