I found this interesting little column from Mark Heisler for the Los Angeles Times where he talks about Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets situation and compares him to Kobe and the Lakers of last year. He talks about the pressures of the NBA awaiting him when Team USA is no longer, especially in light of the fact that Denver moved Marcus Camby, to which he refers to his mood when hearing that news as, "salty". Of course, towards the end, the Kobe comparison is aided by Kobe himself as they discuss the Ron Artest trade and he makes this statement, "They're going to talk bad about you, and then when you win, it's all good," Bryant said, laughing. "The heck with that! You come to the Lakers for a bag of peanuts." For the piece itself, click http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-olyheisler31-2008jul31,0,7433173.story
Just checked out the great work the guys on http://www.charlotteobserver.com/ with their blog and today they give us an interview with Julius Peppers. Normally quiet, he addresses his off season workout regimine, his contract negotiations and his disappointing last season. Click below to see more on Pep in his own words.
The guys who brought you http://www.pwinsider.com/ for all your wrestling news, have started a pop culture website called pwiPOP which I think many of you will like. I have sent in my first submission which I will post a link to it below but one of the categories they will cover is sports as well. They just started it recently so you should not only check it out but if you want to contribute something, I think they are still looking for others. Enjoy the website and enjoy my non-sports related entry if your curious enough to check it out. I hope to send in stuff as time and subjects permit me.
In Team USA's first exhibition game in China, they defeated Turkey 114-82. Lebron James led the team with 20 points going 8 for 9 from the field with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Former Orange Carmelo Anthony added 17 points as he went 5-6 from field goal range, 2-3 from the three point line and one rebound and assist. I know this team is determined to win the gold medal this time around and though I may not be a huge fan of the NBA or the Olympics anymore, I wish them the best of luck and not just because of Melo and Coach Boeheim are part of the team, though that helps. The Olympics start officially on August 8th in communist China, which is a rant for another time, but it looks like this team may be ready to go.
www.yardbarker.com has an update from McNabb on his blog direct from training camp. Those looks for an update on the progress of the team though should continue searching as his latest update is more about his dorm life at Lehigh, what he does with his down time and his website www.donovanmcnabb.com which now has clips of his press conference available there among other changes.
I know you can't believe it but it's that time of the week again that I give you yet another round of Orange Trivia. For those new to the blog, this is not a question about Syracuse Orange or any sports team but about yoru average everyday orange items. Here is this weeks question though it may be slightly harder to guess then past ones,most of the thing I could think to describe it would give it away immediately.
Officially launched nationally in 1979, this product has actually been trademarked for 95 years. Manufactured in St. Louis, Missouri, it was started based on market research indicating it was the third best selling flavor in it's category. My hint for you only applies to those who remember the 80's well but during the middle of that decade, they launched a campaign using the hit song "Good Vibrations". What is this orange item?
Last week, The Mac Attack on 610am WFNZ in Charlotte or www.wfnz.com asked for predictions for this upcoming NFL season. One of my picks was that linebacker Jon Beason would be a pro bowl pick either through voting or injury and make it to Hawaii in only his second year in the NFL (him and Steve Smith). Well today I found an article on Beason's effect on this team posted on www.panthers.com that reinforces why I think Beason is not only a beast on the field but a leader as well. I will post the link below as always and for the record, I highly recommend those of you who are Panthers fans to check out the website daily for training camp updates. They are doing a great job this season with pictures, reports on player's progress and injury updates that I could repost here but I think it's best to simply read their work for yourself. I am hoping that Ian Scott's knee injury he suffered in the morning session today is not too serious though not exactly optimistic hearing Coach Fox say that it appears to be the most serious of the injuries so far in camp. Go Panthers.
