NBA / Oct 4, 2011 / 11:30 am

Who Had A Better Debut: Cam Newton Or LeBron James?

Cam Newton

It was hard to fathom the amount of hype a high school kid named LeBron James had. We had never seen it before, and may not ever see it again. Could he live it up to it? Even the kid’s biggest supporters probably couldn’t have scripted a better first game. It’s the same thing with Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers first-year quarterback who seems poised to break all types of rookie records. Has their been a more surprising player through the first four weeks of the NFL season?

Both players have similar stories, and are one-of-a-kind physical talents who entered the NBA and NFL respectively with the weight of the world on their shoulders. The questions before their debuts centered more around could they survive rather than will they dominate. We all know how that turned out.

But which player had the better debut? We argue. You decide.

*** *** ***

CAM NEWTON
Cam Newton is not supposed to win. If the prophecy’s correct, then the child shall have to pay for the sins of the father. Right? Wrong. Contrary to Shawn Carter‘s beach chair wisdom, Newton is quickly excelling in the NFL, leaving naysayers scrambling to hitch onto the bandwagon. In a span of four weeks, Newton has turned the nation’s collective attention from his controversial past – plagued by poor decision-making and a Disney movie villain-esque father – to his unrivaled potential and limitless future. The NFL is no stranger to young phenoms though. It seems as quick as we build them up, we break them down. Ask Kordell Stewart. Ask Ryan Leaf. Ask JaMarcus Russell. So what makes this kid any different?

This is the point where I suggest you reassess your questioning. It’s not what makes Cam Newton different, but what makes him better. Gifted with lead-by-example intuition, explosive athletic ability, a high football IQ and uncanny resiliency, Newton is the proverbial whole package. But perhaps more importantly, he’s won in the face of adversity while doing it his way. Sit out a season? Yeah right. He’d rather dominate the JuCo leagues. Run Oregon’s defense ragged? Nah, he’s a sucker for late game theatrics. Supporters love what others hate about him: His showmanship, his tenacity. He’s Peyton Manning with Mike Vick‘s flare, attitude and support – often wavering but always solid. The same things that make him vulnerable make him better. And what makes him better, may someday make him the best.

Any of this sound familiar?

I’m sure you’ll see where I’m going with this once you trade the football for an orange sphere. And I’m sure LeBron James sees too. After all, he came into the league with similar amounts of controversy and equal amounts of expectations and talent. James’ rookie season was one for the books with averages of 20/5/5 while being righteously snubbed from the All-Star squadron. It’s difficult to live up to the hype created by story-hungry media and idol-centric fans, but James did it. As great as his rookie season was, it pales in comparison to what Newton has accomplished through his first four games. Hypothetically, Newton could burn-out long before the 16-game season comes to an end but really: Can you assume that with any sense of sincerity? I didn’t think so.

It took Newton all of one game in the NFL to enter the record books. His 422-yard debut catapulted him past Manning’s rookie record and quieted the critics to a collective whisper. Destined to prove he was no one-game fluke, Newton then threw for 432 yards, entering the record-books for the second time in as many games. These numbers are awe-worthy for any player, let alone a rookie. And lest we forget, Newton is playing with the 2011-12 NFL equivalent of the 2003-04 Cavaliers: a bunch of past-their-prime veterans and non-blue chip prospects. His most reliable teammate is a 5-9 wide receiver on the downswing of his career. This should not be happening.

All respect to James but he was supposed to succeed, remember? He was the Chosen One (if you forgot – you could read his tattoo), the second coming of Michael Jordan. Newton, on the other hand, was a bust waiting to happen. Analysts couldn’t wait for him to take the field to scrutinize his every move – as they did at Florida and Auburn. His story is one for the kids with too much swagger and not enough guidance. He might not be supposed to win. But make no mistake about it: Cam Newton will not lose.
-MARCUS ARMAN

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  • mike

    Throwing for 420 & 430 yards is like droppin 50 in back to back games … that’s legendary, fuck aaron rodgers just set his career high with like 450 yrds 2 days ago & he’s one of the best qbs in the league & its his like 6th yr in the league

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Cosign #1. QBs just don’t throw for +400yds regularly, nevermind 2 straight games. Only the best QBs do that type of shit, and they do it when they are hot. To me, Newton’s debut was more impressive.

