Cam Newton Gets Us Ready for Game Day

Welcome to Thirstory, where we whet your appetite with pages from the Interview archive that were almost too hot to print. This week, we celebrate this Sunday’s Super Bowl LV by replaying a September 2011 profile featuring the star quarterback Cam Newton. 


In a decade, everything and nothing has changed for Cam Newton. The debonair footballer was first featured in a profile for this magazine back in 2011 as he was making the transition from college athlete to NFL freshman—a transition worth $22 million, to be exact. After receiving college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy, Newton became the first overall draft pick during the 2011 season, securing that sizable contract to join the Carolina Panthers. As a Panther, the quarterback’s trophy case quickly filled with accolades in the form of touchdowns, endorsement deals, and a resume of career firsts during his nine seasons on the team. Through all of his achievements, the continuing key to Newton’s drive has always been his work ethic, which he says was instilled in him early on by his dad. As a high school athlete, Newton’s father challenged him to balance a part-time landscaping job with sports practice. “I always had to bring my basketball stuff and my football stuff and go straight to practice, sweating in my boots and jeans. My teammates would be like, ‘Where in the world are you coming from with all that grass in your shoes?’” he told Interview in 2011. “But I guess I had the last laugh, because it paid off. I can look back and say, ‘Man, I came a long way.’” Paid off it did. Last year when it was announced that Tom Brady, widely regarded as the NFL’s most accomplished QB, was leaving the New England Patriots, Brady’s heir apparent was none other than Newton himself. And though the handsome jock won’t be making it to the big game this Sunday, we’ll happily be Newton’s cheerleader until his next Super Bowl.