Dear Cam Newton, Keep Pounding!

an open letter to Cam Newton following SB50 and the press conference

Dear Cam Newton,

Keep pounding! Seriously. I know the loss in Super Bowl 50 was devastating. And the press conference was a disaster for you in several ways. But I bet today, with over 24 hours between you and Sunday, you’re beginning to see clearly again. While I’m not a football player, I know about the crushing blows of life and the agony of not meeting the goals you set for yourself. But since I’m almost old enough to be your mom, I wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts with you as you continue to process everything that’s happened in the past few days. Here are five things I hope you know in light of SB50 and “the” press conference.

5 things I really hope Cam Newton knows after SB50 and "the" press conference ... and really, they are five things we all need to remember.

 

You are a beast on the field, man! Don’t forget that. All that athleticism and ability is a gift and you’ve worked hard to grow it. I loved watching you play for my beloved Auburn Tigers and I’ve enjoyed following your career in the NFL. There will always be those people who are intimidated by your raw talent. Don’t let them get inside your head! Listen to your coaches and trainers and keep working hard.

You’ve faced some tough situations in your life and you’ve made some bad decisions. But don’t be fooled—all of us have, even those reporters who write the stories highlighting every time you’ve fallen or failed. My daughter is fifteen (almost sixteen) and we have watched several of her peers make bad choices of their own. But I always remind her who you are when you’re fifteen doesn’t have to be who you are when you’re twenty-five.  My point is, we’re all going to do stupid stuff and have a few regrets along the way, the bigger concern is what we do next. Don’t let a tough day when you’re twenty-six be what defines you. You’re better than that.

Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth and love you anyway. I can’t imagine how hard it is with a life like yours to sort through all the motivations people have for trying to get close to you. I hope you have a core group of people who aren’t impressed by your talent on the field and don’t care how much money you make and don’t measure you by the number of trophies you have … I pray you have at least a few people who see and care about the real you. People who know when you give those footballs to kids it isn’t a stunt and when you help local schools it’s about giving back.  People who will watch the games and say, “That guy on the field is even more amazing in person.” We all need those people!

Keep smiling! The worst part of watching the game for me was not seeing you smile. I know people will tell you football isn’t life (and they’re right) but it is a huge part of your life. And one of the reasons so many of us have enjoyed your career is the joy we see on your face every time you play. I hope during this off season you have time for pick-up games of basketball and hanging out with your friends binge watching “Friday Night Lights” (or whatever you guys watch).  I hope you have time to visit your family and enjoy the beauty of the life you’ve worked hard to have. Because when fall comes, we’re all going to be excited to see that big smile of yours again!

And finally, Cam, I couldn’t write you a letter without saying this: God loves you! He made you with all that personality and ability and I believe He delights seeing you run that football for a touchdown. I hope you know Him. I hope you know He isn’t concerned with your win-loss record but with your heart.

Cam, keep pounding! In ten years I hope you look back on Sunday, February 7, 2016, and you can say even though it didn’t end the way you’d hoped, you wouldn’t trade the opportunity for anything. And when your kids look at you one day and ask how to deal with loss, you’ll be able to look at them and say, “I haven’t always done it well but I’ve learned to face loss with the same smile and joy I have when I win. And that is the true lesson of life.”

Sincerely,

Teri Lynne

I know this isn’t the type of thing I usually write. But sometimes there are just things we need to say … and this letter, while directed at Cam Newton, contains all the same things I find myself saying to my daughter and to the women I counsel.  Truths like God made you uniquely and He delights in you and life is hard but you’re not alone. Important things to remember like how important it is to surround yourself with the right people and to learn to find joy in life. And, most importantly, prioritize a relationship with God.

We all need these reminders sometimes.

{For a little more about my thoughts on all this with Cam, you can read my Facebook post from yesterday. And while you don’t have to agree with me, if you choose to leave a comment here or on my Facebook post, please be aware I will delete anything that disparaging or unkind.}

4 Replies to “Dear Cam Newton, Keep Pounding!”

  1. Well written, my friend! This letter has so many applications, I’m not even going to start counting. Thank you for your sensitivity to the Spirit in writing such blatant words of encouragement and truth. And please, keep ’em coming. This is one mama that cannot be challenged enough in pressing toward the goal. For His fame. For His glory.

    Love & hugs from AK,
    Anne-Renee

    1. Aww, thanks, Anne-Renee! This is just something that weighed heavy on me and I knew I needed to get it said (written).

      xo,
      Teri Lynne

  2. Excellent post!!! Many have commented on Cam’s performance and his after game behavior but your advice hit the nail on the head. Thank you for stepping outside the “blog box” and showing the love of Christ in a very unique way.

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