  • kevin

    have you guys been watching the nfl for the first 4 weeks? qbs have gone off for 400+ yards 8 times already. the defenses are definitely behind due to the lockout. if chad henne can do it, it’s really not surprising that cam can.

  • north

    The thing that swings this debate is the line, “LeBron was supposed to succeed.” He had so many backers. Yes he had to live up to the hype but Cam had just as many haters as “The Chosen One” had backers. He could have lay down and just said that they were right. Instead he stepped into the spot light that the guy he bettered on opening day left… Cam is the new Peyton.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @kevin
    Of the 8 times, Cam has 2 and Brady has 2. Any other QBs have 2? Have any other rookies throw for +300 yards in 2 consecutive games?

    “it’s really not surprising that cam can.”
    Wow. Nevermind the fact he’s a rookie, and has the best 2 games for ANY rookie QB EVER. Not even the QBs who were christened as the next QB did that. Lol. You must be Nostradamus because you say that like it’s supposed to happen. There’s no precedent for what Cam Newton has done but, for you, it’s not surprising.
    No big deal.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    if Lebron and the Cavs won the game against the Kings then no matter what the stat line is Lebron had a better debut cause the Panthers lost in Cams debut.

    and the fact that Lebron came straight from high school to the pros is alot more impressive than Cam coming from college and winning the Heisman trophy. i would love to see the massacre that would happen if you sent a QB to the NFL straight from high school.

  • jrichards

    It’s not even close, because the fact is that quarterback is the most difficult and important position in all of professional team sports. It’s one thing to dominate a game where you are matched directly against players that are physically inferior to you, in a five on five setting, and another thing entirely to lead a team of eleven down a football field, with the most gargantuan human beings on the planet running around trying to rip your head off.

    No quarterback can throw for 400 yards without first chucking a funky shaped ball through the air into windows often as small as mailbox, on the run, reading through schemes and coverages that are more complex than quantum mechanics. LeBron just had to throw a ball in a hoop against a smaller, slower and less athletic defender, and if he got so much as an arm slap the whistle blew.

    Again, the comparisons are messed up in the first place just because of how different the sports of football and basketball are. For the most part, predicting success in the NBA is only made difficult by the effect of injuries and a player’s willingness to put in the work necessary to succeed, but from a physical perspective is much less difficult to assess than football, especially at the quarterback position. If you want a center in basketball, draft a really tall guy that doesn’t like ice cream. If you want to win a Super Bowl, do you pick the big athletic kid from the weird college offense, or the pocket passer who puts up big numbers but chokes in big games, or the person with all the physical makeup of a sack of potatoes but falls to the sixth round and wins multiple Super Bowls? It’s been known as a crapshoot for decades because you just can’t measure the impact a player can have until they actually make it.

    Finally, there can be no comparison between two things I’ve already seen out of Cam that I have yet to see from LeBron.

    1.) Cam utterly and totally hates to lose, and he expects to lead his team to a victory every single time he steps on the field. He sits in his locker room absolutely enraged after a loss, fuming and dissecting every mistake he made, and he puts all of the blame for it on his shoulders. Not on his crappy defense or horrendous special teams. Himself. When one of his own teammates tried to tell him “hey, you played great, you gave us a chance” Cam wouldn’t accept the consolation, snarling that “a chance isn’t f***ing good enough.”

    The last time I saw a player with that much of a craze-tinged fire to win, it was some young upstart from UNC with the nickname “Air” Jordan.

    2.) Unlike LeBron, Cam had to get smacked down to the bottom to get to where he is now. He lost his scholarship at Florida due to his own failings, and for all intents and purposes should have disappeared from the football scene. But his desire to play football was so intense that he went to a tiny little junior college and led it to a national title, with no media fawning over his every move and showering him with accolades. He simply loved football, and loving winning. He then took an average Auburn team to a national title, faced all the scrutiny and criticism caused by his own father, got picked apart on national television by experts across the country, had people questioning his freaking smile and predicting he would destroy a sport franchise before ever stepping on the field.

    LeBron’s debut simply isn’t close. Cam has done things no player has ever achieved in the 92 year history of the National Football League, under the harshest pressure imaginable, and without even the benefit of training camp!

