Another great day in sports…

We’ve got Aaron Hernandez attacking a dude in prison and Felton getting hit with Felony gun charges.  Not really surprising stories, although hearing that Jordan Gross is gonna hang em up did take me by surprise.  I have to say I wasn’t fully aware of his contract situation and I’m sure that played into it a little, but sucks to see him go.  He’ll go down as one of the best Panthers to have played the game and the guy did it all the right way.  Said the right things, kicked ass on the field, and really engaged the fans.  This should make things a little more interesting for Gettlemen and the guys in the front office.  I’m sure they knew it was coming, but that’s just one more “need” added to the list.  I’m thinking we don’t go WR 1st round unless we’re absolutely in love so basically I’m just hoping we don’t go WR 1st rnd because I don’t think any worthy candidates will make it to our pick.  My Panthers Panic Level = soft 3.  Oh yea, Famous Jameis played in an exhibition game against the Yankees today.  Also, the ESPN headlines are more retarded and absurd than ever today.

One more thing.. watching ESPN’s NFL combine crew of Bill “I picked Payton Manning” Polian and Sal Palantonio is just way more boring than I can handle.

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Everything in sports that matters: An update blog

So the Olympics just wrapped up, and besides hanging on every minute of updates as to the status of Bob Costas’ pink eye and Johnny Weir’s atrocious attire, I would say that I wasn’t all that entertained.  It’s definitely nice to see countries come together on the same stage to compete, regardless of diplomatic relations, but there is still something left to be desired.  Speed skating, ice dancing, and a hundred different varieties of snow sliding are only entertaining to an extent.  Solution:  more hockey and add an amateur basketball competition (afterall, it is a winter sport).  I would say give us some football but I know the world isn’t ready.  Consider moving a couple sports to the winter that would otherwise be overshadowed during the summer olympics.  Maybe boxing?  Maybe we could invent a sport just for the games.. sounds like a good idea to me.  Anyway, glad to see people backed off the “Russia sucks” and definitely happy there weren’t any terrorist attacks.

Baseball is about to start.  Pitchers and catchers are already practicing and it’s just a matter of time before it all starts up again.  If you ever find yourself in the state of Florida or Arizona in the spring definitely make it a point to check out a game.  Cheap tickets, cheap concessions, and they are real major league games.  Good opportunity to see the big-name guys and up-and-comers alike.  Excited to get the season underway although I know I’ll burn out eventually.  My level of baseball intrigue usually goes something like this: Pumped for season to start, interested for a month.. sorta forget its all going on once NBA playoffs start and then just before All-Star break I’m back into it, watching games every night.. I’ll burn out once more before the playoff race heats up and continue to watch through the post season.

College basketball winding down, conference tourneys about to commence and then the greatest tournament in sports is under way.  Looking forward to stealing a cool billion from Mr. Buffet since I’m sure I’ll have a perfect bracket (1 to 2 losses at the most).  I haven’t watched too many games until recently but I’ll be glued to the TV like everyone else come time for March Madness.  It will be exciting to see which of these future top picks can carry their team through the postseason.  Once again it looks like the ACC is just shitting on everyone, but I’m not yet convinced that there is one team that is so much better than the others that they’re a lock to win it.  I love watching Jabari play and I gotta believe he’ll be the #1 selection.

Pro ball has been as fun to watch as it ever will be, and I mean that in a good way.  It really sucks that D-Rose is out again and that the league is still extremely top-heavy, but the games are good and the playoffs never fail to amaze me.  The avg margin of victory in the NBA playoffs is like .01 and theres a ton more overtime games than normal.  The All-star game was nothing to write home about and the dunk contest was laughable, with the most humorous part being that there was no single winner.  There was a winning team instead.. how dumb is that?  Either get Lebron in the contest or shut it down.  Since I know it won’t go away, I am looking forward to seeing Andrew Wiggins (the Kansas kid) dunk all over the place next year.  How Lebron-like was it to post a video of him doing all these awesome dunks not even a week before the contest but then not even be in the contest.  This guy doesn’t get it.  He’s an incredible, literally out of this world talent, but he does it to himself when people talk about him being hated.  Also worth noting.. I assume there is not one on Earth that hasn’t heard, but as of last night there is officially an openly gay player in the NBA (Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets).  Probably about time.

Golf is underway and The Masters is right around the corner.  I had the opportunity to attend last year and it’s an amazing experience.  I found the 1 weed on the course and took it home with me.  Such a different experience than going to the Quail Hollow tournament.  Everything is just perfect.  Those pimento cheese sandwiches that everyone raves about look absolutely disgusting and I gagged looking at one, but I had some of the best food of my life just outside the tournament grounds.  Was able to see the practice rounds (guys skipping the ball off the water on 16) and the par-3, which were both equally fascinating.  The only thing that would keep me from giving it a 10 out of 10 on the awesomeness scale would be the number of spectators.  It was crazy packed.  Anyway, if I get the opportunity to go back this year I’ll do it in a heartbeat.  One of the coolest things I’ve ever taken part it.

