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.

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

NFL has shown progression in more than one front w/ new rule

I’ve taken a couple days to really digest the 15-yard N word penalty and I like it.  My initial reaction was, well what the fuck, the league is mostly black and these dudes throw the N-word around like a west virginia offense.  It’s all over the place, and trust me, Richie Incognito is not the only white dude in town using it.  So basically, on the surface it would seem a bit of an excessive move, considering it’s all over the place and the NFL doesn’t necessarily have an issue with racism.

But, when you look at the social environment of the NFL.. most of it’s players were lower middle-class growing up and use the word to describe themselves and anyone they know.  Thats the truth.  If you want to disagree you’re welcome to do so but you would be wrong.  It’s everywhere in the league.  It’s everywhere period.  Black culture is so obsessed with the use of the N-word that you literally have black people speaking out about their right to use it… But.. at the same time, you have the educated world speaking out about the use of the word saying it’s wrong.  It was the educated world that made this decision (I shouldn’t have to say this but I know some halfwit reading this is going to infer that I meant white people when I say educated people.. I don’t, and if I just described you then you’re an idiot).  And I like it.  Find a different word.  You can’t say something to someone and then have someone else say the exact same thing and all the sudden one person, but not the other, is considered prejudiced.  That’s irrational.  I’m honestly surprised the league drew up this rule but it makes sense.  If they don’t approve the rule now it will reflect poorly on everyone involved.

When a white guy uses the N-word it makes headlines and gets weeks (months) of coverage on ESPN.. when a black person uses the N-word it’s hardly news.  It’s going to be tough to police the situation and it will definitely make news when someone is finally penalized.. Does this apply to the sideline conversations?  Will it have it’s own special signal for refs?  Maybe we could just take a 5 second timeout and have everyone in the stadium point and call the guy and idiot?  All in all, I respect the move.  It is worth pointing out that homophobic slurs and any other forms of prejudiced are still fair game, but at least it’s a start.

Also, it is a little ironic that one of the the league’s most adored franchises is facing claims of racism (only for it’s name).  

Does this trade really make us a better team? My post-deadline 2 cents

It’s only been 3 days since the trade deadline and the players we acquired have yet to see the court, but already we’re winning games.  Last night the Bobcats beat the Grizzlies to move into 6th place in the standings.  Feels weird to even say that.  The lowly Bobcats are in 6th place, and while it might not mean much because no team besides the Heat or Pacers really stand a chance, this is rare air for the Bobcats.  We even have a chance to overtake the Wizards for the 5-seed in our next couple games, although it may not be in our best interest.  As things stand, we would be matched up against the Raptors in the first round, a realistically winnable series for us.  So far this season we’ve played the Canuck squad 3 times.. and won each time.  This is the only team in the league we’ve had this kind of success against.

So I like the trade.  Sessions was a valuable player and a reliable scoring option, but he won’t be sorely missed.  He was our best scorer off the bench but a poor jump shooter to put it lightly.  The addition of Gary Neal replaces the bench scoring of Sessions and adds a clutch performer with 3-point shooting capability.  Neal is the sort of player that needs the ball to be productive so I don’t expect him to play big minutes until we find out how to work him the rock consistently.  Luke Ridnour is a distributor with a shot.  He’s not looking to pull up unless that’s whats available (a stark contrast to the play of Sessions), although he is a reliable shooter.  He’s pretty much on the team to eat up minutes while Kemba is sucking wind on the sideline.

In conclusion, Mr. Sessions, we thank you for your service and Mr. Adrien, you are welcome for the several million dollars you collected on our bench.  The team should be slightly improved and we now have another option besides Kemba we can look to in the clutch.  

If you’ve ever thought an ESPN broadcast sucked you’re not alone

If you are honestly entertained and you laugh genuinely at some of the current ESPN broadcasts you need to start demanding more out of the world.  For real, like if you still get all of your sports news from ESPN you are behind on the times.  Maybe it’s just me, but the boring-ass, straight-forward delivery has gotta change.  Fox Sports 1 had the right idea, but they kinda just came with more of the same.. and Regis Philbin??