  • First & Foremost

    @Panchitoooo – It is easier for a player to go from HS to the NBA because you don’t need as much physical growth. Yahoo/Rivals did a comparison of top draft picks this year to their last year of high school and those guys went from fit to straight up jacked in 3-4 years. You go from being a 6’1 180 Moss like receiver to 6’3 265 Lawrence Taylor.

    KG was a twig in HS and then in 2004 he turned into a branch. Rashard Lewis was a twig, beefed up and then since has slimmed down.

    The complexity of the sports varies greatly. A HS QB goes from making 1 read, to having to read the entire defense pre & post snap then make multipe reads. A HS SF goes from 1 on 1 moves to making the same 1 on 1 moves vs an older defender. It is unfair to say that this debate goes to the guy who came out of high school.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    Lebron also went 12-20 shooting that night missing only 8 shots were as Cam missed 13 throws and went 24-37 in completions.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    in any sport the level of play from high school, to college, and finally to the pros is a big difference regardless of what size you are.

    Cam had a few years in college under the big lights on national TV to get prepared for the NFL. Lebron had lots of hype but hes still playing in high school gyms and most of his games were not nationally televised and thousands of students didnt show up to cheer or jeers him every weekend like they did for Cam. Cam was playing some of the best college players in the NCAA and that helps you adjust to the NFL.

    Dominating high school players in basketball is fairly easy but dominating pros just like you did the high school players is an impressive accomplishment

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    theres even some top NCAA football teams that people say could beat NFL teams at times. i never heard of anyone saying a top HS team could beat an NBA team.

  • http://www.geturweightup.com Chicagorilla

    After watching Cam give it to the Bears I’m gonna go with him in this match up. and honestly its not even close.

    LBj’s debut was good, but honestly Candace Parkers debut was even better than that. and she went on to win ROTY and MVP in the same year.

    @Panch
    Thats crazy. No college team (not even the 90′s Miami hurricane teams) could beat a pro team.
    I remember Dick Vital used to scream that Dukes 99′ team could beat the likes of the Vancover Grizzlies. He also pulled that shit later with the 2001 Duke team. Come to find out, those players barely even succeeded in the NBA, forget about the rest of the team.
    Bottom line: NO COLLEGE TEAM COULD COMPETE WITH ANY PROFESSIONAL TEAM IN THEIR SPORT.
    and in most cases it would be a slaughter with even the worse pro teams.

  • jrichards

    @panchitoooo:

    The leap from high school basketball to the NBA, if you are enough of a physical specimen to make the jump, is not anywhere near as difficult as making the transition from the college football ranks to the NFL. Go to YouTube, and look up how many highlights you can find of high school players dunking on and schooling NBA players. They’re everywhere, because basketball is a primarily a sport based on pure athleticism, especially at the pro level. It’s simply different than football in that regard, and you only need to look at the track record of #1 quarterback picks in NFL history to see that even absolutely dominant college players have much worse than 50/50 odds to even become serviceable players in the NFL, much less come in and immediately dominate.

    Almost every single time LeBron stepped onto the court, the player responsible to defend him was smaller, shorter and slower than him (particularly since LeBron plays small forward, despite having a power forward’s body.)

    Cam just played against a Chicago team where one of the opposing lineman was both 2 inches taller and over 30 pounds heavier than him, despite the fact that Cam is himself one of the tallest quarterbacks in the league. The game before that, he played in a rainstorm that dumped 5 inches of water in 30 minutes, and not only managed not to lose the ball in such perilous conditions, but ended up leading the game-winning drive. Players were sliding twenty feet every time they were tackled, and the ground might as well has been a swamp. What’s the worst conditions LeBron’s ever been subjected to? Some powder in his eye from that pregame tossup he does?

    I love basketball, and I still hope LeBron realized his prodigious gifts and becomes the player we all know he can be, but again the comparison of his debut vs. Cam’s is far away a runaway in Cam’s favor. Football is an unforgiving, monstrous, physical violent sport that has a reputation for taking promising young players and shattering them to their core. Basketball is the realm of sleek, air-gliding scorers and jump-shooters. If LeBron’s physical gifts didn’t translate into immediate impact in the NBA, then it would have been an absolute embarrassment. For Cam, however, his natural athletic abilities were often used to _criticize_ his potential, not enhance it.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    ive heard people say the detriot lions who didnt win one game 2 years ago may have lost to a top 10 NCAA team. same thing goes with that miami team who i think just won 1 game.

