Is Cam Newton the NFL's Jay Gatsby?
The scene is Miami, but it might as well be West Egg. America's nouveau riche bump shoulders, celebrating their hedonism in an opulence only fame can afford. Ear-shattering music is drowned out only by Cam Newton's loud shirt, and in an era where the best quarterbacks are walking-the-walk, Carolina's quarterback uses a Segway -- showing, yet again, that he's unwilling to put in the hard work.
Is this what the Panthers dreamed when they selected him #1 overall?
(Photo courtesy of Shot of Ginn)
A 'birthday' party gone wild. Popping bottles, ignoring fire code, and showing (yet again) that Cam is above normality. Do you know what Peyton Manning did for his 24th birthday? He saw a matinee of Erin Brockovich, ate three slices of white bread, and got a wholesome eight hours of sleep.
Newton can't play like Manning, until he's willing to live like Manning -- and that's a problem. He's Jay Gatsby. A fraud, phony, and now this. Wearing Elton John's shirt, and celebrating Rome's candle (which are illegal in Miami!), he lives it up while the rest of his team prepare for OTAs.
There's no wonder Newton wasn't popular at the 2011 Pro Bowl. Fellow NFL players can see through his facade. The league's East Egg know class when they see it -- and Cam is uncouth. Superman can keep fooling the bourgeois, throwing his lavish parties and stealing laptop computational devices. Newton can cheat on tests, flash his disingenuous smile, and stare at success over a body of water, always just out of his reach.
Carolina Panthers fans, I'm sorry to tell you that the wool has been pulled over your eyes. You're Nick Carraway, in love with Gatsby's wonder without any clue who he really is. It's a shame your irrational, undying love has clouded your judgement, and I wont laugh when you mourn over the coffin of his NFL career, because we've all been tricked.
I just hope you can wake up in time.