NFL Combine just ended.  Nothing to get too excited about here, just a lotta dudes running and jumping to audition for million dollar jobs.  If you wanna check out what I was able to take away from it all you can do that here: Day 4 of the combine.. Here’s what i’ve learned so far. It will be interesting to see how things shake out for the Panthers.  I think Greg Hardy is a big piece to the puzzle and his resigning/not resigning will be probably be more impactful than the whole sum of our draft picks this offseason (more on that here: Greg Hardy: Panthers Priority #1).  One more thing… if you haven’t heard about the new rule the league will be voting on you should look it up.  It involves the N word and a 15 yard penalty.  I touched on that this morning so not gonna get into detail here, just check out my blogs from earlier to day if you’re interested (not gonna post a 3rd link in one paragraph).

Hockey.  Uh.. the US lost so I’m back to not being a hockey fan, although I did attend an NHL game this season which was actually pretty sweet.  Cheap tickets, good fans, a little fighting action.. I could see why people like the sport I’ve just never gotten into it (and I still don’t know why icing is called sometimes).

Sports update blog

Day 4 of the combine.. Here’s what i’ve learned so far

The NFL is full of large men that run fast and jump high.  The other day I heard someone describe the event as “a place where old dudes watch a bunch of sweaty, muscular college kids exercise,” which is fairly accurate.  If people weren’t so football-starved during the offseason this probably wouldn’t catch much traction, but because we’re absolutely addicted to the sport there are still plenty that tune in.

It’s not exactly captivating television and the drills that actually matter usually aren’t mentioned anywhere on ESPN, but it does allow fans to form an opinion as to where they want to go in the draft.  All you hear about is 40, bench, vert.  Little to no mention of position-specific drills.

If you were drafting strictly on physical measurables, Jadaveon Clowny would be the first overall, all-time selection.  Physical specimen.  People are raving about his 40, but his 40-time isn’t even as impressive as the 10-yard split from the sprint… I watched footage (I didn’t seek this out btw, not that obsessed with exercising) of Clowney running side by side with some of the fastest this year and year’s past and there was no one ahead of him through 10 yards.  This is so important because it shows explosion off the line, perhaps the greatest (workout) measurable in determining success for pass rushers.  There will be very few plays where he’ll actually run a straight-away 40 yd sprint, but he’ll be using that explosion and short burst speed every down.  Clowney is an absolutely incredible athlete but he’s got work to do.  I think any team with a chance at drafting him is probably being stubborn by not taking him but he’s definitely unrefined.  Dee Ford said it better than me:  “Clowney plays like a blind dog in a meat market”.

Now for some random takeaways:

  • Khalil Mack was my favorite player to watch.  He is an animal and you should look him up
  • Mike Mayock’s ego has grown even larger
  • Sammy Watkins definitely had the best workout of the WR’s and he looks a lot bigger than the 6’0” he was measured at
  • Michael Sam isn’t a great athlete, but he looked straight up unathletic during a couple of the drills.
  • If Eric Ebron slides to the late 1st round we need to draft him.  He’s a str8-up diva but so so talented
  • it looks like the 5th WR to have played with RGIII will be drafted this year
  • I dont care to watch fat slow dudes workout and being as such I really have no idea who we should target for the O-line

I could literally go on for an hour talking about what I learned or concluded by watching and listening to the combine, but since no one would read it I’ll stop it here.

Who do I think we draft, realistically:  If Eric Ebron is still on the board I think that’s an easy one, but since it’s only 50/50 that he’ll be there I guess just take some big boring O-lineman.  I really don’t want to waste a pick on a WR with all the talent in free agency.  Because the WR draft class is deep and the FA pool so strong, we should be able to get a B-level reciever in free agency at a discount.  Also, I say Ebron b/c I don’t see any WR’s that will be available to us that will impact our offense the way he could.

I’m aware that we need another wideout, but I’m under the impression that the WR class is a little more top-heavy than people think.  If we go WR in the 1st round then, to me, that means he should be a #1 level talent, and I don’t see that happening where we’re at.

Note: If we don’t sign Hardy then my answer definitely changes although I would prefer to think we won’t let that happen.  There appears to be a deep crop of DE/OLB talent, so maybe we would swing that way…

Panthers draft

Greg Hardy: Panthers Priority #1

After looking into the Greg Hardy contract situation for about two seconds I’ve come to a conclusion:  Pay the man.  If the big boy on the other end is seriously willing to restructure his contract (for the second time in as many seasons) as the word on the street would suggest then we gotta ink this kid long term.  This means our secondary is up in the air but before this season pretty much everyone was saying our secondary was filled with bottom feeders anyway.