Orange fans, it looks like there may be a deal in place to trade Donte Greene from the Houston Rockets, along with guard Bobby Jackson to the Sacramento Kings for Ron Artest, states Chris Duncan of the AP using anonymous sources. The part holding up the deal, Donte's contract can't be traded within 30 days of signing a contract,which he did on July 14th. All I can say is wow, and I thought I would spend the whole day without posting anything. The article discusses a lot about Artest of course but goes on towards the end to speculate how much Kings coach Reggie Theus likes an uptempo game and Greene could fit well into that game plan. I hope nobody purchased any Donte Greene Houston Rockets jersey's yet or else I hope there are room next to your "Don'te Leave" shirts if you did. I actually sort of feel sorry for Donte who is on his third team in the league already and the regular season hasn't even started yet for the young rookie. I know as an Orange fan, I should be upset by the move but to me, I think both teams improves with this move if it happens. Houston gets another star like they wanted who will be a great defensive addition while Sacramento gets both a veteran guard and a rookie forward with potential. I am also a huge supporter of Bobby Jackson so I am hoping all three prosper from this trade when the season starts. Below is the article if you care to see it for yourself.
Found this article on SUAthletics.com, which I am not a member because I can't afford it but check out the free version occasionally, and it discusses how Major League Lacrosse is having an auction of game worn autographed jerseys from the MLL all-star game recently. I can tell you as someone who has worked with Special Olympics twice now, it's one of the heartwarming times in my life that I still look back on and wish I did more often. Anyway, up for bid are the jerseys of former Orange players Ryan Powell, which last I checked was up to $900, and Steven Brooks, which is going for $650 as of this writing. I am sure the Special Olympics will appreciate any money it can make to provide those who participate the best experience possible. So far, the top earner is the rookie from Johns Hopkins Paul Rabil whose jersey is up to $1,100, which Powell in second place. If anyone is reading this with some money in their pocket and wants to donate to a great cause, this would be an awesome souvenir and we can show some Orange love and that we can top Johns Hopkins again. Go Orange and if you can, support the Special Olympics and by the way, below is the link if your wanting to look or bid yourself.
I was sitting here reading my own stuff(hey, someone has to read it) and I realized, why not make the font a bit bigger since not everyone can see as good as me. I hope you like the new look, sort of, and if you want to comment one way or another let me know.
Also, if you have a sports blog that you would like added, please let me know and especially if it follows the Syracuse Orange, Carolina Panthers, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Penguins, minor league teams in the Charlotte area or based on wrestling and/or MMA. Just drop me a line or a comment somewhere and let me know and I will check it out and if I like it and it fits, I will add it. I am not ashamed to promote someone, especially those who also will link to mine. Take care y'all and I hope you like the look and don't mind as I continue to make small changes here and there to improve it(it could be worse, ask Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, when I first started this, my fonts were all orange haha).
I have to admit, I am excited waiting to see what the 2008 Panthers do this season and sit on the Charlotte.com blog updates from both Tom and the other crew as well as the Panthers main website(by the way,those guys are doing spectacular work on the website updating the hardcore fan base with photos and snippets of progress and Coach John Fox's views). However in checking news sites, I found an item posted by Mike Florio at www.profootballtalk.com where he discusses how Panthers scouting staff and other football related front office employees are under contracts that expire at the end of this upcoming season. This leads him to speculate whether or not this means it's a do or die attitude for Coach John Fox, GM Marty Hurney, and others and if they fail, he says, "ownership is considering cleaning house if the Panthers don’t make the playoffs this season. " He also goes on to state that a possible replacement for Coach Fox would be.....current North Carolina resident and former Pittsburgh Steeler coach Bill Cowher and that could be why since he may want to bring in his own staff. Honestly, anyone shocked to hear Coach Cowher's name mentioned? Ever since he left the Steelers and it became public that he took up residency in the Raleigh area, the rumors have floated around a lot about which Carolina based football program would convince him to coach again. I personally think Coach Fox is an excellent coach and hope he is successful because I also know this team responds well to him and plays their best for him. I respect what Coach Cowher did in his time in Pittsburgh(trust me, I have family and friends who are Steelers fans, I know his success) but I just feel like Coach Fox does a great job here and losing him would be a huge mistake that some football team will jump on it in a heartbeat.
