Cecil Newton Sr: Anti-Sportsman of the Year
It takes a complete dirtbag to attempt to sell his son's services to the highest bidder while not even including that son in the decision-making process. We have a word for that: pimping.
And the king pimp of the 2010 sports universe is easy to see, he's a preacher from rural Georgia whose son happens to be the best college football player in the land. Only none of that son's wins and none of his records may end up counting after all. That's thanks to Cecil Newton, Sr., a runaway nominee for FanHouse's anti-sportsman of the year.
Cecil demanded $180,000 for his son to play football at Mississippi State. When State blanched at the outright greed -- no one in Starkville who was in the business of paying players had access to that kind of money -- Cecil relented and accepted no money for his son to play at Auburn. (Insert wink and nod here).
Meanwhile, if you believe Cecil's story -- and how could you at this point? -- his son had no knowledge of the entire plot. Leaving aside certain obvious questions -- Would no recruiter have ever mentioned to Cam that his dad was asking for money during the recruiting process? Did daddy dearest's cell phone never ring in the presence of his son while they were discussing pay-for-play options? -- Cecil's gaming of the college football system represented the height of cynicism and, for a man of the cloth whose life calling supposedly includes leading others through the valley of temptation, a complete and utter failure as a human being.
The only reason Auburn fans haven't turned on the Newton family? Because Cam is so good at quarterback. That's it. Think about this for a minute, if Auburn was 6-6 and Cam was a mediocre SEC quarterback, say the equivalent of Kentucky's Mike Hartline, do you think for a minute that Auburn fans are walking around decrying the state of the modern sports media? How dare the media report completely accurate facts about what a lying, two-faced, untrustworthy smut-peddler Cecil Newton, Sr. is. How dare they!
No, if Cam stunk at football, Auburn fans would be leading the charge. They'd want Cam benched. They'd want Cecil excommunicated. They'd want Alabama's governor to seal the border and kick the Newtons back to Georgia. Hell, they'd probably pressure the small town where Cecil's churches are located to bring back out the codes enforcer and levy the Newtons with greater fines. It's only because Cam is so good that Cecil Newton has a fig leaf to hide behind.
Of course, his son's talent also represents the biggest flaw in Cecil Newton's decision-making. In addition to pimping out his son, Cecil, a man of the cloth, wasn't willing to take a leap of faith in his own flesh and blood.
Cecil didn't believe that Cam was as good as he actually was. Because if Cecil had known how good Cam was he could have waited a year to cash in, right? The amount of money that he tried to solicit, $180,000, pales in comparison to the amount of money Cam Newton stands to rake in from the NFL's 2011 draft. If Cecil's goal was pimping his son, which it clearly was, he failed at the pimping game. Pimping ain't easy, after all, but even dumb pimps know how to value their products. Yep, even dumb pimps are looking down at Cecil Newton, the king of bungled thievery.
Cecil Newton is a bad thief, but his biggest thievery isn't even of the monetary kind, it's the way he stripped away all the enjoyment from his son's performance on the field, cast doubts upon the entirety of this college football season. The reason we all watch is to see who is going to win a championship. Now every single college football fan in America knows there's a good chance Auburn's 2010 season isn't going to count. That SEC Championship? Poof, it vanishes into thin air.
That trip to Glendale? As barren as the Arizona desert at night. That Heisman? The stiff-armed trophy might as well have a bag of cash draped over the forearm. We may well have played the whole season to end up with a vacated Heisman and two vacant titles, SEC and national championship. As the Christmas season nears, Cecil Newton is the Grinch Who Stole College Football.
Cecil's greed didn't just screw Auburn and his son; it also opened up a gaping hole in NCAA rules. Now every family member, hanger-on, or shadowy associate of top recruits can solicit money on behalf of the recruit. All you need to do is claim the recruit doesn't know and it's open season for bags of cash to be delivered. Cecil Newton didn't just cheat us out of the 2010 college football season, he may well have cheated us out of all of college sports.
At some point after this is all over, Cecil Newton will give a heartfelt appeal for forgiveness. He'll cry. He'll lean over and cover up his eyes. Perhaps while clutching a careworn Bible. ESPN's Tom Rinaldi will do one of his saccharine pieces on the limits of forgiveness. After a soft tap of the piano keys, Rinaldi will intone, as gauzy footage rolls in accompaniment with a tear-jerking soundtrack: "What is the measure of a man? What are the limits of forgiveness? What are the bounds of football justice? Cecil Newton knows." Everyone with an IQ over 70 will want to throw up. Meanwhile, Auburn fans will cry.
No matter the scope of his apology, nothing will change the fact that Cecil Newton, Sr, the dumb pimp, the greedy preacher with a satchel of cash, the man who would sell his own son, represents all that is wrong with college sports. Immediately after picking Auburn, Cecil said the reason he, keep in mind Cam's father chose the school not the son, chose the Tigers over Mississippi State was because, "I didn't want him (Cam) to be a rented mule."
Nope, in the biggest injustice of all, Cecil Newton wanted his son to be a bought mule. That makes him the Anti-Sportsman of the Year.
Follow Clay Travis on Twitter here. With All That and a Bag of Mail back on a weekly basis, you can e-mail him questions at Clay.Travis@gmail.com.