    1 of my points, i made a few, is that playing division 1 NCAA football against elite college players on National TV every night in front of thousands of people prepares you for the transition to the pros better than playing in a high school gym against some weak ass high school ballers.

    Lebron went from playing lil kids(15-18 years old) to grown ass men who play/practice basketball for a living and didnt skip a beat. Cams been doing his thang since he was in Auburn so seeing him do it in Carolina is not as suprising or awe inspiring as Lebron coming from HS and dominating in the NBA.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    Cam LOST in his debut and Lebron WON in his debut. so if they both are the leaders of their repective teams than how can you say that Cam had a better debut? Cam threw for 400 yards and lead his team to LOSE against a weak Cardinals team. he could have audibled to different plays to get more 1st downs, he could have passed it to different recievers who could have scored more touchdowns. he could have ran it in himself if anything.

    (im basing this on the assumption that Lebron and the Cavs beat the Kings)

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    jrichards: “football hard, basketball easy”

    Interesting.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Damn….. jrichards is taking panchitooos arguments and bear-hugging them, choking, and biting them till they bleed.

    @panchitooo
    Quit right now. He’s schooling the fuck out of you. Lol

    @Chi
    I remember Dick Vitale trying to spread that shit. He’s a clown. He’s the dude who argued that no high school player should ever be drafted before well established juniors and seniors. I clearly remember him tearing down Orlando’s decision to pick Howard before Okafor because of what Okafor accomplished at UConn. I enjoy listening to Vitale’s animated outbursts when he does color commentary, but he’s an idiot.

    And I agree, it’s Newton and it’s not even close. Dude accomplished something that has NEVER been done by any rookie in the history of the NFL. I don’t understand how anybody can think LBJ’s debut was more impressive. Don’t compare their stats to eachother… compare them to the thousands of other rookies who played. From that perspective, Newton’s numbers shadow LBJs. He entered the record books in his first game. Did Lebron?

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    lol@i just googled the box score for the Sacramento versus Cavs game and the Kings won 106-92 so im changing my opinion to Cam Newton having the better debut because he broke the passing records held by peyton. me choosing lebron was mainly based on him winning the game but since he lost, it goes to Cam easy.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    no matter who it was and what stats they put up i was going with the player who won the game. but since they both lost im going with who had the better stats and thats obviously Cam.

  • First & Foremost

    @Panchitoooo – In basketball you can play both ways, it is expected. In football a QB can have a perfect rating and still lose because his defense is some trash and the special teams… is well, special. Look at the Chargers, Rivers throws for 3 TDs but the opposing team returns 2 kicks for TDs. Do you want Rivers to all be on the kick coverage team?

    Back to the original debate. Who had the better debut? Cam didn’t lead his team to a loss. He kept them in the game for as long as he could.

    Just for a minute, if I could, how about we compare shooting to throwing:
    Balance – Both are more difficult when off balance – Push
    Teammate assisted – Throwing is like sex, you need at least 1 other person. Shooting is more like masturbation, heck – free throws they even give you space to do it by yourself.
    Exogenous factors – I have yet to see the wind play a significant factor in an NBA game. If you miss a free throw you can’t even say the sun was in your eyes.
    Goaltending – The nba prohibits defenders from knocking the ball away from the cylindar. The NFL encourages defenders to knock the ball away even after the recevier has almost caught it.
    Distance – A dunk and lay-up all count the same. A handoff is not considered a pass. Even screens and check downs, the receiver can be 30 or more feet away. Cn Lebron dunk from 30 feet away?
    Strategy – It is smart to throw the ball away when the situation calls for it. So not all incomplete passes are bad passes. Find me one instance where an airball is a good thing!