My question to you is this, how much longer after Coach Fox leaves do the top level players follow him out the stadium doors? You don't think some of these guys who love playing for him will soon start to wonder why they played so hard when it cost them Coach Fox's job anyway and go possibly where he goes? John Fox is the perfect fit for the personality of this team and I think that someone the caliber of Coach Cowher, who is know to be more intense, may not fly as well here as it would with other teams. I am sure there are some who would play as hard as they do now for anyone but certain people just respond to certain coaches better and this team generally seems to be 100% supportive of Coach Fox and believe he has their best interest at heart. Was last season as successful as everyone in the organization hoped? Of course not but they do some positive work and tell me this, when this team went 1-15, how many of you truly thought with Coach Fox on the sidelines, we would have made the playoffs, let alone a field goal away from a Super Bowl? Then again, I never would have thought the Richardson's would not have been able to reach an agreement to keep Bill Rosinski as the voice of the Carolina Panthers a few years back either so I guess we will see when the season goes on.
Well after last night, maybe I am becoming more and more of an Elite XC fan or shill,however you wish to word it. I thought all four matches on CBS were great fights and Lawler/Smith fight lived up to the hype of a rematch and I also think Jake Shields showed he is a great asset to that roster as well as one of the best in the welterweight division period. UFC has great talent I know and won't slight them but I feel these guys could compete with them if given the chance. I also think Chris Cyborg proved that she could put up a great fight against the top name in female Gina Carano, hopefully in October on CBS. Cyborg was dominant in fight and short of her premature victory celebration, still showed she was someone to contend with if Gina wants to be the top female fighter. For those who don't follow MMA, I have an intro video of Gina for you so you can see how seriously many females take this sport and the support they have in doing it, including me who knows I wouldn't want to face any of them. Check out Gina and tell me this isn't a good enough reason alone to support female fights in MMA and Elite XC. Don't worry, thats my last video of the night too, I am off to watch Ice Road Truckers.
I was trying to find an optimistic take on the 2008 SU football season and this was the best I could do, a summary and behind the scenes lok at the movie, "The Express". So here is the video, enjoy and lets hope one day we can get our second national championship even though that SOB Pat Dye cost us one years ago that we rightfully earned. Yes I went all video happy today and this one seems to be an older one but I think it's a good story. I remember when I was younger and my grandfather said Ernie Davis was the greatest running back he had ever seen play the game and the older I get, the more I agree with him as I learn more about him.
I have wondered since I did that interview with Axe a while back about a statement he made. In his Free Space area, he wrote and I quote, "4. Why do we only get two presidential candidates to choose from?" This got me to thinking about whether I wanted to address this issue or not since I want this blog to mostly be centered around sports but honestly when it comes to politics, that affects everything so why not?
I will not sit here and tell anyone how to vote because I think one of the best and most powerful liberties we have in this nation is the freedoms to express and have our own opinions and have the freedom to vote as you choose. I would however recommend sometimes we need to look at third party alternatives. Please save me the whole "wasting your vote" or "they could never win" speech because they may not have the financial backing of the two bigger parties but many of them have great ideas that we need to explore as a country. I also think that with enough support, you would be surprised what a nation of people can do. And there is also a growing number of people who are not happy with the directions our country is taking on things and how the two party system is trying to monopolize the system while minimize our individual rights and maximize our taxes.
So, in light of that, I found a video on YouTube that I think speaks to people like me who, while we don't think we need a complete overthrow of the government, need to see something different done for once and fed up at times with status quo politics and backdoor deals with corporations that can provide them with the most money. Below is the video that is about 5 minutes in length and I think worth checking out if your curious and undecided about who your voting for this fall or just want to see a different viewpoint. Enjoy and don't worry, I will be back to sports after this.
I know I don't have a lot of wrestling fans here but saw this clip and I am curious to see how well "The Beast" can do on Gladiator. Check it out for yourself how big this guy is. And introducing the beast, how about none other then Hulk Hogan.
Today it is reported that Bret Favre will not report to Green Bay Packers training camp for now and allow the Packers time to work out a deal somehow. I am following it but starting to get tired of the Favre Fair honestly and they need to resolve it soon so we can start the quarterback controversy where he is going because if I am Green Bay, I trade him NOW. I know people want to say he is better then Rogers and therefore deserve to start ahead of him but guess what, after 3 or 4 years of draining this team mentally, he finally retired. This team has moved on and now its time for them to trade him.
