Over the weekend Cam Newton went to Indianapolis and did himself no favors. Cam Newton arrived at the NFL combine having already offered a quote that made him sound less like the anchor a franchise seeks and more like … Justin Bieber?
To Peter King of SI.com: “I see myself not just as a football player but as an entertainer and an icon.”
Also this, to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports: “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I did something in one year people couldn’t do in their whole collegiate careers.”
Which, you’d have to say, sounded a tad arrogant. Then Newton ran for the assembled scouts and team execs and, you’ll be shocked to learn, ran pretty fast. Then he threw, which went less well. (He completed 11 of 21 passes, which is OK if you’re working against a real defense, which Newton wasn’t.) He also sought to deflect media inquiries about his wayfaring career, saying: “I’m not going to entertain anything that’s in the past. I’m all about the future.”
Speaking of that which Cam prefers not to speak: The latest development, if you care to call it that, regarding Newton and Auburn involves a tape Alabama entertainer/radio host Scott Moore says he has heard in which Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, discussing how much various schools were willing to pay for his son’s services as player/entertainer. The tapes are said to have been made by Mississippi State boosters John Bond and Bill Bell. According to Moore, Cam Newton was in the room during one taped exchange, although there’s no word on whether he identified himself by saying, “Hi, this is Cam, and I’m an icon.”
According to John Pennington of the invaluable Mr. SEC.com:
The word is spreading now that Moore will play the audio recordings on his new radio show in two weeks. Now, what kind of guy would try to build up an audience for the release of potentially groundbreaking news? Somebody trying to build up ratings in order to get his fledgling show into syndication (which Moore has admitted is a goal of his). It’s called a stunt. And this has all the makings of being just that.
For the record, Moore’s Web site — MooreVoices.com — features this description of himself and his talents:
Scott W. Moore is renowned for his college football acumen and uncanny ability to impersonate over 70 celebrities, sportscasters and college football coaches. He is sure to keep your audiences laughing with hilarious takes on Bobby Bowden, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Pete Carroll, Bob Stoops, Ron Zook, Nick Saban, Pat Dye, Lou Holtz, Keith Jackson, Bill Clinton, George Bush and more!
One question: In addition to the always hilarious Bob Stoops, does Scott W. Moore now do an impression of Cecil Newton?
It’s hard to know how to take this. On the one hand, you have one entertainer (Moore) saying he has heard a recording of a conversation for which another entertainer (Cam) was present. On the other, Auburn inoculated itself from Cecil Newton’s pay-for-play solicitation to Mississippi State by insisting Cecil’s son had no knowledge of any overture to anybody. The NCAA bought this defense. Would a tape that puts Cam in the room, so to speak, change the NCAA’s mind? If so, what would happen to Auburn’s BCS title?
Cam Newton told reporters he didn’t go to Indy to talk about the past, a phrasing that sounded a bit too much like Mark-McGwire-on-Capitol-Hill for comfort. It could well be that Newton has a long and prosperous NFL career as both player and entertainer, and when he’s done we’ll still be trying to sort out his one year at Auburn.
By Mark Bradley