Three notes on a Monday:
-- I found Cam Newton's Madden video challenge to Calvin Johnson and to his fans funny and pretty genuine. It's very homemade (the video turns sideways at one point), and it sounds like Cam, who apparently is REALLY into being the cover of the "Madden 13" video game.
Newton gave information on the video saying he wanted to play both Johnson and some of his fans in Madden. What I'm wondering is: Has anyone actually played him who will talk to me? I'm planning on writing something about the CamPaign to get on the cover of Madden at some point.
Newton brags himself up big-time on the YouTube spot -- "My thumbs are so official on the sticks," "Madden 13 needs a real gamer. I am that" and so on -- I'm just wondering if he's as good as he says he is. If you played him, or know someone who did, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
(Incidentally, Newton is posting some of his results on his Facebook fan page. Here's an excerpt from his latest post: "CAMpaign 2012 score update. Over the last couple days I’ve had thousands of game requests and I’m trying to get through as many as I can. I have to give it up to Wilcard719 who got me 24-15, your game is official! The results of the games that I won are: AlfredMohi 41-29, Husky Chipmunk 65-34, H0NK3Y K0NG740 41-20, WaRgOoN49 34-27. Special shout out to WaRgOoN49 who clearly underestimated my skills! Don’t forget to vote espn.com/maddenvote."
-- The Bobcats lost their 20th straight game Sunday to Sacramento, and they got crushed by 26 points by a team that had lost nine of its past 10. Tonight's game at Washington, I think, is their best chance to avoid ending the season with 23 straight defeats. If you missed my Sunday column on the woeful Bobcats, here it is.
-- The Observer will be sending me to New York for the second straight year to cover the NFL draft. Watch for my coverage from New York on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the newspaper and online, plus don't forget to read our excellent pre-draft series appearing each day.
And remember that the Panthers have a free pre-draft party from 5:30-10:30 p.m. on Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium, where fans can get some autographs, see some behind-the-scenes stuff at the stadium, watch the draft on the big screens and even get on the field.