I would sit down with Bret and tell him, "Give us your top 5 teams you would be willing to go to and we will work out the best deal for both teams working our way down the list starting at #1. By the way, if you put the Vikings, Bears, or Lions on the list, we will simply skip over them so I would recommend you not have them on the list. We have your rights for 2 more years and we are not releasing you outright so deal with it. You want us to send you somewhere that you can play, I hope those are high on your list and they are willing to give a reasonable trade value for you. If this is not sufficient, then either stay retired or accept the role of backup quarterback."
I have heard numerous people say that since teams have rights to terminate deals, players should have more rights as well. I do think some aspects of that ideal are unfair but honestly, you signed a contract and so now you have to live with it. You want change in how management can treat a player and more rights guaranteed, then negotiate that into the next contract which will be soon,otherwise deal with it. Bret has two years on his deal so just like anyone else with a contract, his contract belongs to Green Bay to do as they wish. The man is one of the greatest to play the game but maybe if he didn't sit back and hold this team hostage for the past couple years while he considered retirement, maybe things would be different.
Look, both sides are handling this ordeal poorly but its hard to tame a two headed monster when both heads are looking out for their best interest and those interests clash. Trade him either for a first round pick if he promises to play at least 2 more seasons, or for a player and a pick,or for a couple picks but trade him soon or both sides will not be able to concentrate on anything except this Favre Fair. And teams who want him, stop negotiating and show your hand because the longer it goes on does nobody good including your team who is missing out more and more on Bret being in camp and working with your players and your playbook. I hope this deal happens soon because I will admit, I have enjoyed laughing at it but much like some of those old movies based on Saturday Night Live skits, sometimes the shorter the joke, the better it is for everyone.
Today's special guest is a man who I think does a tremendous job in the broadcasting booth as the voice of the KannapolisIntimidators,which you can hear and follow at www.intimidatorsbaseball.com. He is also another former Orange grad who proved that when you want the best, go Orange. Last year with Matt Dagostino in the booth, I started online streaming Intimidators games and enjoyed it. This year I have continued on that tradition and I enjoy this young man's calling of the game immensely. So give a standing ovation and show some love for Liverpool's own Dan Bumpus.
12 Reasons Why.....Dan Bumpus Is An Intimidating Force For Baseball Fans
1. Let's start off with a little introduction please, who is Dan Bumpus and what made the young Dan decide to go in the direction he did in his professional life?
So open ended I could go in a lot of directions here from my love of sea turtles to my hatred that Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays but I'll stray back to your question. I'm the voice of the KannapolisIntimidators (Single-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) of the South Atlantic League. I decided to go into sports broadcasting because I grew up just outside of Syracuse in Liverpool and always knew how great SU's program was. From about the second grade on I knew exactly where I wanted to go to college. It made the whole applying to college thing a whole lot easier.
2. Here is what I like referred to as a cheap pop because I know part of this answer but asking anyway because I love the answer, what college did you attend and what courses and programs do you think helped you prepare for this career? How and where did you get your first start?
I went to Syracuse University and graduated in the May of 2007. I majored in broadcast journalism with a double major in economics (backup plan I guess). While at Newhouse I took Radio Sports Broadcasting with the Voice of the Orange Matt Park and also a TV Sports Reporting class with SU alum and current ESPN broadcaster Dave Ryan. The broadcast journalism major prepared me to get into any aspect of being on air in radio or television. The program trains you in news reporting but if you can talk about a bank robbery it isn't too hard to transfer those skills to talking about sports.
I got my start broadcasting sports at WAER on campus. It's the same station that helped produce the likes of Marty Glickman, Bob Costas, Sean McDonough, Mike Tirico, etc., etc., etc. I started as a writer my freshman year waking up at 4am to write and voice sportscasts and worked my way onto the student run sports staff in February of my sophomore year. I called my first game that April. It was Syracuse against Albany in men's lacrosse in which the Orange won in overtime. I continued to broadcast games and served as the station's sports director at the end of my junior year and through basketball season of my senior year. In addition, I worked for the campus TV station, now CitrusTV, and interned for the Auburn Doubledays while in school.
