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What are We Supposed to Make of This Cryptic Cam Newton Post About Him Deserving Loyalty?

For those of you who struggle to read the combination Cyrillic/Hieroglyphics/Fraternity house Greek alphabet font that only Cam Newton uses, "ím FÂR FRØM ₽£RF£ČT....büt ŁØ¥ÂŁT¥, í D£§£RV£ ĮT" translates into the modern English Latin-derived alphabet as, "I'm far from perfect, but loyalty? I deserve it." 

Which begs the question that I'm going to phrase like I'm a sniffy, refined British gentleman being indignant about something in a Turner Classic Movie. "What the devil is he talking about?" 

I'll say from the outset that I'm going to violate the Prime Directive of Getting Pageviews, Clicks and Viewers and Listeners, which clearly says that I should overreact to this, paint Newton in the worst light possible and feign outrage. Regardless of whether I think it's warranted. But that sort of grandiose, fake overemoting is not the rock Barstool is built upon. I'll save that for Boston talk radio and the cable Sports Shouting shows. I'm sure they'll be freaking out and painting this like some insurrection on Newton's part. A demand that he be guaranteed the QB1 job. But I will not stoop to such antics. They're beneath us. 

Because whatever degree of ŁØ¥ÂŁT¥ you think Newton deserves in his quest to beat out Mac Jones for the starting job against Miami a month from now, we all should be able to agree that he deserves the benefit of the doubt. In his 13 1/2 months in New England, he's been everything you could ask for in a free agent. A great teammate. Coachable. Accountable. Outstanding as a representative, face-of-the-franchise type of player. He's done everything asked of him. Except be a really effective passer, but let's shelve that for now and focus on the subject at hand. 

I'd hoped I was done with trying to DaVinci Code players social media posts when Gronk left. Deciphering his Tweets and IG captions trying to separate the passive/aggressive digs at the team from the mere Hip Hop lyrics bouncing around in his head was exhausting. But we're back in the same spot. Newton's "photo dump" of him carrying a brief case in a track suit, Medellin, Columbia Hooters t-shirt, scarf, hat and Joker card combo certainly seems benign enough. And he doesn't have to have been here for long to already figure out that if you're going to send Bill Belichick a message (as he'll be accused of, no question) that the direct route doesn't go through InstaFace, YouFace or Pandorama. It's knocking on his door, looking into his deep, soulful, Einstein-like eyes and talking to him like a grown man. Which Newton is. And I imagine that's how he'd handle it if he truly believed he was being treated disloyally by the organization. 

So maybe this is directed at the fans? It's possible. At Newton's first appearance in front of a big crowd of Patriots fans, he did hear huge cheers for Mac Jones, like I said earlier. 

But like I also said, Newton got a deafening round of cheers when he took the field as well. No competitor wants to hear people pulling for his/her competition. But the thing to do is keep your head up, block out the noise, let the situation bring out the best in you, and win the job on the field. Just like Newton no doubt did at U. of Florida, Auburn, Carolina and last year in Foxboro. Maximus didn't win over the mob at the Coliseum by standing on a box in the Roman square reading a scroll about how he should have their loyalty. Rocky didn't turn the Soviet people in his favor by talking about what he deserves in Pravda. And just to go for the 80s/90s movie trifecta, when Little Bill tells Will Munny "I don't deserve this," Munny explains how all true meritocracies work with a simple, "'Deserve' has got nothing to do with it." 

All that said, Cam Newton is too much of a professional and a class act to be trying to send some bitter message at the Patriots organization or the people in the stands. He's been around long enough to know that's not how things work around here. If this is anything, it's a personal message. A private reflection. A shower thought. Or maybe a song lyric. I don't know which. I just hope that in the days and years to come, guys on this team will learn to be more literal. To say what they mean. Because trying to decode this stuff is the worst.