A year ago, when Panthers fans were still trying to come to grips with whether quarterback Cam Newton had a fake smile or not, his jersey number was a huge topic of conversation. (At least among the very bored.)
He was hoping to wear No. 2, which was held by quarterback Jimmy Clausen at the time. But Clausen wouldn’t give it up, so Newton decided to go with the No. 1, which the Panthers had never given out.
Now, Clausen has decided he no longer wants 2, but neither does Newton.
(In a related note, can someone start training camp already?)
It would make no sense whatsoever for Newton to make the change now, even if he didn’t have to buy back any unsold inventory of No. 1 jerseys.
The guy has a brand now, one that’s being carefully cultivated by IMG. And as much as his movie-star smile, and his play on the field, that number which symbolizes his stature in the Carolinas is all part of the image.