3. What is your current position and walk us through a sample of your day at the ballpark? And since you have such an up close view of the team, do you think the Intimidators can win the second half of the season and get into the postseason?
I'll give you my day while the Intimidators are at home because life on the road is much simpler. When Kannapolis is at home I get up at 7am and start my day with a run. I'm into the office at 9am and I start putting together the coaches' stat packs. It has standings and stats for both clubs. After those are put together I take those down to the clubhouse and start to work on my game notes for that day's game. The game notes take a couple of hours and lead into lunch. After lunch I take care of the odds and ends of the position like answering media requests via e-mail or phone or pick out the pictures for the team's card set. There are a lot of little odds and ends that I take care on an everyday basis. Around 2 or 3pm (for a 7pm game) I start diving into my game prep to make sure I have everything I need for that night's game whether it be stats versus left-handers or what the opponents starter has done in the last seven starts on the road. Pretty much all the little things that I mention in the broadcast. Around this time I grab lineups from both teams and make copies of everything (lineups, game notes, rosters) for the press box and coaches. The Intimidators start to take BP (batting practice) around 4:30 so I go down and get my pre-game interview squared away as well as find out some more information that I'll use in the broadcast. After BP it's back up to the booth to get my score book ready. After a quick break for some ballpark dinner (preferably the chicken basket) its show time just before seven. Once the game is over I type up a press release to send to the local media and post the game story online at www.intimidatorsbaseball.com. I pack up, head to my apartment, sleep and repeat.
As for the Intimidators chances in the second half. I wish I had answered that question a week ago before the seven straight losses. But I think the Intimidators have a chance because there is a lot of baseball left in the six weeks or so left in the season. Every team can be up and down so it'll just take a good stretch to put the club in first to make the playoffs.
4. For people who don't normally attend minor league games, please explain why they should start now and what you love most about your job?
Minor League Baseball is built around the fan experience. Most minor league teams have the motto of "Oh yeah, there's baseball too." What that means is that there is so much going on whether it is specials like a Thirsty Thursday to promotions such as Fireworks nights that the game is almost secondary. Going to a minor league baseball game isn't just for die hard baseball fans. It's an affordable night out with family or friends. But for baseball fans, like myself, it's a great chance, especially at the Low-A level like the Intimidators, to see these players before they hit the fast track or make it big. As for the part I love most about my job,I'd have to say it's the three hours or so I spend on the air every night. Baseball is so much unlike all other sports where there is a lot of time to fill and up the broadcaster to fill it. That freedom I love. If I want to talk about Brett Favre's saga in Green Bay or Bill Gates' retirement from Microsoft I can. Plus I get a chance to talk baseball (all levels) which I love to do.
5. What's your view on other sports using a farm system similar to baseball's current arrangement?
I think it could be a very interesting. Hockey uses a system similar in terms of having players work their way up the chain and basketball has started to plant the seeds of one with the D-League but I don't know if any other sport can have the number of levels that exist in baseball. In fact baseball has talked about trying to be more efficient and trying to reduce (not get rid of) the minor leagues at the lower levels to become more efficient (fewer players, less money) and I think sooner or later it'll happen. But the minor league system in baseball is special because without it, it's hard to find those late-bloomers who have stuck around the game for seven years in Single-A before changing something and taking off into the big leagues.
6. I like to ask this so people can see the positives of the business so who is the one person you met who absolutely made you walk away thinking how great the experience was? Matt Dagostino pointed to Chris Jones as being, and I quote, " a pleasure to work for...just a laid-back guy who let you do your job and was very accommodating." What is your opinion of this assessment? And just out of curiosity, anyone you want to throw under the bus as a complete jerk or you prefer to be like Matt and take the high road?
I don't think I've had the chance to meet anyone that has left me in awe of being around them. But there have been plenty of people from former Syracuse athletes (Tim Green, Chris Gedney, Gary Gait, Mikey Powell, Lawrence Moten, etc.) that I've had the chance to work with or interview where at the end of the interview I can't believe I just talked to that person.
Matt is right on the money about Chris Jones. Getting a chance to work with him has been great. Chris and I both went to Liverpool High School so I think that common bond has helped smooth anything out.