It’s my opinion that TV in general suffers from censorship so this is not a fair evaluation, but a lot of the stuff on ESPN nowadays sucks.

ESPN is run by pussies and if that word offends you, yes, I would consider you a pussy.  About a month ago an ESPN company email was made public by an anonymous employee.. the email was from an exec asking anchors to stop using the word “sucks” because it can be offensive… I’m sorry, what?  They release statements everyday apologizing for their crew and suspending their anchors for doing anything besides reading lines off a prompter.  These poor anchors have to apologize for having an opinion.  Maybe this is less an ESPN problem and more the FCC, but since I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes I’ll pin it on ESPN.

Even the guys hired to give opinions are forced to conform to only provide those opinions that are “suited” to TV.  I hate this movement into an era where you can’t say anything because you might offend someone.  And even if you don’t mean to, if what you said could possibly be misinterpreted as offensive you can be held liable.  I’m sorry but fuck that.

Television is supposed to be entertainment and I guess I’m just not entertained by watching two dudes on the morgue waiting list tell politically correct jokes and read their opinions off of teleprompters.  Give me more Charles Barkleys and Dan Patricks (2 guys that don’t work for ESPN).  Give me anyone that speaks their mind.  I think it’s hilarious the way ESPN suspends their anchors when they upset a viewer with their comments like a parent throwing a kid in timeout.  DP said the hell w/ ESPN and jumped ship.. now he’s got his own television radio show broadcast on like 20 different channels on DirectTV.

I’m pretty certain that if Sage Steele and Kevin Negandi missed their next broadcast and just disappeared forever the world wouldn’t even notice.  Adam Schefter’s work is remarkable.. he hears about trades and signings before they even take place.. but he’s a behind-the-scenes guy, he sucks in front of the camera.  I know he’s not completely dull because he will make jokes on twitter but the best part about watching an Adam Schefter segment is either seeing him stand up (he goes at about 5’5”) or watching him choke to death on air. Link: http://youtu.be/hIEnFVuHFZI  The rest of the ESPN football crew is pretty solid so I’ll back off (I’m one of the few that don’t hate Trent Dilfer.. and yea Matt Millen sucks, but whatyagonnado?), although the college crew leaves something to be desired.

The ESPN baseball crew.. do I even need to go into detail on this one?  I think I will. The sport of baseball is on the downhill as is ESPN’s baseball crew.  What I mean is that literally they are so old they might die mid-show.  Wouldn’t be surprised if when they turn to Peter Gammons he is actually reporting from his nursing home.  A sweet old man but not fun to watch.  Bring in somebody fresh for god’s sake.  Nomar was a good addition.. even if he does pop wood talking about swing planes and fielding mechanics.  Watching Baseball Tonight on mute is about as good as watching Baseball Tonight with sound, with the exception being when John Kruk chimes in with his 2 high-pitched cents.  Also, if you listen closely I think you can actually hear him sweating.  It’s been the same format forever… homeruns, diving catches,  discussing when Ryan Howard will return to form.  There’s not a kid in America that wants to watch Tim Kurkjian and Oral Herschizer talk about anything.  Move on ESPN, change it up.  Baseball is not that boring that you couldn’t interest kids in a television show about it.. I’ve seen some of the shows these kids watch.. doesn’t take much to keep ‘em entertained.

Imagine… ESPN’s baseball crew as lively and entertaining as their football crew or TNT’s basketball crew.  That would be TV worth watching.  Does anyone remember the series Playmakers?  I can’t remember if it was actually good but it was definitely entertaining.  Sports are part of the entertainment business.  Maybe this is just me, but I find myself slowly moving to other outlets to get my sports fix.

ESPN 8

My suggested fix:  Give me the ESPN 8 “The Ocho” crew and run nothing but “This is Sportscenter” commercials.  And give Barkley his own channel.

