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Rival Report 1/22: Cam Newton becomes new face of the NFL

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Before the 2011 NFL Draft, there was a whole lot of concern over the character of the then beleaguered Auburn University quarterback sensation Cam Newton. There were reports of a possible pay for play deal that his father may or may not have orchestrated, reports of a possible theft of a laptop computer, and just a general disdain for the way that Cam carried himself at times from various sources.

All of that turned out to be little more than nothing as Cam Newton has overcome it all on his way to being an MVP favorite for the 2015 season and the Pro Football Writers of America Offensive Player of the Year award winner. He has shined both on and off the field becoming one of the most energetic and electrifying faces in the entire league. What he has done on the field is amazing and he has been just as prevalent in his community off the field with various charities and his work with the Make A Wish Foundation.

The biggest complaint about him now a days is that his over the top celebrations have rubbed some opponents the wrong way, to which he responds with a simple yet accurate "Don't like it? Then stop me.". He has grown into a truly remarkable athlete and person, making the complaints about him before the draft seem trivial and completely overstated.

I was one who thought he would be trouble in the NFL, I fully admit it and embrace the fact that I was 100% wrong. He just put together one of the most impressive seasons ever on and off the field and I have no problem with admitting that he has proven me and everyone else wrong during the pre-draft analysis back in 2011.

Part of his growing this year stems from a horrific car accident in the off-season that easily could have taken his life that he was able to walk away from unharmed. Since that day he has used his second chance at life to motivate himself to reaching another level of play knowing that he very easily could have seen his life come to an end in a shattered truck on a Charlotte, North Carolina road.

This one quote from Cam Newton says everything that needs to be said about where he is as a person and athlete. Congrats to him on the first of many awards heading his way for his excellent 2015 season.

"It makes you put what’s really important in life first. Yeah, we’re playing for the NFC Championship and potentially, if everything goes as we plan it, playing in the Super Bowl. The truth of the matter is, if I’m not in my position using my position in a positive way, then shame on me." - Cam Newton tells the Washington Post

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