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Cam Newton up for four ESPYS

I’ve heard from several Carolina fans who think the Panthers have become the butt of too many jokes following last year’s 2-14 season.

Well, the good news is things generally don’t stay the same way for long in the NFL. In fact, maybe the tide already is starting to turn and the Panthers might be headed for some positive attention.

I just took a look at the ballot for The ESPY awards and there’s basically only one NFC South representative on there (unless you want to count the Saints’ playoff loss to Seattle, which is on there for Best Upset, but the honor in that goes to the Seahawks).

It’s Carolina’s new quarterback, Cam Newton. He’s on the ballot repeatedly.

Granted, it’s all based on last season at Auburn, but Newton is Carolina’s property now -- or at least will be once the lockout ends and he signs his contract.

Newton is up for two individual awards -- Best Breakthrough Athlete and Best Male College Athlete. His exploits were also major reasons Auburn football is on the ballot for Best Team and Best Game for its victory over Alabama last season.

If you’d like to vote for Newton or check out the entire ballot, here it is.