Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Cam or Scam, we shouldn’t give a damn

One of the more curious phrases I have heard on campus over the past few weeks is “War Scam Eagle.” While not every Alabama fan considers this scandal the highlight of the season, the ones who do take serious delight in this statement and thus, in the recent accusations against Cam Newton’s alleged request for a large payment in order to play football, are ironically hurting the image of both Alabama football and this University as a whole.

Obviously, Cam Newton is a major asset to the Auburn Tigers. It does not take an expert to say that they would not be in their current position without him. Ignoring everything else, I can also admit that he is a skilled player and one of the best in college football. Following these realities, if he were to be ruled ineligible, it would undoubtedly help Alabama and therefore, be a good thing for Crimson Tide’s chances for victory.

However, by responding in jubilation to this situation, fans are casting a negative light upon Alabama for a number of reasons.

First, the dust on the issue has not settled. There is no clear picture as to what exactly happened and even furthermore, if Auburn University played an illegal role in recruitment. While I am in no way attempting to offer any feeble excuses in Auburn’s defense, this premature celebration depicts us as a pack of bloodthirsty fans eager to see Cam Newton fall out of grace in any way possible. Regardless of the high probability of foul play, if we really care about tarring and feathering a rival, then we should at least wait until the final verdict is reached before pointing an accusatory finger.

Second, this scandal does not delegitimize his skill on the field. If he were a juicer addicted to performance enhancing drugs or anything that would give him and the Tigers an unfair advantage when playing against other teams, then it would be completely reasonable to want him off the field, but his playing abilities are natural. A simple transfer or solicitation of cash does not allow Newton to run faster, throw farther or break more tackles.

Assuming he had never even considered the idea of taking cash and this scandal did not exist, he could, in theory, still be legitimately playing for Auburn with the same skills he currently possesses and Alabama would be facing the same challenge in the Iron Bowl. As such, the glee in his potential demise also makes us look like we are scared to play against him and want him out in any way possible.

This then presents a final point: since Cam Newton’s playing ability is completely legitimate, then the Iron Bowl would be a good showdown between rivals if he were to play. Let’s be honest; Auburn would be nothing without Cam. An Alabama victory would all but be assured if he did not play; however, its impact would not be the same.

Does the “W” really have any meaning if Auburn is beaten without the only real reason it is ranked so high? If he did not play, which would render Auburn mortally wounded, we could never say that we crushed our rival at its best and, even worse, it would give Auburn a reason to complain.

A victory must have substance. While it would most certainly not be a valid excuse for Auburn to say that Alabama unfairly won because their only pillar of strength was deemed ineligible by a third party, Newton’s absence would diminish the impact of our victory.

The Crimson Tide can beat Auburn, even with their precious quarterback. Wishing he were not on the team is also an admission of a lack of confidence in Alabama. In fact, we should relish the chance to face the Tigers at full strength.

After the game, the only reason for losing that Auburn should have is that we were the better team. If the allegations are proven to be true, then by all means, justice is served; however, Tuscaloosa should not care. Instead of screaming “War Scam Eagle” this Friday as we are leaving Bryant-Denny, we should be chanting, “Hey Tigers, Hey Tigers, We just beat the hell outta you! Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer give ‘em hell Alabama!”

John Brinkerhoff is a freshman majoring in political science and communication studies. His column runs biweekly on Mondays.

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