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After the first of two rushing touchdowns against the Bucs, Newton ran to the right corner of the end zone and gave the ball to a kid who may or may not have been sitting anywhere near that spot, and then he ran airplane-swoop-style across the back of the end zone, 54 yards from one side of the field to the other, where he left-turned it up the Panthers' sideline and gathered speed to do this Euro-step/jump-shot routine with teammates Joe Webb and Anderson -- "We don't have a name for it," Anderson says -- before making his way to the bench. "I'll know how much you know by what they turn in."Cecil Newton wanted two words -- athlete and raw -- stricken from his son's record.
"He made a good point: If you don't want to watch me dance, do something about it.Whitfield breaks down the NFL's pre-draft Kabuki into three parts: 1) The Runway -- whether you look the part in the NFL's fashion show; 2) The Résumé -- what you've accomplished; and 3) The Campaign -- the buzz swirling around you.Cecil Newton enlisted Warren Moon and Whitfield, two African-American former quarterbacks (Whitfield played at Division II Tiffin University and in the Arena League) who knew the uniqueness of Cam's campaign.Against the Buccaneers in Week 17, for instance, he sneaked in from the 1, and the word sneak -- diminutive to begin with -- has never felt more inadequate. It is a Quarterback Surge, and as he pops up to begin whatever might happen next, it's not unreasonable to believe that the touchdowns have become secondary to what follows."Some people don't know how to take it because he's not your prototypical, white dropback passer," says Anderson, who is all three."He doesn't do things exactly the way people have done it at the position for the past 50 years, and some people get offended.He is -- and has been -- viewed endlessly through lenses of maturity, greed and race. But then again, there's an honest-to-god foxtail hanging from the front left pocket of his pants, he named his son Chosen and he appears to have absolutely no interest in being ordinary in anything.
He stands at his postgame news conference with purple shoes one week, swirling black-and-white the next.
He did it without complaint, almost cheerfully, and before long the practice wasn't restricted to Fridays."He's enjoying this," Cecil told his wife, Jackie.
CAM NEWTON IS enjoying this NFL season in a way that makes some people proud and others lose their minds.
And yet here is the rarest of men: one who can throw his body into a snarling pile of large humans -- all gunning for him with malicious intent -- and emerge on the other side with a radioactive grin and a first down.
So at this point maybe you're wondering whether there's anything that hasn't been said about Cam Newton. He's so well-known nationally that he's been charged with the unenviable task of making yogurt look cool.
Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, a friend and mentor of Newton's, says, "When people get upset about the towel, I tell them, 'Relax, he's only wearing it because it says Gatorade on it.'"And then, inevitably, Cam will score, at which point the hyperventilation reaches Peak Cam.