And like Matt I'll take the high road and not throw anyone under the bus. Unfortunately there are people I've come across whom haven't been a pleasure to work with but that's part of the job.
7. Who was your favorite player to wear the Orange and why? Do you think an Orange baseball program would be something to explore or no?
My favorite Orangeman has to be Lawrence Moten. When I was growing up the high socks and the panther tattoo was what every kid wanted in Central New York. From his silky-smooth jumper to all the success he helped bring to the school I think that's why he would be at the top of the list. Donovan McNabb wouldn't be too far either or Quinton Spotwood.
A baseball program would be interesting to explore. The reason I say this is because there is a softball team at SU. If there's one why can't there be the other. I know the climate isn't ideal for baseball and softball but there are a lot of northern schools who deal with it and even one right in the same city (Le Moyne). That being said I don't think it will happen in my lifetime and I'm still young. I'll put one in if I ever become AD.
8. Many want to refer to this era of baseball as a steroid era so my question to you is, what is your opinion of the current state of the game of baseball?
I think the current game of baseball is great. Yes I acknowledge there are things that can be done to improve the game like an HGH test or finding a way to stay a step ahead of the scientists who are generating new performance enhancing drugs. But to me?the steroid era ended when they implemented testing for performance enhancing drugs which have weeded out a few who have shown up with positive tests and deterred plenty of others (I'm talking hypothetically because you can't tell for sure). I think if someone got to where they were because of PEDs that we're seeing them slowly fall off the map and deteriorate at a far faster clip than others due to age. Plus I look at it and realize that I've never seen the game of baseball except in this "steroid era" starting with the Bash Brothers in the late 80's if not before. I refuse to think that everybody was doing it and I think there are a lot of spectacular players who have done nothing but work hard and stay healthy who are putting up tremendous numbers.
9. Are you a fantasy sports guy and if so, who is your top draft pick if you were able to get the top selection in your leagues draft?
I am a fantasy sports guy but unfortunately I haven't been able to play as much as I would like. I'm in fantasy baseball league right now and if I had the top pick I would take Alex Rodriguez. He's been a little banged up this year with injuries and the whole Madonna fiasco hasn't helped his image much but if you look at the numbers he's putting up I don't think anyone else takes the top spot from him.
10. You wake up tomorrow and your television only has one channel, what channel is it and what one sport or team has to be on it?
That's a tough question because I have interests in a lot of sports. But I'll take the typical male response and say ESPN. I'd add college basketball has to be on and it better be Big Monday in the Dome.
11. When I saw the official announcement of who got the position of broadcasting KannapolisIntimidators games in the off season, I did some research on you Mr. Bumpus and was told that you were a very professional and well prepared person who would be great at his job and would make the games enjoyable to me as a fan. With that said and not revealing my source that quoted that to me, how would you like to hear someone describe you and/or your work in the booth?
I think those words come pretty close to exactly as I hope to come across. I just want people to say that they like listening to the games I broadcast. I bring a slightly different viewpoint to the broadcast. I'm not going to hammer home the X's and O's and give you all the knowledge in the world on an aspect of the game. But what I will give the audience is a well-prepared broadcast with plenty of story lines and stats to move things along from one point in the game to the next.
12. Your Free Space-OK Dan, this one is all yours to say what you want to say. Plug it or spill it just remember, don't be mean and keep it clean.
I'd just like to remind everyone you can listen to the Intimidators at www.intimidatorsbaseball.com as they wrap up the season with the six weeks.
Thank You Dan, despite being a former Northstar myself, I still got love for those who went Orange later,even Chris Gedney who used to take our defense to school every time he played in school. I do recommend you all check out his broadcast as I think he does a great job and for the record, that source who complimented Dan was none other then Brent"The Axeman" Axe in case any of you are curious, including Dan. In fact, I am trying to post this before tonight's game starts against the Lakewood Blueclaws because its hard to concentrate writing and wanting to shout when he is about to announce Mark Fleisher connected for one out of the park. Also, in case you missed my rant on minor league baseball, I am a huge supporter and encourage you to at least try it once a year, it's the best value for your dollar out there today and who knows, that guy your rooting for now and your kid just got his autograph, could be the next major league all star. By the way,I also highly recommend the chicken basket at Intimidators Stadium and though it may not be Tully's tenders but its still a good deal for the money(some day Dan, I will convince them to open a Tullys in this area).