    To play the QB position is a lot harder than playing small forward. Cam played a great game but was on the wrong side of a few bounces. Lebron has dropped 40 in a playoff game and still lost. It happens. Better debut – Cam Newton. For real, 400+ yards. That is like throwing a 1-hitter in baseball in your first ever start… but then your team lost 1-0.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @F&F

    hey bro i already said Cam so cool it. but there are some instances in basketball that missing a basket is a good thing, usually when youre down by 2 on your last free throw in hope to get a put back rebound. and a few of Cams passes had lots of Yards After Catch which is created by the reciever but added to the QBs stats. which i feel is kinda stupid cause i could be on my 1 yard line dump the ball to my HB on a check route and he runs for a touchdown and i get 99 passing yards even though the HB was the one that did all the work.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    its true that not all incomplete passes are bad passes but on the flip side all incomplete passes are never good passes

  • yentron

    in my opinion lbj would have needed consecutive triple doubles with 30+ points to beat cam’s first 2 games

  • sh!tfaced

    comments are damn too long… lol

    shit. what the eff is the comparison? lebron was expected to be the top pick, the savior, the ‘air’ apparent, the next baddest motherfucker and all that shit…

    cam newton wasn’t even supposed to be the no. 1 pick in most mock drafts, right? unlike lebron.

    in terms of the expectation… plus being in russell’s half boner potential trend, hell yeah, newton had the better debut…

  • sh!tfaced

    …so the real question might be, who’s the bigger bust? kwame or jamarcus? lol

  • jrichards

    @panchitoooo:

    Don’t worry, I’m not diminishing LeBron’s impact in his debut. He played a great game, for a rookie, straight out of high school, and with a lot of hype to live up to. It was an outstanding debut.

    My only point is that in comparison to Cam’s debut (and this really is an apples to orange kind of question, anyways) there simply is no comparison. The supreme level of difficulty, the absolute absurdity of the achievement, and the unprecedented nature of what Cam has achieved, not only in first game, but in every game he has played so far in what is still a four game career, obliterates any comparison to any rookie introduction in professional team sports history. Rookie quarterbacks are not supposed to do this, ever. A lot of professional analysts would have taken a million dollar bet against Cam having a debut like he did, and they would all be broke for it. Some people actually predicted LeBron to drop 50 points in his first game, though, so that shows you the difference between the level of expectations and reality.

    @dagwaller

    I’m not saying basketball is easy, because as a player I know from firsthand that it is not. But there isn’t any logical argument to be made that it is anywhere near as difficult as professional football. They are different sports that accentuate different types of plays: basketball is much more athletic and designed to encourage freeform play and scoring even on “broken” plays. Football, however, is a strictly regimented sport with a multitude of schemes and play styles, clearly delineated player roles (there are no point forwards in football) and a tremendous ability to punish the tiniest of miscues. You shoot an airball in basketball, the crowd laughs and you scratch your head. You throw an airball in football, and it may be headed a hundred yards in the opposite direction and be the impetus to have people question your very manhood.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @jrichards

    i agree with everything you said now that i found out lebron also lost his debut game. well except for basketball being easier than football statement. i think anyone that doesnt play QB or O line has a pretty easy job

    if Lebron had won and Cam had lost than at least my arguement holds water because which is better, winning or losing?

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @jrichards
    oh and your shooting an airball analogy is not the greatest. if you shoot an airball in basketball everyone laughs at you and if you airball a field goal in football than everyone laughs at you. if you throw an airball pass in football it could go for a pick 6, if you throw an airball pass in basketball it can go for 2 points the other way…

    and in lebrons position if you pass it too much than they question your manhood

  • First & Foremost

    For the sake debate. What position in the NFL is easy? At every position you have to execute your job or else be taken advantage of? In basketball you can hide players in zones or just not use them in the offense at all. The NBA has less pressure per position.

    Spiking the ball to stop the clock in a 2 minute drill is a very good incomplete pass. An airball is generally a turnover. I see your point about the YAC. Just as important as it was for the receiver to get open, the QB still had to look off the safeties, keep the play alive, and not lead his receiver into a big hit. Last bit and then I’m done. Look at the percentages of great shooters in the NBA and compare that to the percentages of great passers in the NFL.

  • sh!tfaced

    the hardest position used to be being a detroit lions fan… but prolly not this year… lol

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    kickers, punters, and special team players have pretty simple jobs that require the least IQ.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Eh. I always figured that since football players get loads of rest during the game, don’t go two ways, and only play once a week (and get a 2 week vacay every season) it was a pretty easy call that basketball was tougher.

  • UncheckedAggression

    Strange comparison. I don’t care much about football, but I think Newton’s was more impressive. Whatever that’s worth.

  • Knicksfan84

    CAM BY FAR!!!

    What he accomplished as a QB is on a whole different plane. Lebron was really good his 1st year, don’t get me wrong but that’s with the hand-check rules abolished and 3pt line moved in etc and changes to illegal defense. Just about anyone with a pulse drops 20ppg as a wing player in the pro’s.

