There is no doubt that Cam Newton’s 2015-2016 season put him on top of the football world, but his journey to stardom did not come easy. Newton had to endure many trials and tribulations that transformed him from an immature boy, to a more mature, stronger version of himself.
Below I describe his journey in a model American Scholar Joseph Campbell called “The Hero’s Journey”. The exact same steps of the journey can be found in Star Wars, The Hobbit, and the Hunger Games. Here is the twelve step process that sculpted the Cam Newton we know today.
Step 1: The Ordinary World
Cam Newton grew up in Atlanta Georgia and played football at Westlake high school. He then went on to Florida State to play college ball and remained as the backup for Tim Tebow his Freshman and Sophomore year.
Step 2: The Call to Adventure
Cam is accused of stealing a laptop. Although this may not seem like a “call to adventure”, there was obviously some kind of unrest that expressed itself through Cam, causing him to act in a way that he may not usually act. And even if he did not steal the laptop, this new found publicity thrusted Came out of the comfort of being a backup quarterback.
Step 3: Refusal to the Call
Cam resists and denies the accusations. He does not want to spoil his perfect life at Florida State over a mistake he may or may not have made.
Step 4: Meeting the Mentor
Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, is able to help Cam to bounce back from this devastating blow by motivating Cam to continue practicing. “When I was going through that transition from Florida to Junior College, Cecil Newton was the person who kept me straight,” said Cam in Huddle Up With Cam Newton.
Step 5: Crossing the Threshold
It’s 2009, Cam makes the transition from Florida State University to Blinn Junior College in Brenham Texas. Cam is now forced to accept that Florida State is a memory of the past and Blinn Junior College is where he must focus his efforts.
Step 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Cam is living far away from his friends and family. He is forced to humble himself and cooperate with players and coaches that would have otherwise been below his skill level. “For my first couple months there I was fighting depression,” said Cam, “I was like, I don’t know if this whole football thing was for me.” (All according to Huddle Up With Cam Newton: “You Can’t Do It Alone”)
Step 7: Approach
Cam trains harder than he ever has in his life. He realizes he can either crumble under his recent misfortune or rise above it, better, and stronger than he was before (according Huddle Up With Cam Newton)
Step 8: Ordeal, Death, and Rebirth
Cam leads Blinn to an NJCAA national championship victory during the 2009-2010 season. He is also awarded as an NJCAA 2009 All-American. In 2010, Cam transfers to the University of Auburn and returns to play NCAA football.
Step 9: Reward, Seizing the Sword
In the 2010-2011 season Cam wins the NCAA national championship as well as the Heisman Trophy. Cam has now escaped a difficult situation and risen above it all. He now gets to celebrate with his team.
Step 10: The Road Back
Cam seems to be on top of the world… until he enters the NFL draft. There he is scrutinized and criticized by the media on all aspects of his life; as a player and as a man. People question his ability to be an NFL quarterback and also wonder if the troubles of his past will re -surface during his NFL career.
Step 11: The Resurrection
Despite what the haters say, Cam is drafted number one overall by the Carolina Panthers putting him amongst the best in the world.
Step 12: Return With Elixir
Goodbye Jimmy Clausen! Goodbye Vinnie Testaverde! The Panthers finally cure themselves of “bad quarterbacks disease” by drafting Cam in the 2011 NFL draft. He goes on to win rookie of the year and bring the Panthers out of despair they were once in. Yes Cam, you are the elixir.