I haven’t checked, but there's probably an approved-upon color that reflects your decision to omit quarterback Cam Newton from your Heisman ballot. So far, a few voters have admitted they’ll be ignoring the Auburn junior or trashing their ballots entirely, gestures that will have the same impact on Saturday night’s trophy presentation that posting a picture of Shrek does on male pattern baldness.
StiffArmTrophy.com, a site that has correctly predicted the Heisman winner since 2002, currently estimates that Newton will snag at least 80 percent of the votes, so the biggest question for the 910 remaining participants is who they’ll scribble in the No. 2 and No. 3 slots. (The other finalists are Oregon running back LaMichael James, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, although the Heisman Trust could’ve just listed three chunks of beef from Lady Gaga’s meat dress.)
Newton led Auburn to an undefeated season while building a stat line that some have argued is the best in SEC history. He passed for 2,589 yards (165-for-246) and is one of only three players ever to pass and rush for at least 20 TDs in the same season. He was such a force of nature that I half-expected The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore to give mid-game reports from the Jordan-Hare sideline, while swaddled in some kind of weatherproof garment.
After months of SEC-led investigation, Auburn declared Newton ineligible Nov. 30; 24 confusing hours later, the NCAA reinstated him.
“Based on the information available … at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity,” said Kevin Lennon, the NCAA Vice President for Academic and Membership Affairs.
So given the lack of real — not rumored, not assumed — evidence, the fair thing to do is to evaluate Newton based on his game-day performances. I know what I’d do if I had a vote to cast today.
I also know what I’d do if I were Cam Newton, right after I finished lifting heavy pieces of furniture, just because I could.
Cam, you should take that 25-pound bronze trophy Saturday night and hoist it just long enough to reflect several dozen flashbulbs. Then you should give it back.
You’d step to the microphone, shouting over the sound of everyone’s dislocated jaws crashing to the carpet, politely telling the Heisman Trust that you couldn’t accept the award, not if you knew there were people who thought you didn’t deserve it, or that you’d ruin its 75-year reputation by taking it home. You’d tell them to give it to someone else, someone who — to use the Trust’s words — “best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”
What’s the downside to returning the statue to its sender? You’d gain a different kind of notoriety, one that didn’t constantly question your character beside an unflattering AP photo. NFL scouts have been impressed by your ability to play through the scrutiny and distractions, so why not wow them with something else? You’d be doing your future a huge favor by distancing yourself from your past.
This won’t happen anywhere but in the super-awesome dream lobe of my brain, which is also the place where Tina Fey is my best friend and George Clooney is my duvet cover and I sweat pure Oreo filling. It’s not going to happen on Saturday night.
Not unless we all change our profile pictures.
CFT: Johnny Manziel nearly transferred out of Texas A&M before the 2012 season after being suspended, according to reports, but he stayed after his successful appeal.
About 325 former Penn State players, among them Kerry Collins and Paul Posluszny, have signed a statement supporting the lawsuit filed by the family of former coach Joe Paterno.
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