That's right, you Carolina Panthers have signed their last two, and top two, draft picks over night with offensive tackle Jeff Otah signing first around dinner time and then in the late hours of the morning running back Jonathan Stewart joined him. If everyone is healthy, I think this team is a playoff team with a shot at winning the division, though with the changes the Saints made in the offseason and the chance of Favre going to Tampa, thats just too much to run to Vegas and bet on for me. Camp is starting and we have everything in place, now let's see what they can do on the field.
Kind of a vague title I am sure but hey, so is the news item to some so get over it. For those that don't know, I am fan of TNA Wrestling and on their website http://www.tnawrestling.com/ they have a show called Spin Cycle. Well on the latest edition of the show, TNA superstar 7'1" 330 pound "The Blueprint" Matt Morgan, who also appears on American Gladiator this season, is sporting a #15 Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony jersey. This weeks show, which is hosted by Jeremy Borash regularly, also features commentator Don West(some of you may remember him best as the guy who shouted selling baseball cards at 3am years ago), Karen Angle(the gorgeous knockout wife of Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle) and Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker James Farrior debating such topics as breast implants, Sting, and even Bret Favre. Seeing Morgan in the jersey made me wonder if maybe we could see Carmelo around TNA one day and if so, what would you think of seeing 'Melo in a wrestling ring and would he have a wrestling nickname? If nothing else, I am sure Melo appreciates the jersey recognition on a 7 footer and being 7'1" and 330 pounds, would you tell him not to wear it? I say if 'Melo wants to get in the ring someday, I would grab up Morgan as your tag partner, he has your jersey so I am sure he could have your back too. And since its also a YouTube video, getting the video here for you was that much easier so enjoy.
For those of you who are curious, the answer was Tang. I used to love Tang when I was a kid and it is orange though I haven't really seen it around in years in our more health conscience era. If you guessed Tang, good job and if not, it's ok, I had to think hard about that one. See you next week when Orange Trivia returns and maybe gets harder, depends on which one I pick(you would be shocked at the list I have made of orange items).
Today, ESPN has an article about how former Syracuse Orange and current Indianapolis Colt wide receiver Marvin Harrison participated in practice and was smiling and doing fine. They have several quotes from teammates and his coach Tony Dungy indicating that he looked like the old #88, which I hope is true since i have slotted high in my fantasy draft and because I have a lot of respect for the man and what he has accomplished in the NFL. When Harrison is healthy and he is one of the best in the league, if not THE best receiver and he could retire with some records beside his name and maybe another Super Bowl ring or two as well(I am picking Indy and Dallas in the Super Bowl this year with the Colts winning it all). The link to the ESPN article is below. You go Marvin and Go Orange.
Its funny how yesterday I attended a seminar on careers in motor sports to hear how its a 6 billion dollar a year industry in the state of North Carolina alone and yet, many still want to brush it off as a redneck sport. Look, I am not the biggest fan of it myself but i do respect it. I also respected billionaire David Murdock and what he has done for this area....until now that is.
Apparently Mr. Murdock is bringing a VIP with him into town this weekend and wants banners removed that are along Dale Earnhardt Boulevard that name it as the "Dale Trail". Strong local rumors are that the guest is Oprah Winfrey and apparently her driving past signs that refer to the town of Kannapolis's son Dale Earnhardt and racing in general is not classy enough for them. Cith manager Mike Legg is quoted in a piece I recently read on http://www.thatsracin.com/ as stating this, "There may be a conflict as to what happens later," Legg wrote, according to the Salisbury newspaper. "There are many (including everybody at Castle & Cooke) that do not want to see anything 'Dale-related' going back up." How in the hell do you deny that a living legend of a sport who gave a lot to this community himself any rights that honored him? This is disgusting and goes back to my first statement that this is no longer "Bubbaracin in the dirt bringing his friends along to be his pit crew". This is a nationally televised, technological based sport with numerous top name endorsements that deserves at least some respect and not simply lumped with the South. You would be shocked to know the technology and business aspects involved in all the motor sports in general, let alone NASCAR if you agree with this sentiment.
