Trivia for Your Grandkids…

Posted: September 21, 2011 in NFL
Tags: , , , , ,

What I’m about to tell you is something you’ll want to pass on to your grand kids. It could be a great trivia question in about 30 years.

Q: Who beat out Cam Newton at the University of Florida for the starting quarterback job? (Your grand kids will get bonus points when they add that Newton was beaten out so convincingly that he transferred to a junior college before winding up at Auburn.)

A: Tim Tebow, of course. (Let me stop you right now from screaming and calling me names. This is not another case of Tebow bashing. I love the guy.)

I just want you Tebow lovers to try to put aside your love for the man for a moment. And I want you Tebow haters to do the same with your hate for him. In fact, this isn’t about Tebow; it’s about Newton.

To say the beginning of Newton’s pro football career has been outstanding is like saying Dolly Parton is well endowed. Newton has been fabulous . . . spectacular . . . unbelievable . . . great. Even though his Carolina Panthers are 0-2 because they’re given up 58 points in two games, Newton has gone where no NFL rookie quarterback has ever gone. No rookie ever passed for more yards (422) in his first game. Not even close. No rookie has ever passed for more yards (854) in his first two games. Not even close.

Admittedly, two games don’t make a career, but already Newton has erased the doubts most of us had about him when the Panthers made him the No. 1 draft pick last April. Many NFL analysts questioned whether Newton could play from the pocket. His accuracy was questioned. Conventional thinking was he had a tendency to take off and run too quickly because he’d have trouble reading NFL defenses.

It’s a bit of cruel irony that many Newton critics saw him as another Tebow coming out of college in that they thought of him as more of an athlete than an NFL quarterback.

During an 8-day period most analysts have done a total flip-flop. One ESPN analyst called Newton “The Chosen One”. Another suggested someone should get busy working on his bust for Canton. Everyone, it seems, agrees he’ll be a star pro quarterback. Maybe a megastar.

Yes, the start of his NFL career has been that fantastic. Another eye-popping performance –and a victory, according to the oddsmakers – is expected this Sunday when Cam’s Panthers play host to the Jaguars. (Jaguar cynics think cornerback Rashean Mathis will have trouble sleeping this week.)

I went with the trivia question angle because it could be similar to such questions as: Who did several NFL teams keep at quarterback when they cut Johnny Unitas? Which quarterbacks were drafted ahead of Tom Brady (6th round)? Which were drafted ahead of Joe Montana (3rd round)? How’d Wally Pip beat out Lou Gehrig in the first place? Who was drafted ahead of Michael Jordan (Sam Bowie, for one)?

All of this would become a moot point if Newton’s career fizzles out or if Tebow develops into a star quarterback. It is conceivable, although unlikely, both could happen.

In the meanwhile, make sure to tell the grand kids. Maybe it’ll help them win a beer bet in 2041.

 

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