Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Defense of Cam Newton (Support Facts, Not Entertain Rumors)

They build you up then try to take you down. They create your suit of armor then look for chinks that may or may not be there. Case in point, Cam Newton fighting against rumors about what he may or may not have done.

Here are the facts. Cam Newton is the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy. Cam Newton is leading Auburn to an undefeated record. Cam Newton was immature 2 years ago when he was involved with that laptop scandal. Auburn has thoroughly vetted him way before this story came out. 

This is all that matters. Whatever rumors of what he did two years ago have absolutely no relevance on this season. Facts 1st, Rumors Last. This is a classic case of take a good story and look to destroy it because we are natural skeptics. Reggie Bush was too good to be true? Turns out his family took benefits so it "was".

The media is naturally skeptic by design. We are supposed to listen to words and trust our reporting to decide whether it's true or not. In this post-Watergate era, we rely more on anonymous sources than ever because it can get us stories.Unfortunately, we forgot what Woodward and Bernstein told us - use anonymous sources but get some facts to back it up. Report facts, not rumors. 

TMZ deals with rumors. Gossip sites deal with rumors. Mature adults listen to rumors and then look for facts to prove it before running wild with it. Rumors are left for high schools and elementary schools who don't know any better.

This cheating rumor and allegations from a 3rd/4th hand source of him asking for money to send him to Mississippi State is nothing more than a smear job against Cam Newton. Why else would someone leak private information that's 2 years old? What purpose does it serve other to raise doubt about Newton's ethics? And again, does this take away from the fact he's the best player in America?

Cecil Newton, Cam's father: “This is a character assassination attempt,” he said on a talk radio show in Alabam this weekend. “Who is going to profit and why are they are going to profit? We sure don’t. “I think there’s a group of people who have a hidden agenda and don’t want to see him as a Heisman nominee, let alone winner.”
It's sad that while we're watching a redemption story in the NFL in Michael Vick, there are forces that won't let Cam Newton be a redemption story. ESPN is treating this story like it could've happened and giving it legs while analysts are hinting at Newton's character flaws and suggesting that the Heisman vote is about protecting integrity even though there is no proof. Call it the Reggie Bush effect.

And suppose Auburn loses to Georgia this week, everyone will sit back and say "well now all that talk was irrelevant and premature wasn't it?" Classic move of setting someone up to fail and then avoiding any blame if it happens.

I won't say there's a racial element to it but considering how two schools have come out with information against him, there's definitely a conspiracy that some are implicitly or explicitly supporting by giving it legs instead of sniffing it out.

Is it possible that Cam's matured greatly from going to junior college, as ESPN's Jesse Palmer (a UF alum) said today when he spoke with him in the spring. Is it possible that he made mistakes and grew up from them? But such is life, the media/general public too often wants to dictate how you're going to be seen with no room for growth or they select who they want to see mature (i.e. Big Ben's rehab so quick compared to Mike Vick).

We need more voices in the media defending Cam like Gregg Doyel, who destroyed this story so beautifully this morning. We need people to listen to the Auburn AD strongly support Cam's growth. It's not about taking side of fairness, it's supporting innocence until proven guilty, not assumed guilty. While the process does it's job, we focus on the facts in front of us.

E-TV's take. This is all smoke with no fire. Any Heisman voter that uses this to consider whether or not Cam wins the award should have their vote stripped. I support facts, not rumors. I dedicate this song to anybody who supports facts over rumors, knowledge over hearsay.

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