If you listen to Cam Newton’s seven-minute homemade video, Wednesday sounds like it will be one of the biggest days of his young NFL career.
Not because it’s the day before the NFL draft and his Carolina Panthers might get some help very soon. But because it’s the day that either Newton or Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson will be revealed as the player who will grace the cover of the “Madden NFL 13” video game.
Newton really wants to win. His homemade “Cam”-paign video – which has generated more than 148,000 hits on YouTube so far and likely a lot of fan votes – talks about how much he wants to win because he plays Madden so often. “It’s a big, big deal to me,” Newton said on the video.
Also, Newton tells the camera at one point: “Madden 13 needs a real gamer. I am that.” He also invited fans to play against him online and to date has played several, documenting the results on his Facebook fan page. (He won most of the games, he said, but not all).
Newton has said several times he doesn’t set any stock in the “Madden curse,” which has befallen many an NFL star over the years. In general, the player on the Madden cover (it was Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis in 2011) usually either has a down season or an injury-plagued one. Or both.
The winner – which was determined by fan voting – will be announced in New York Wednesday afternoon. It’s a made-for-TV event, with Newton and Johnson both expected to be on hand in Times Square for the 5 p.m. ESPN “SportsNation” show on ESPN2.
I should be there, too. I’ll be up in New York as of Wednesday morning -- as long as my flight has no issues -- already covering the NFL draft preliminaries for the Observer. So check my column and blog in both the newspaper and online Wednesday and Thursday for some behind-the-scenes stuff from this event.
It will be interesting to see how Newton reacts if he wins – and perhaps even more interesting to see how he reacts if he doesn’t.