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The One And Only – Cam Newton in the NFL

By on February 5th, 2016 in Football 4 Comments »
Cam Newton

Photo Courtesy of Charlotte Observer

“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?” William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act II Scene 2

“Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect—… still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

Neither Will nor Chuck ever saw Cam Newton play the game of football. If they had, they might have been motivated to return to their works and scratch out that last line in each quote above. Because watching this man perform on the field is to witness an event that is both rare and remarkable in a manner that is difficult to define. Because that quality of uniqueness that is inherent in his play and style defies comparison to any other athlete who ever played this game, past or present. This was true when he played for Auburn, and it is still true now that he’s in the NFL.

On January 13, 2012 prior to Super Bowl  XLVI, former quarterback Trent Dilfer gave a speech in Charlotte at the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club concerning two main themes – the dedication necessary to play as a starting quarterback in the NFL and Cam Newton’s first year in the league. Dilfer, who had worked with Newton before his rookie season, spoke how he perceived the dedication, commitment and mental focus of this young man.

“This dude is going to change football” was one claim Dilfer made, but the last quote was what thrilled the crowd. In an electrifying and controversial statement Dilfer said, “The Carolina Panthers and the Super Bowl will be in the same conversation in the next four or five years.” Many in the audience reacted with surprised laughter and then cheered, but outside of Charlotte or Auburn the media considered Dilfer’s comment an outrageous claim concerning a 6 – 10 team that went 2 – 14 the year before (and only 8 – 8 in 2009). He was roundly criticized, and his prescient speech was all but forgotten.

And yet, four years and six days after this statement, Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers to victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game and earned a berth in Super Bowl 50 as consensus favorite against an opponent led by a man whom many consider one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. 

An interesting and ironic juxtaposition, if you ask me. Because while Peyton Manning has had an unprecedented and terrific career,  there are many who will staunchly argue against him being called ‘the greatest’ or even ‘the best’ who ever played the game, despite having more passing yards, more passing touchdowns andbeing tied for the most career wins as a starter (186 with Bret Favre).

And the man on the other side of the field?  In my mind he’s not just the consensus MVP – Most Valuable Player in the National Football League this year. I would venture to say he is the MUP – Most Unique player to have ever played the game at the professional or collegiate level.

Allow me to illustrate this.

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What Can Auburn Fans Expect From Nate Craig-Meyers: A Scouting Report

By on February 5th, 2016 in Football 8 Comments »
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Auburn landed perhaps the best group of receivers in the country and in program history. Highlighting that group is Nate Craig-Myers. What can fans expect? Here is a scouting report.

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Highs and Lows of Auburn Football

By on February 4th, 2016 in Football 11 Comments »
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This piece takes a walk down memory lane recounting the high's and low's of Auburn Football and ask the question: "Could 2016 be the year of another drastic turnaround in the team's fortunes?"

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National Signing Day Summary

By on February 3rd, 2016 in Football 15 Comments »
-Derrick Brown First and foremost, let me simply say WAR EAGLE!!Another National Signing Day is now history, and it remains to be seen how these recruits/signees develop. We all hope that Coach Gus Malzahn and the AU coaching staff filled the voids that exist on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.Before I continue with a list of the... Read Full Story

Auburn National Signing Day Open Thread

By on February 3rd, 2016 in Football 1 Comment »
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Please note that no comment totals were displayed on the front page counter as this was an Open Thread of the days happenings on NSD. To view the comments, click on the “Read Full Story”

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Auburn Primer for National Signing Day

By on February 2nd, 2016 in Football 6 Comments »
The Calm Before the Storm It's that time of the year when, once again, we turn our attention to those high school players deemed fit to play at the highest level in college football. These are the high school standouts who have numbers assigned to them based on their abilities at various positions.These numbers seemingly reflect how "good" any given play... Read Full Story

National Signing Day: 10 Years Later

By on February 1st, 2016 in Football 3 Comments »
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Recruiting is the life-blood of a program and years worth of work on the 2016 class is about to culminate for the Auburn coaching staff. But, some true understanding on the nature of recruiting can be found by reviewing the history of Auburn recruiting. Take a look at the class of 2006 and see how the 11th ranked class in the nation faired.

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Join us for National Signing Day 2016

By on February 1st, 2016 in Football 2 Comments »
signing_day_photo Okay, so we've watched, read, and analyzed what various recruits may do come Wednesday which is, of course, National Signing Day. Those of us here at Track 'Em Tigers want to provide our readers with as much information as possible as relates to recruits choosing their university, and to that extent, we will be providing a pri... Read Full Story

Tigers Struggle to Hit Threes, Lose Third Straight

By on February 1st, 2016 in Basketball Comment »
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The SEC and Big 12 squared off, with Auburn being the last matchup of the night. Auburn was the SEC's last chance to make a respectable showing in the series, but came up well short in the first half before rallying in the second. The Tigers dropped a third straight game, with this contest being at home. Read why.

