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To Cam Or Not To Cam?

By Bruce Wilson
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For the past 12 months I have hated Cam Newton. I posted numerous status updates on my Facebook page about him and I ripped him during conversations with family and friends. I had every right to do so. The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Auburn torched my South Carolina Gamecocks twice last season including the SEC Championship game. Cam Newton should not have been eligible!

We all know if he wasn’t allowed to play in both games by the NCAA the Gamecocks would have easily held on to beat the Tigers in the first match up and they probably would have played someone different in the SEC Title game. However the NCAA ruled he was indeed eligible to play and play he did. He led his Tigers to an undefeated season and the BCS Championship.

Then he gets drafted to the Carolina Panthers with the #1 overall selection. Talk about ‘rubbing salt in to the wound’.

Now for the complete 180.

Too many fans and members of the media are giving this kid a hard time. Yes I was one of them, but I have put that behind me. South Carolina still had a great season and regardless of his or his family’s actions off the field, Cam was the best college football player last year.

The ‘Cam-haters’ continue to mention his off field problems, his in-experience as an NFL quarterback, his race, and even his smile. His smile? Give me (and Cam) a break! His off the field problems were in the past and like all #1 draft picks of course he hasn’t proven anything at the professional level. As for his race, this is 2011, aren’t we passed that?

To Cam or not to Cam? That is the question. There is a reason why Jimmy Clausen fell from being a top 10 pick to #47. The same reason why Jimmy Clausen did not produce on the field last year. Aside from injuries and poor coaching, the reason is he is not talented enough to be the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.

Cam is the new face and future of this franchise. He should start and his jersey should sell like hotcakes. I believe he will perform well and lead this improved team to a record better than last seasons’ 2-14 team. We should all rally around this young man and as Panther fans we should support him.

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