Cam Newton is the only player to ever win the Heisman Trophy and the BCS National Championship to get selected first overall in the NFL Draft, all in the same calendar year.
He carried that success over into the NFL– winning Rookie of the Year in 2011, amassing three Pro Bowl selections in seven NFL seasons, including an MVP season and Super Bowl appearance in 2015.
When it comes to Cam Newton, it seems as though people either love the Carolina Panthers star signal caller, or they hate him.
Read more to find out about Newton’s Trailblazer mentality and how it plays into his public persona:
Some people may tell you he’s cocky, and selfish, in it for himself. Others will tell you he’s just a guy who loves playing football and getting after it on the field with his teammates.
Truthfully, Cam Newton is more the later than the former. The actions some may attribute to being overly showy are really just his mindset as a Trailblazer athlete rising to the surface. Trailblazers love to perform when they are out on the field, not to stroke their own egos, they do it because of the joy they receive from executing their craft at a high level.
And to be honest, Newton has performed at a level higher than most people could ever imagine– putting together one of the most, if not the most, dominant single seasons in college football history during his Heisman Trophy winning season in 2010.
Newton exudes the mentality of a Trailblazer every time he touches the field, known as the “Spirited Athlete”, Trailblazers are free thinking and typically very social– which allows people to feel closer to them.
“He’s a big kid out there. You can’t take what he does personally,” said former teammate Cortland Finnegan in an ESPN feature story about Newton. “You just can’t. It’s who he is. You watch him and realize he’s having a great time, and no game is too big for him.”
It’s an attitude that has driven some outside of his circle crazy, but one that draws his teammates in. “Some teams get offended when he does stuff,” Newton’s longtime backup, Derek Anderson says. “He [Cam] made a good point: If you don’t want to watch me dance, do something about it. But then again, when he said that, it was another thing for people to take offense to.”
The positive outlook and exuberance has been something Newton has had to bring to the field every time he plays, especially with all the people just waiting for him to fail. If you ask people close to Newton about his work ethic and enthusiasm, they assure you that it’s all genuine.
“If Cam was a bank teller, on a wall somewhere in that bank he’d be employee of the month for March, April, May — something weird would have happened in June, and he’d be back on the wall for July. It wouldn’t be about the recognition or the awards, it would be, ‘I’m going to be the most outstanding person in this bank, and this bank is going to be the best bank in the neighborhood,” said George Whitfield, who helped Newton with the nuances of the quarterback position as he prepared for the NFL Draft.
It’s not just his exuberance and spirit, Newton also displays another key trait of the Trailblazer athlete– through his artistic temperament and interests.
Trailblazers are often athletes and people who find aesthetics important, they typically display this trait by exhibiting strong interests in things like food, arts, culture, and clothing.
If there’s one thing about Cam Newton that is more iconic than his play on the field, it’s his style off of it. He’s worn some of the most interesting outfits imaginable during his post-game press conferences, and he’s one of Under Armour’s biggest brand ambassadors.
When Under Armour was ready to release Newton’s signature shoes, the C1N– they tabbed Newton as the creative director for the advertising campaign. With the help of his production company, Iconic Saga, Newton and Under Armour developed the “Ferocity Meets Artistry” campaign.
“Ferocity reflects the hard work that goes into improvement and striving for success. It is never easy and not glamorous,” Newton told AdFreak. “Artistry is the confidence to remain true to yourself under all circumstances. To be beautifully you.”
Newton says that the campaign essentially revolves around and can be boiled down to a combination of hard work and personality. ”The hard work of training and preparing for competition. And the boldness of lifestyle and fashion. It is a reflection of the different shades of my personality on and off the field.”
Spirit on and off the field, Cam Newton is the embodiment of the Trailblazer Athlete Type.
“When he walks in a room he brightens up the whole place,” said teammate Joe Webb. “He smiles, he plays with all the kids. Good spirit. When you have that good spirit everyone wants to be a part of it.”
“He plays the game like a kid, which is instrumental for everybody. You see his energy, it’s hard not to match it,” says Anderson.
“He’s going to bring out the best in you. He hates losing, which is how it should be; I enjoyed working out with him in the past and I’m looking forward to getting back to it.”
-New Panthers WR Torrey Smith on Cam Newton pic.twitter.com/O2xSJNmZGD
— The Riot Report (@RRiotReport) March 14, 2018