Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CAM We Do It? Yes We CAM! defines the word argument as a discussion involving different points of view; a debate. I find that in any subject in life which we are prone to forming firm opinions, arguments are important ways to improve our knowledge and solidify our opinions. This is especially true when it comes to sports. Arguments is sports help us to become well rounded sports fans, capable of looking at things from a variety of angles. It allows us to become "students" of sports, if you will. <---see what I did there? (ZING!) 

Yesterday my buddy, Ray @THE_raycalara, and I were having a spirited argument about rookie QB Cam Newton. His take on Cam was that the hype surrounding his reminded him a lot of  Vince Young's hype during his 2006 rookie campaign. He noted the decline of Vince Young in the NFL and wondered if Cam would suffer the same fate. Safe to say I disagreed.
...Oh and I should probably bring up that there is a little spite factor here because I drafted Vince Young to be my fantasy QB after his rookie season. Safe to say it was a disappointment. I do have Cam on 2 of my 4 fantasy teams so I am very much enjoying that.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that they are completely different, because they do have similarities. To name a few similarities, they both are large bodied, mobile, big armed quarterbacks who led their college teams to national titles. They each were the 1st quarterbacks taken in their respective drafts and top 5 overall. (Cam went 1st and Young went 3rd) And big Ray is right somewhat correct in saying that during both players rookie season's they were heavily hyped.

To quote one of the more flamboyant and eccentric ESPN college football analysts.. "NOT SO FAST!"
(Side note: If you can ever quote Lee Corso in a debate, it's almost a guaranteed win.)
(Side note to my side note: Isn't it ironic that my "side" note is below my point and not on the side?)
(Side note to my side note to my side note: I guess at this rate this could go on forever..)

My major issue with Ray's argument was that concerning the hype.

Do you remember why Vince Young was so hyped? Granted his mobility made him exciting, something he shares with Cam. (But if that accounted for anything why haven't guys  like Pat White or Dennis Dixon been so hyped?) Mobility, however, was not the real reason VY got all that hype. With Vince Young it was all about the W's. With Vince Young under center the Titans seemed to find ways to win. People automatically tagged Young a 'winner' and overlooked some of his more not so impressive statistics. I'll be the first guy to admit that when I look for a player, ability to win is very important but it can sometimes be overhyped. I still think Vince Young can be a winning NFL quarterback but statistically nothing greater than average. Vince Young's ability to win was never going to and never will make him an elite NFL passer. Holding such a belief to be true is nothing more than hogwash. HOGWASH I TELL YOU, HOGWASH!!!

So why is Cam so hyped? Last time I checked he's not exactly winning at an overwhelming pace. (Carolina's current record is 2-5, firmly out of playoff contention.) Cam is being hyped because of what he is doing with his arm. The throws he has made in a combination with his size and overwhelming athleticism make him potentially an all time great. Vince Young, although he has a fairly strong arm, was NEVER hyped for the throws and plays he was able to make. He was NEVER compared to John Elway. He was NEVER and will NEVER be able to make the throws Cam can make. Let me throw some stats at you.. (STATATTACK!) In his rookie season Vince Young threw at a completion percentage of 51% and 2,199 yards, 6.1 per attempt, along with 552 rushing yards and 7 tds. Combine that with leading his team to 8 wins and it's a nice season for a rookie. Now let's look at Cam Newtons stats. Thru 7 games, ONLY 7 GAMES, Cam has a completion percentage of 60% with a whopping 2,103 yards, 8.3 per attempt, along with 266 rushing yards and 7tds.


So let's review. Thru half of the games that Vince Young played in his rookie season, Cam Newton has almost as much passing yardage and just as much rushing touchdowns. Along with that he has a completion percentage that is almost 10% points higher! So not only is Cam throwing the ball down the field more for more yardage, proven by his higher clip per attempt and yardage, but he's completing a higher percentage of them! So his big arm, athleticism, size, AND accuracy are what is creating his hype. All four of those things are what make a great, elite if you will, NFL passer. And all four of those things Vince Young never had at the level Cam is currently at. Vince Young had wins, which is great, but Cam has ability, which is elite. 

Like I said before, I think Vince Young can STILL be a winning NFL QB, I really do! The difference is that I think Cam Newton can be an elite, all time NFL QB. Cam can go further than wins and losses and rewrite the record books, rewrite NFL history. What makes this argument great is that I know there is a real possibility that Cam never lives up to his potential and is just an ordinary QB, but that is why we watch. We watch to see if the players who we know can have it all have the same desire that we have for them. I hope Cam Newton becomes as great as he can be because, as a sports fan, it would be a pleasure to watch.

Oh and also, AJ Green would get my vote for rookie of the year.. That's how good I think he has been.

Class Dismissed,
Student of Sports

PS: Follow me on twitter @StudentofSports.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on this one. Cam has been so impressive so far making throws that very few can make. I was not a big fan of his going into the year, but I admit that I was wrong. Green has been great too, but as of right now Newton is my ROY