    Cam Newton is BEAST.

  • First & Foremost

    Kickers, punters and special teamers. Once again, all guys who play a substantial role in the game. Special team players change the entire game with 1 great play or 1 mistake. They have to execute every time. Who hasn’t had a dream of hitting the game winning free throws? If not, do it now.

    Kickers make that their job. Even the great Ray Allen has missed back to back free throws. If a kicker does that, he is out of a job. The Redskins fired a kicker, because the snap was bad and they lost the game. Kickers can’t have off games. You go out and try to kick a 25 yard field goal and see how much IQ is required.

    Punters – Have you seen Sav Rocca punt? More so than kickers they can change the momentum of a game by winning the field position battle.

    Special teamers – “Stay in your lane” pretty simple advice but then Devin Hester & Joshua Cribbs do some ridiculous shit.

    Each position in football is pretty darn valuable. With basketball, you can always hide your weak link. NBA-ers don’t always have an impact on the game. Each NFL-er can either lose or win the game for his team.

    Nothing personal panchitoooo, nice chatting with you.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @panchitooo: “i think anyone that doesnt play QB or O line has a pretty easy job”

    Huh? I disagree. In the NBA, how many guys can you accuse of taking games off… not just plays… entire GAMES off. and some players are talented enough to play lazy games and still get PT. Ask yourself the same question, but for the NFL players. Easy job, my ass. Lol. Every time you are on that field, you have to watch your ass and/or your teammates’ asses. If you take one play off, it could possibly result in you or your teammate getting beheaded. Can you imagine what would happen if an O-lineman played lazy for a whole game?? One of two things would happen, he would be benched after 1 or 2 plays… or his QB would be dead. EVERY position on the field is as valuable as the next guy because the 11 guys operate as a whole unit.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @JAY

    yes i agree with you if an O lineman took a day off in a game than his QB would get hammered. thats why i said that besyd QB and O line the other positions have an easier job. like jrichard said earlier QB have to make good reads and so does the O linemen. these two position need the highest IQ because they do the most adjusting on the fly.

    Kickers go out and kick, Punters go out and punt, not much though process needed. and you see how stupid punters/kickers look once they get their kicked blocked, they dont know wtf to do. so to say they have a high football IQ is pushing it. Some special team guys rarely even play in the real game and it doesnt take alot of smarts to run down the field and hit someone with all your weight behind it. i knew a guy in HS that was dumb as a mule but could run a 10 second 100m and return kicks like no one else. dude couldnt get recruited cause his low SAT scores. run this way, run that way, dont get tackled, how hard is that?

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    oh and the backup QB who goes out on special teams to hold the ball for the place kicker on field goals and PAs, how hard is that position? and even they tend to mess that up,cough cough, tony romo…

  • jrichards

    @panchitoooo

    Again, you have to remember that you’re comparing teams of 12-13 vs. teams of 53. Of course there are some players in particular football plays that don’t have to do extremely difficult things (although I’d say even placeholders have it tough. That stupid ball is harder to get a handle on than you think.)

    But again, it’s not the outliers, it’s the average, and the average football play involves exponentially more variables and difficulty than the average basketball play. This doesn’t mean one sport is necessarily better (I love playing basketball far more than football, and watch them about equally) but that when comparing the original argument (Cam’s debut vs. LeBron’s) in overall impressiveness, Cam was in a far more difficult situation, his results were more unprecedented, and he was simply more amazing than LeBron.

    Comparing something like completion percentages with shooting percentages is just silly, because they really aren’t similar types of plays. All I can say is that the biggest leap one must make from any level to professional football is the mental leap, whereas bonafide knuckleheads can have decent careers at the NBA level. What’s been so astounding about Cam isn’t really the physical attributes; it’s his mental acuity in the most mentally demanding position in all of professional sports. That is really the most praiseworthy aspect of his performances, and I know a lot of casual fans aren’t really seeing these elements of his game, but the kid, as a rookie, is already looking off safeties, reading his progressions, analyzing coverages and changing protection calls. The yards and touchdowns are the after effects of the amount of preparation and understanding he’s brought to each play before the snap even occurs.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    i agree thats why i said a QB straight from HS would get massacred.