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The Bigger Star: Bo or Cam?

By on February 1st, 2016 in Football 12 Comments »
Bo and Cam Is Cam Newton now the biggest star in all of American sports? If so, how does he compare to Bo Jackson back in his heyday? These are interesting questions to consider as Newton prepares to play on the country’s biggest stage this Sunday.Some will argue that LeBron James is bigger, and it would be hard to argue the point, but r... Read Full Story

How Receptive is Auburn to a Black Quarterback?

By on January 30th, 2016 in Football 17 Comments »
Future offense By anyone's measure, we've had some awesome ones!(Photo by Acid Reign)     By all rights, this time of the year everyone should be reading drivel by bloggers like me about recruiting. Problem is, that I just don't care. I'll let others dissect high-school tweets and such. I've never given much credit till a football player g... Read Full Story

Auburn Men’s Basketball Drops Seventh Straight Road Game

By on January 29th, 2016 in Basketball Comment »
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Two teams with SEC losing streaks met Wednesday night in Oxford. Ole Miss came away with a convincing win. Read how.

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Putting the “Special” in Special Teams

By on January 28th, 2016 in Basketball, Football 4 Comments »
Carlson ADay2015 Auburn brings back nearly intact special teams units in 2016.(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! This week marks the third episode in a series in which we take a look at Auburn's chances in the upcoming 2016 season. Two weeks ago, we looked at the Auburn defense and last week saw a glance at the offense. This we... Read Full Story

Auburn Continues Strong Recruiting Push

By on January 27th, 2016 in Football 18 Comments »
Everyone has an opinion about Auburn’s reshuffled coaching staff, but one thing we have to agree on is these guys can recruit. Despite all the turmoil in Auburn's coaching ranks after Will Muschamp’s departure to South Carolina, its coaches have managed to stay among the top in the country in this year’s recruiting ranking... Read Full Story

Wanted: Left Tackle for Auburn Offensive Line

By on January 26th, 2016 in Football 10 Comments »
NCAA Football: Birmingham Bowl-Auburn vs Memphis There's a lingering question this offseason as to who will be the starting quarterback for Auburn in 2016. No matter who will get the nod, it's equally important to know who will replace Shone Coleman at left tackle.Most experts agree that the left tackle is one of the most important members of a team's offense because he protec... Read Full Story

Auburn Breaks Streak With Loss to Gators

By on January 25th, 2016 in Basketball 2 Comments »

The match-up against the Gators was never in question, as Florida recorded 93 points and beat Auburn soundly in all phases of the game. Read how the Gators accomplished the thrashing over the Tigers.

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Why Peyton Barber Declared

By on January 22nd, 2016 in Football 2 Comments »
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Fans were shocked to find out that fan-favorite Peyton Barber had declared early for the 2016 NFL draft. Many speculated it was because of his position on the depth chart, but read as Zach dispels that notion and shows the true reason Barber left early.

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Future Focus: Auburn’s Offensive Line in 2016

By on January 20th, 2016 in Football 12 Comments »

Auburn lost a pair of starting tackles early to the NFL draft. Who will replace the two standouts? Will there be some position moves? Check out Zach's best predictions on Auburn's starting line in 2016.

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Tide Latest Victim of Hot Auburn Tigers – (with video highlights)

By on January 20th, 2016 in Basketball 10 Comments »
6_4214907 - USA TODAY Despite injuries to key players Bruce Pearl has the Auburn Tigers playing fast and physical ball. Just three days after beating Kentucky for the first time in 16 years, the Tigers defeated arch rival Alabama 83-77 before a sold out crowd in the Auburn Arena Tuesday night.Just like last Saturday, Auburn fans provided a wild and n... Read Full Story

You Can Bet Peyton Barber Will Succeed in the NFL

By on January 18th, 2016 in Football 12 Comments »
hi-res-8330872e732aca2a1c075e193e055a3c_crop_north When Auburn's Peyton Barber was asked before the Birmingham Bowl about his 1,000 yard season, the redshirt sophomore gave no indication he might turn pro."There's still a lot more that I have to improve on and that I can show people I wasn't able to show people this year." At the time most took the statement to mean he planned o... Read Full Story

Don’t Stop Believing!

By on January 18th, 2016 in Basketball 10 Comments »
auburn basketball When it comes to the unexpected, few moments can top Saturday evening. Auburn’s victory over 14th ranked Kentucky was a much needed pick-me-up for an athletic program that’s had little to cheer for since that final second against Alabama two years ago.Bruce Pearl’s injury riddled squad was pretty much left for dead by ever... Read Full Story