Scott Fowler

The ‘Chosen’ one: Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton’s son will change QB’s life

Chosen.

It is the first name of Cam Newton’s first child – a boy, born on Christmas Eve to Newton and his longtime girlfriend, Kia Proctor.

Chosen is also the way all new parents feel when their own first child comes into the world.

Chosen to do something great.

Chosen to be somebody we are not sure we are ready to be.

After the Carolina Panthers quarterback revealed the birth of his son on his Twitter account Wednesday, Newton answered questions about his child for the first time on Thursday during his weekly news conference. He sounded joyous, overwhelmed and a little unclear about everything that was about to come his way.

In other words, if you are a parent, he sounded like you probably did during your first week of parenthood. Except he was probably funnier.

Said Newton of the experience: “It’s pretty cool. ... When you see life coming into existence, it’s a wonderful thing. These past couple of days have been so monumental for me.”

Of the baby, he said: “I took him out for a jog yesterday. He was running alongside me. … He has a couple of scholarship offers already on the table.”

Newton said that the baby was 9 pounds, 6 ounces at birth and 20 inches long. “He can dunk, too,” said Newton, who was 10 pounds, 9 ounces when he was born in Atlanta in 1989.

Newton left the Panthers’ Christmas Eve practice five plays early last Thursday to get to Atlanta, where he is from and where Chosen Sebastian Newton was born. He then came back to Charlotte for a Saturday practice before returning to Atlanta, where he and the Panthers lost for the first time all season to the Atlanta Falcons.

Newton’s best moment in that game came when he scored on a touchdown run in the first quarter. He then pretended the football was a baby and that he was rocking it to sleep, although after the game he wouldn’t answer a question as to why he did that.

Rumors had swirled for months, but now we know for sure. And about that first name: I am fine with it, because it is quintessential Newton. He does what he wants, and he doesn’t care a bit if you think it’s presumptuous or cocky or whatever.

At times Thursday when he was answering questions, it was easy to remember that Newton is only 26. He sounded naive, for instance, when answering a question about what the past week has been like.

“Yeah, I had a child,” he said. “The people who needed to know have known for awhile. Nothing has pretty much changed besides our record, and the focus now is still the same. There were a lot of distractions last week – and the main one was probably the practice schedule more than anything.”

As Newton will soon find out, everything has changed. When you are a father, you look at the world differently. I have four children, and I always tell people that the greatest difference was not between having one and two children, or three and four, but between having zero children and then having one.

You are not a father, and then suddenly you are. That’s the big leap.

Newton sounded quite prepared to answer this question, though, when I asked him what kind of father he wanted to be.

“The same father my dad was to me,” Newton said, speaking of his father, Cecil Newton, who along with Newton’s mother, Jackie, remains very involved in the lives of all three of their sons.

“He was everything I could ask for and more,” Cam said of Cecil, who was the pastor of a church in Georgia for most of his sons’ formative years. “Especially for … him to get bashed and tormented in the media, but our personal relationship has become stronger over the years. I respect that. I understand that.

“And I think every man should be able to have that father figure in their life. I know especially where I grew up, there wasn’t a lot of people who had men in their life.”

Now you may be remembering about now that Cecil Newton was portrayed nationally as the bad guy in the scandal that threatened to take Cam’s eligibility away during the one year Cam Newton played at Auburn.

Documents related to an NCAA investigation released in November 2011 showed that Cecil Newton and a former Mississippi State player named Kenny Rogers sought between $120,000 and $180,000 for Cam Newton to sign with Mississippi State when he was transferring from junior college. Instead, Cam Newton signed with Auburn.

Newton led Auburn to the national championship and an undefeated season in 2010, then was drafted No. 1 overall by Carolina in 2011. In the NCAA investigation, Cam Newton was judged by the NCAA not to have known about the pay-for-play scheme.

Cecil Newton told ESPN in 2014 that he “willfully fell on his sword for my son,” taking the blame in a case where both Cam Newton and Auburn were exonerated.

Cam Newton has said multiple times since that he and his father bonded more tightly during and after the probe. Now, he said, he is going to treat Chosen the same way that his father has always treated him.

“You know, at times, I questioned sometimes my father was too hard on us,” Newton said. “And my mom could attest to that. But yet now I’m lucky enough to have a son. And I’m going to be the same way – but cooler.”

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments