Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Cam Newton scam

Alas, poor Cam. He has a torn rotator cuff that requires surgery to properly fix. He'll go under the knife shortly. But there's something that nobody seems to want to mention about this story as it has played out.

The injury itself happened way back in Week 14 of last season. That would put it smack dab in the middle of December. A full three months ago.

With their MRIs and other diagnostic techniques, no doubt the medical people knew what was going on within a day or two of the original injury. So did Cam, and his team, the Carolina Panthers.

At the time, the Panthers were hopelessly out of the playoff race, and after an MVPish season the year before, Cam had tanked something awful in the 2016 campaign. Basically, he and they stunk.

Yet for whatever reason, they left him out there to play the remaining games of the season, though it couldn't possibly make any difference, and he stunk it up even worse. Earning his millions by playing through an injury that made him even more ineffective? An interesting premise, but isn't this why teams have back-up quarterbacks?

Never fear, it is said dear Cam will be --praise the Lord -- healed by the time training camp starts this summer. Good to go. Glory hallelujah and pass the offering plate.

However, as mentioned above, there's one major glitch in this whole scenario. The wily Mr. Newton won't be available for those pesky OTAs (Organized Team Activities) in the spring, which will be coming around shortly. Imagine that.

Most veteran players hate OTAs. It's just a bunch of drills and grunt work they feel is totally unnecessary. A good thing for rookies and breathless beat reporters desperate for a story line, but definitely a drag for those that have been there, done that.

It would be like having military folks that have seen live combat having to go back to boot camp every year for a refresher course. Left, right, left, right, atten hut, at ease. How well do you think that would go over with GI Joes and Janes that know what it feels like to come under enemy fire? Probably not very well.

And let's face it. A torn rotator cuff isn't something that's ever going to completely heal itself on its own. Sure, the human body will do the best it can, but it will never be right again anymore than a shredded ACL can self-fix. You can live with it, if you don't mind walking around with a limp for the rest of your life.

But Cam put off the surgery he knew to be necessary for three whole months. The only explanation would seem to be obvious. He gets to skip the dreaded OTAs and be healthy just about the time camp starts leading into the pre-season and regular schedule.

Had he gone under the knife immediately after the original diagnosis back in December, he likely would have been mostly healed by now, and had no excuse to remain AWOL from the OTAs.

A pretty slick gambit, if thinly veiled. And nobody wants to mention it. Of course, Cam Newton is an African-American starting quarterback in the National Football League. Dare to criticize him at one's own peril, lest the politically correct legions besiege one with their outcries. Good luck with that.

But on the surface, this appears to be no more than a properly timed scam to get out of the same work most of his teammates will be forced to suffer through.

And it just doesn't look or smell right to a totally objective football fan.....

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