ATLANTA -- Johnnie Powell says he has lived on Scarborough Road in South Fulton County for nearly thirty years. One day, some pink signs appeared at an intersection up the road -- signalling a proposed change that unsettled Powell's otherwise settled life.
"I don't want it changed," Powell said outside his modest brick home.
The change would eliminate the road name Powell has known for three decades -- and change it to honor a man who's barely 23 years old, and happens to excel at professional football.
"Why 'Cam Newton Drive?'" Bill Edwards asked rhetorically. "I think it's a great honor for a young man who has lived in this community and has done well."
Edwards, a Fulton County commissioner, says it was his idea to rename Scarborough Road to "Cam Newton Drive." When asked if Newton's youth gave him sufficient "gravitas" to be honored with a road name, Edwards answered: "Well, I never heard of anyone that was 51 (years old) winning the Heisman Trophy," college football's greatest solo honor.
Newton won the Heisman while playing for Auburn University following the 2010 season. He was 21.
"That's not significant enough," said Powell.
Powell says he has nothing against Cam Newton. But he says he doesn't want to change his checkbook and driver's license in order to honor a 23-year-old.
"I look at it like -- he's not at that stage. His life is not to that point. So why even consider him?" said Powell.
Powell says "Scarborough" is also a significant name in the area, commemorating a man who developed it generations ago -- but who lacks the 21st Century star power of Cam Newton.