Cameron Newton (Cam) and Stephen Curry (Steph) have a lot to be thankful for on this past Thanksgiving going into the New Year. Two of the top tier athletes playing the toughest positions, quarterback and point guard, in their respective leagues have ushered their teams, the Carolina Panthers and Golden State Warriors, so far into an undefeated season.
Cam and Steph have had their share of criticisms, fault finding and typical analysis from some of the best sports writers in the world. Many of them said Cam is not the prototype for quarterback and isn’t patient in the pocket. He always wants to use his legs, is selfish, doesn’t make the right reads, and his mechanics are off when throwing passes. Cam is proving those skeptics wrong coming off a debilitating ankle injury that he finally had surgically repaired and a near death car wreck. Despite the critics’ assessments, Cam still has that endearing smile and is dancing in the end zone never forgetting the fact that God had his hand on him during that miraculous time. He has been very outspoken and grateful to whom he said “was the man upstairs”.
Steph’s evaluations during the 2009 NBA draft drew criticism from the experts such as being stuck between a point guard and a shooting guard. He had average size, athleticism, and a frail frame which was sure to be injury prone. They also said he relied to heavily on his outside shot. Critics were almost proven correct on the frail frame evaluation as Steph missed most of the shortened NBA lock-out season with ankle injuries that plagued him up into the playoffs series against the San Antonio Spurs in 2013 when the Warriors first looked like contenders. His critics have been silenced after winning his 1st NBA MVP and NBA championship. During his MVP speech and every time he has received an award he has given thanks to God and was quoted as saying “I couldn’t have done any of this without my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.”
Despite the criticism, these two men have matured and wrestled with adversity and continue to be in the MVP talks of their respective leagues. Steph Curry may be scoring his way into a 2nd MVP season averaging over 32 points a game. The way they both play with pride, passion and humility has become fun to watch and monumental not only for their teammates and fans, but the young kids that look up to them.
In the supernatural world the critics’ reviews have nothing on God’s reviews of Cam and Steph as you are entertained by their skill and gracefulness on the playing field. What’s even more majestic is seeing these two men having a strong faith in the midst of so much tearing down and what we call hating these days by taking a moment to pray together. Steph Curry and Cam Newton are winning big not just in sports but in the biggest game of all, the game of life. In a world where most athletes think they are super-human and have the control, it’s quite humbling to see these two brothers acknowledging something bigger than themselves. In life where it really counts, Cam and Steph’s lives are more distinguishing and awe-inspiring than their play.