The real reason the return of the Hornets name is so exciting.. A trip down memory lane

These memories, not some stupid throwback shirt or snapback hat, are the real reason people are excited about the return of the Charlotte Hornets.

Circa 1995.  If you've ever seen 2 better lookin fellas in Hornets jerseys you were probably in heaven

Me and the bro circa 1995. If you’ve ever seen 2 better lookin fellas in Hornets jerseys you were probably in heaven

I remember pregaming at Jocks n Jills, eating calamari and drinking virgin daiquiris with my brother while my dad and his friends got good n liquored up before tipoff.

I remember going to more than one game where we literally could not find enough tickets for my family to sit together.

I remember feeling like we walked miles to and from the car when we arrived a little late because the parking lot was so huge.  And… I remember when my dad pulled one over on the parking staff and said he was injured so we got to park all the way up front.  Also, I remember there was always a section in the lot upfront that was virtually empty because it was reserved for handicapped fans that never showed.

I remember sitting in traffic for 30+ minutes just trying to get out of the arena after games.

I remember my dad buying me and my brother Muggsy jerseys at the arena that we eventually got signed (he lived in my neighborhood).

The lower level had an exclusive sort of feel to it because during introductions and many times during play they would pull the curtain closed, shutting off those poor nose-bleaders from enjoying in the intimacy that was lower-level seating.  Didn’t even let you enjoy the views for a split second while you were hiking up the stairs to your cheap seats.

I remember the ushers not being total dickbags when we tried to sneak down to better seats during the 4th quarter of blowouts.

I recall the complete lack of boxes and suites.

I remember the mascot Hugo dunking all over the place at half time.

I remember the big inflated, flying Hugo that would drop off tickets and Harris Teeter gift cards… and I remember flying Hugo tragically malfunctioning/wrecking on more than one occasion.

I remember thinking the stoplights in the area surrounding the coliseum were cool.

I remember arriving early to games to be part of the “frontcourt club” or whatever it was called at the time.  It was basically just an overpriced bar for the wine n cheese crowd to mingle at while the real fans watched the game.

I remember the oldschool 8-bit scoreboard graphics with the girl in pigtails raising her arms and her mouth opening in what was supposed to be celebration.

I remember the Brick Guy, and I remember wishing that one day I would grow up to get to hold up that big beautiful brick.

I remember hearing about how the scoreboard came crashing down onto the court and I  remember wishing it would happen again while I was there.

I recall going to many an event outside Hornets games at that place.  The circus, Disney on ice, etc.

I remember the Charlotte Sting also played at the Coliseum and that their crowds were so small that in the only Sting game I ever attended me and a friend literally just walked right down to the court and sat baseline the entire game.  Also, during the halftime shootaround an errant shot bounced our way and we stole the ball.  I still remember watching that sucker ballboy count his balls over and over absolutely perplexed by the realization that he had lost a ball.  (The same friend that snuck away with this priceless WNBA halftime shootaround ball also made away with a D-II championship football helmet while the team was celebrating the win on the field)

I remember the hype and anticipation that was there when the Bulls were in town.  Charlotte sports fans that weren’t around during the Jordan era don’t know the meaning of a “tough ticket”.

I remember returning to the coliseum in ’04 as a season ticket holder during the inaugural season for the Bobcats and thinking it was cool but also realizing the mystique and aura was missing.

I remember Baron Davis and that ridiculous buzzer beater 3 he made against the Magic in our last season in Charlotte.  That shot was incorrectly called off and it was all over sportscenter for a week.  http://youtu.be/TyoTKbhiBVA

I remember Muggsy and Muggsy and more Muggsy.  The dude was more loved than flowers on Valentines day.

But all jokes aside… most of what I remember was this overwhelming feeling that, “This is awesome”.  I’m trying not to romance the idea of the return of the Hornets because I don’t expect it to be everything it was to me as a kid, but if it even comes close I’ll be thrilled.