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Talkies talk: From social injustice to Cam Newton and from who’ll win the NBA title to Baker Mayfield


Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant once exclaimed, “Turn every setback into a comeback.” In 2015, Cam Newton was unstoppable. He won the NFL MVP Award and led his Carolina Panthers to a 15-1 regular season. Following a 2016 Super Bowl defeat at the hands of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos, Newton’s career has gone up and down.

Early in the 2019-20 season, Newton suffered a season ending Lisfranc injury in his foot. On March 24th of this year, after nine campaigns with the Panthers franchise,  Newton was released. This past week, on June 29, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots signed Cam to a one-year deal.

A healthy Cam Newton now has a chance to prove himself a superstar once again. Will Newton be able to fit into the potent Patriots offense and fill the void  left behind by Tom Brady? What happens if Newton re-injures his foot? Will Newton even start week one? Does Newton have the prowess and skill set to become an MVP candidate once again?

Numerous questions remained unanswered when Newton took center stage this week. The talkies also had a great deal to discuss relating to COVID-19, the NBA, and college football…

Rich Eisen (Rich Eisen Show on NBC Sports Network) – @richeisen

  • Rich Eisen said he would be “shocked if every team in COVID-19 times did NOT keep three QBs in 2020. And have a fourth in mind and ready to go.” Furthermore, Eisen believes that Cam Newton is an “absolute delight.” Newton is entertaining to watch on the field, and when he scores, he gives footballs to enthusiastic children in the crowd.

Dianna Russini (NFL Reporter and ESPN Host) – @diannaESPN

  • Dianna Russini was active on her Twitter platform this week. Russini was present on a @GetUpESPN segment on Wednesday July 1st. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell and Mike Greenberg discussed the question as to whether 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson could perhaps repeat as NFL MVP in 2020. Before lending her own opinion on the debate, she shared breaking news that made her fellow colleagues chuckle while on air. Russini noted that unfortunately, former Chicago Bears QB, Jay Cutler had his chickens killed by a raccoon. Russini went on and claimed, “Okay let’s talk Ravens Titans.” There’s a coincidence. The raccoon is the state animal of Tennessee. …The Titans were the team that upset Lamar Jackson and the heavily favored Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round of the 2019-20 NFL Playoffs.

Hannah Storm (ESPN) – @HannahStormESPN

  • Throughout the week, Hannah Storm posted tweets relating to the New England Patriots signing QB, Cam Newton. Like many football enthusiasts, Storm is excited to see how a healthy Newton performs under head coach Bill Belichick’s offensive scheme. On an uplifting note, Storm shared a heartwarming story. The Hannah Storm Foundation was able to fund lip surgery for a young man named Alex who has Autism and suffers from Sturge Weber Syndrome.

Dick Vitale (ESPN Analyst) – @DickieV

  • As always, Vitale had a great deal to say regarding the upcoming college basketball season. Vitale feels the time has come for the Kentucky Wildcats and Indiana Hoosiers to renew a longtime rivalry. He opined that “fans/alumni/players/deserve it & want it.” He also had some high praise for Josh Christopher (Arizona State), Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga), and Evan Mobley (USC). Furthermore, Vitale reminds people that the number one priority once professional sporting leagues resume is the health and safety of all individuals involved. On a sad note, Vitale shared a story from about Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Andrew Toles (2016-2018), who was found homeless in Florida this past week. Toles was diagnosed with a mental illness, and his family seeks help and guidance.

Stephen A. Smith (ESPN) – @stephenasmith

  • Stephen A. feels as if some NBA players will struggle within the bubble because of limited opportunities to interact socially. Stephen A. is concerned that players will be without their families and loved ones for about a month. Stephen A. is also excited about Cam Newton becoming a New England Patriot. On another note, several of Smith’s followers showed some high praise for Smith, himself, this week:

The GOAT Stephen A. Smith is the reason why I tune into ESPN. Pure facts and entertainment.”

“The best to ever do it.”

“I’m going to start telling people we’re related if that’s cool with you.”

Mike Golic & Trey Wingo on ESPN – @GolicAndWingo

  • Mike Golic and Trey Wingo were very visible on their Twitter account this week and brought on several intriguing guests. Ole Miss head basketball coach Kermit Davis was  a strong proponent of removing the Confederate emblem from the Mississippi state flag. The legislatures approved the removal earlier this week. “We need a flag that represents all of our citizens…I don’t know if I’ve ever had a more gratifying day, to be a small part of change in our state.” Golic and Wingo also hosted SEC expert Paul Finebaum who insisted that college football fans are not being realistic for falsely believing that seasons will begin on time and that fans will be able to pack the stands. “Anyone who believes that the CFB season is in good shape is wrong,” Paul said. Trey Wingo also listed his top “three-ish” teams in a powerful AFC Conference; Chiefs, Ravens and Patriots.

Jim Rome (CBS Sports) – @jimrome

  • Jim Rome expressed his confidence in Cleveland Browns’ QB, Baker Mayfield, heading into the 2020-21 campaign. Unlike a majority of football aficionados who believe Baker Mayfield is overrated and has underperformed, Rome’s inkling is that Baker will comeback stronger than ever. After watching Baker train in the off-season, Rome is “still riding with Baker. And America’s Team.” Rome also pondered as to why the Patriots signing of Cam Newton took so long.

Skip Bayless (FOX Sports) – @RealSkipBayless

  • From NBA to NFL and from CFB to off-season deals of signing players, Skip Bayless expressed his viewpoints via Twitter:

If Belichick knows what’s good for him, he’ll allow Cam’s “Superman” celebration. To my knowledge, no Patriot Way star has ever had a consistent signature celebration (Gronk’s spike wasn’t a new idea). But Cam’s is part of who he is, what fuels him…and fuels the team.”

“I’m getting so paranoid, I wouldn’t mind seeing the NFL eliminate all preseason games this year, to maximize the chances of avoiding outbreaks before Week One. College football allows zero preseason games, and no one ever complains about that.” 

This past Thursday on Undisputed, Skip praised Kawhi Leonard on his abilities, both offensively and defensively. He’s the best two-way player on the planet.

Shannon Sharpe (FOX Sports) – @ShannonSharpe

  • Shannon Sharpe continues to be an activist in the fight for social justice. He posted many tweets this week. Sharpe used an emoji to illustrate how he finds it comedic that President Donald Trump has “nothing to say about minimum wage” and other policies. On the scheduling matter, Sharpe agrees with Skip that the NFL preseason should never be more than two games anyway. 

Colin Cowherd (Fox Sports) – @ColinCowherd

  • Colin Cowherd voiced his opinion on LeBron’s Lakers and Belichick’s Patriots.

On the Lakers:

“LeBron is going big game hunting this off-season…The player I keep telling you he’s going after is Bradley Beal. He’s a perfect LeBron guy.”

“The Lakers are not winning the NBA Championship this season. The only question is when they lose to either the Clippers, Bucks, or Celtics…The Lakers playoff hopes are down to LeBron, AD (Anthony Davis), Danny Green, and cross your fingers.”

On the Patriots:

“Never forget. If Belichick really wanted Cam, he wouldn’t have waited until everyone else passed on him. This was really a value acquisition as much as a talent one. He was free.”

Responding to Randy Moss’ comments that the Patriots offense will be more fun with Cam Newton: “Sports are fun if you win…Nobody in New England is going to have fun winning nine games and finishing second to the Buffalo Bills.”



Blake Taub

Blake Taub majors in Sport Management at Syracuse University in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. He looks forward to a fruitful career in sports. When not at Syracuse, Blake resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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