He clearly is in love with the town and the fans and vice versa.  If we really have 3 guys willing to restructure in order to keep him in town that means 2 things: 1)these guys are willing to sacrifice to succeed and 2)they think Hardy is a big part of making that happen.  Our D-Line this year was close to spectacular.  You wanna throw it around on us, you’d better be damn sure your tackles are athletic and your backs aren’t afraid to exchange blows.  You wanna run on us, don’t plan on getting far with the stopping power up the middle and Super Luke free to roam behind them.  Not to mention TD on the outside who rarely, if ever gets beat to the edge.  Seriously, watch some footage and try to find a play where Thomas Davis lets a runner turn the corner on him.  I always hear people talk about his speed but this dude is disciplined.  So what if we don’t have recognizable names in the secondary.  As we found out this year, when your front 7 is this strong it doesn’t matter who you have in the secondary as long as they’re out there.  This past season in our secondary we played guys that were hurt, guys that were undersized, guys that were forced into the starting role with zero NFL experience, and guys that were 3rd string on the depth chart coming out of training camp.  No one looked bad.  It’s gotta be nice as a corner or safety when your coach puts you in the game and just says play left field or play center field or “go ahead and give this guy a cushion” just because we can afford to.  Makes your job a whole lot easier.

But… if we let Hardy walk, well shit, let’s just not let that happen.

Greg Hardy Kraken

My Superbowl takeaways

Seattle’s D played good, Peyton Manning played okay.  There’s your difference.  Four turnovers ultimately proved to be too much to overcome.  One was very un-Peyton-like, the other a result of terrific coverage complemented by an even better pass rush.  And oh yea, Percy Harvin came to play.  The guy only touched the ball 4 times, but his impact was surely felt.  As “bad” as people said the game was, I found it mildly entertaining.  Plus, I can’t help but think that this year’s Carolina team is last year’s Seahawks team.  Meaning, give em another year and the sky’s the limit.  Who knows what the draft will bring.  Will we bring back The Kraken? What about the Captain?  Not to mention the rest of our defensive backfield.  And what the f**k do we do about our receiving core?  Say what you will about Lafell, but (besides Hardy) no one on this year’s squad showed more improvement than #11.  Back to the Superbowl… wasn’t competitive, and that’s what everyone wants.  The execs that decided to pay a million bucks a minute for ads in the second half are weeping.  Overall a disappointing game, but wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a rematch next year.  Also, I would really like to see a rematch like next week.  Would Denver still be the favorite?

My takeaways:

  • Percy is still the fastest guy on the field, capable of scoring on any play
  • Peyton can still put up numbers
  • Seattle’s D was just as good as advertised
  • If it weren’t for Richard Sherman talking about himself, no one else would
  • Russell Wilson is a playmaker.  And if you downplay his athleticism you will pay for it
  • Wes Welker is still good for 10 grabs a game and he’s always gonna pop back up, no matter how hard he gets hit
  • The better team won, despite what vegas says.
  • Tim Tebow will forever have the world by the balls, even if he never plays another down in the league

This game was a fluke. 

Panthers cut underutilized, scrutinized Armanti Edwards

The 3rd string quarterback is either a guy that has a lot to learn but shows promise (the project).. basically useless come gametime, [barring injuries to both guys ahead of him] OR a guy that the team trusts, he’s a wizard with a clipboard, dedicated as hell to his role (practice dummy QB) but just never gonna be good enough to effect the score of the game.  And sure there are some guys that fall in the middle and sure once upon a time Kurt Warner graduated from 3rd QB to Greatest Show on Turf, but while Kurt was holding pee towels as 3rd string QB (aka team bitch), was he really doing anything to help his team win on Sunday?  Is there not another player out there that would be able to help the team a little more than the team piss toweler?  Because of the irrelevance of the role, teams are left to choose that special teamer who can give you a couple plays or bring a 3rd string QB incase of emergency.  You don’t want to be without a quarterback if guys get hurt, but you also need that guy who will bust his ass and would bash in his own skull to help his team.  What i’m talking about is redefining the 3rd QB roster spot.  Why not bring in a guy that can at least contribute a few plays on field rather than stand by the 2nd string QB just trying to listen in on his headset.  I’m not talking about taking away the 3rd QB.. this guy still knows the playbook and takes reps at practice, but he’s no pee towel holding bitch.  This guy can run (4.4s 40, rushed for over 4000 yds/65 TDs and over 85 yards per game in college) can throw (over 10K yards with 71 TDs in college), this guy has experience as a return man (avg 20 yrds/return for career NFL), this guy won 3 championships at the FCS level and 2 FCS Heismans (i.e. Walter Payton Award).  His name is Armanti Edwards and the guy is a gamer.  He was essentially cut because of what he’s not: a good wideout.. something he’ll never be.  But he is a guy that can contribute what not many others can in his hybrid offensive abilities.  He can serve as backup return man, 5th wideout, he’s a sneaky runner, and he can probably do all this while still managing to hold towels on the sideline.  These are not real value positions, but when you have a guy that can manage all of these roles you’ve got a guy that should never be without a roster spot.  Anyway, that’s my Armanti for Roster Spot ’13 campaign.