Greatness Takes Time

Not too long ago the first trailer of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was released. For those you haven’t seen the trailer or know the comic book series, it is clear that the citizens believe that Superman is just too strong, that no one can match his power and potential.

But Superman is just a comic book hero right?

 Cam Newton

I’m almost certain that anyone who follows sports has heard of the name Cam Newton before, QB for the Carolina Panthers. He is often found in Charlotte, North Carolina, running around Bank of America Stadium in a Superman cape of his own.

His size reflects his power and his speed and quickness reflect his potential, kind of like Superman in the comic books.

So if Newton is a symbol of a real-life comic book hero Superman, then who are the people always bringing him down and trying to make him look bad?

Well if you’re a Panthers fan, you already know the answer… it’s the media.

Newton is easily one of the most scrutinized not only QBs, but also players, in the NFL. In the media’s eyes, he can never do anything right. Now granted, every Heisman trophy winner in college is going to have a much higher watch on them to be great, especially someone like Newton, who has been successful on every team he has ever played with. (Westlake High School, Blinn College, Auburn).

 Cam Newton

But to me it seems like he is judged more than any other major Heisman trophy winner in previous years. Remember when Matt Leinart was the next big thing? Or when Tim Tebow was described to have a better throwing and more accurate arm than Newton would ever have?

But than again, those are just the football experts doing what they do best, right?

You can’t help but wonder why so much hate is being placed on Newton, who in my opinion doesn’t do anything wrong in the public’s and media’s eyes. 

Although, most Panthers fans would admit that during the first two seasons of Newton’s career he had a horrible attitude and would be seen pouting a lot, he has made significant strides in his demeanor and on-field leadership.  Without giving him a pass, you have to remember two things. 

One, he had never been use to losing before, having such great success everywhere else. So learning how to become a professional athlete and adapting to losing was going to be a growing pain, everyone knew that. 

Secondly. and I believe the most overlooked one, Newton was just a kid. When he came into the league, he was just able to order a drink legally. Regardless if you’re a professional athlete or not, kids will be kids and do kid like things. Johnny Manziel ring a bell?

There was obviously a lot of growing up that Superman had to do, and it’s clear that during the offseason going into his third year, that his head was in the right place. He realized that the world doesn’t revolve around just him and that it takes a team to win games.

He started putting the team first, learned how to lose, and started being the draft pick that the Panthers organization knew they wanted him when they took him with the first overall pick. He started being the Superhero that Panther Nation wanted, but the hatred from the media came coming.

They said he couldn’t be a leader because he pouts too much and only cares about his ego. Yet we have seen that he has put the team first for years and can see that he cares about the fans most, giving a football to a little fan every time the Panthers score a touchdown.

They said he could never get to the playoffs, and he did.

They said he couldn’t win in the playoffs, and he did.

Nothing that Newton does is done right in the eyes of the media, but honestly, what is he doing wrong? He answers questions like a professional, he handles himself as professional and he plays like a professional.

Honestly, the only way to shut up the critics is for Newton to lead the Panthers to a Super Bowl victory. Which to the media, is not this year, as they believe the Panthers are not going to win the NFC South.

But picture this, Cam Newton has not had all the right pieces in place for a big playoff run. With the additions to the offensive line, the tall and fast receiving core, and one of the top defenses in the league, the Panthers have an opportunity to silence the critics for good. 

Many believe this to be Newton’s best statistical year of his career, but his stats have not been as bad as people make them out to be.

Through his first five seasons, Newton has thrown for 17,030 yards; 204 more yards than the legendary Peyton Manning tossed through his first five years. 

He has also rushed for 2,571 yards in five seasons. QB Randall Cunningham leads the NFL for most rushing yards by a QB in history with 4,928 yards, so there is a great chance that Newton breaks that record as well.

Newton is just about to hit his prime, and greater things are coming. Panther Nation should be excited! He is going to go into a season fully healthy for the first time in three years.

Newton was asked in his NFL draft interview about what he wanted to say to all the haters and doubters. He simply replied, “Sit back and enjoy the show.”

I know I’ve had fun watching it so far, and I heard the show just signed a contract to be renewed through 2020.

He’s only 26 ladies and gentlemen, and, regardless of what the media says, he has matured and grown faster than most players in this league at a very young age. It’s like the media expected him to win super bowls as soon as he entered the league.

Apparently, they didn’t realize that it takes 6 months to build a Rolls-Royce, and just 13 hours to build a Toyota.

Our real-life Superman is here to stay, so we need to be patient, because you can’t rush greatness.

By Michael Hernandez
@SidelinedMike