Remember when you were six or seven, and you were craving the moment when you could actually ride your bike all the way down to the corner?
Next step: around the block.
You just got your 10-speed, and were waiting to take it for a spin around the neighborhood to show it off to all your friends. No more shiny bells, no more parental supervision because you just got your training wheels taken off.
No tassels on the handlebars, with that embarrassing iridescent tint tickling your fingers while you’re dropping your kickstand before running up to your best friend’s porch to chop it up about the new kid, who you still haven’t figured out if you should talk to or not.
There was one problem.
By the time you actually got your bike, the leaves had begun to fall, and it was a little too cold to go outside. Now you are stuck sitting in your living room window, envisioning what it would be like to feel the wind through your hair as you go too fast up the hill on the sidewalk and brake a little too hard. Your little league catastrophe will not come to fruition for about five or six months.
While you are reduced to playing your video games and stuffing your face with more snacks than your stomach can handle, the excitement begins to wear off. You forget about the bike and move on to the next best thing.
You had a strong case of “CNS.”
Cam Newton Syndrome.
When the kid first came out of the gate and exposed himself as one of the greatest Auburn football players the SEC has ever seen, we were standing on top of our couches. Screams came from homes of all shapes, colors and sizes in favor (or contempt) of Newton.
Whatever your feelings were towards him, he remained relevant throughout the entire college season leading up to the NFL draft. From the end of the BCS Championship game until his name was called at the draft, analysts were quizzing his knowledge of the game and questioning his success on the field. No matter how tangible the kid’s statistics were, fans were quick to predict how far he would fall.
"With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select…. Cam Newton, quarterback, Auburn."
As he smiled and walked towards the stage to shake hands with commissioner Roger Goodell, there was something in my heart of hearts that kept distracting me. Although I felt like he would not fall out of the top five, there was still something that bothered me at that very moment.
With the lockout looming over the night’s festivities, drafted prospects were left hanging in the balance. The joyous occasion had officially been given an asterisk.
Now that the only thing we have heard about the NFL for weeks is whether or not we are going to see much of it this season, instead of the exploration of trade options and free agency, are you still excited?
As fans, it is common for predictions to create a hyper mentality, but now that we have heard nothing about Newton, with the exception of his Justin Bieber karaoke, are we still chomping at the bit to see what he does in his first season?
Do we still care?
Sure, when the lights come on and he runs onto the field, fans will be enthralled by his stature, athletic disposition and charismatic grin, but are we still anticipating his first games with the franchise?