I am thankful though that some are not sitting down and just tolerating this. DeSalesWagster, president of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Thursday that she thinks motor sports and high-tech research can co-exist, which I absolutely agree with. She is quoted in the piece as saying, "We are extremely proud of motor sports and what it has brought, as we transition into one of the largest bio-tech areas," she said. "They are very compatible. there is truly room for both." I am sitting here wondering if I should make up my own signs pointing to the positive aspects of the sport such as, "$6 Billion Dollar Industry, Rich History in Kannapolis" or maybe just some huge "3" signs all over the road. These banners are not huge and not eye sores so shut the hell up and accept the fact that it also part of local history and deal with it. Dale Earnhardt is a legend in his sport and in this area and not acknowledging this is spitting on the grave of a man who did a lot in this area. Maybe we should change the name of the KannapolisIntimidators to the Kannapolis Bio-Geeks to appease him as well. Normally I see Orange and love it but right now I wish I could see the black banners instead of the pissed off red I see right now.
This one will be easier for the older people like me and maybe a bit harder for anyone younger who might be reading this. This weeks questions is as follows.
Formerly the drink of astronauts, this orange product was first formulated by General Foods Corporation in 1957 and first marketed in 1959. It's inventor, William A. Mitchell is also created with inventing Pop Rocks. What is this orange item?
I am the first one to bust ESPN's chops(well, one of them anyway) when I don't like something they do but I found this feed on AOL Fanhouse and think this is a regular show for me to check out. Of course I believe its only on ESPN.com (and I have it on my V-Cast as well I think) and the show is called MMA Live. I like and respect Frank Mir's work in the ring and find his assesments of the sport, knowledgeable and on a basis that the basic fan can understand him easily as well. Thank you ESPN for your coverage. Not to compare the two but don't forget those of us old enough to remember, years ago, ESPN used to feature wrestling regularly as well, World Class Championship Wrestling if I am not mistaken. So here is a clip of their current show and you be the judge.
That's right, last night in the NBA, the Utah Jazz traded former Syracuse Orange/Charlotte Bobcat Jason Hart to the L.A. Clippers for former Charlotte Bobcat Brevin Knight. Both men are talented players who have seen their share of trades since they have been in the NBA. You all know by now I am not a huge NBA fan but it involved some Orange so I figured why not comment. Plus, when the Bobcats first started, part of the reason I started to follow it was because I wanted to follow and root for Jason Hart. I never could find his jersey for a reasonable price but it was not for lack of trying(yes I am cheap, get over it). I ended up with an EmekaOkafur jersey instead and Hart was unfortunately traded soon anyway. I found it crazy when I saw that not only was it a straight up trade but that it was two former Bobcat guards who helped this team get started as they began their expansion into Charlotte and the NBA. I wish both men the best of luck in the future and wonder if either player will benefit more from this trade. With the off season the Clippers have seen, who knows what that team will do so I hope Jason goes in there and wins them over.
Thanks for the reminder from the awesome Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for pointing out that this will be Hart's second appearance in a Clipper jersey. I told you all I have a bad memory so bare with me. Maybe I should have done more homework on that one before posting it huh? Might be a good idea for the future.
Earlier this week, I posted an update on Indianapolis Colt and former Syracuse Orange Dwight Freeney will be starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Well today, Mike Chappell of the Indy Star posted an update on his status and Dwight says he will be ready to play when the season starts. When I posted my item previously, I was absent minded(hardly the first time) about his foot injury which Mike states was midfoot surgery on his left foot that he suffered at the tail end of last season. Mike had this quoe from Dwight, "Things are working out the way they're supposed to,'' said the three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, who will report today with the rest of his teammates to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute for the start of training camp. "I'm ready to go.'' I will post the link below for those curious to read the whole article which includes quotes from head coach Tony Dungy and wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
First, let me start off by thanking those of you who have agreed to do this. Without you, I would have given up on this already but it is because I look up to you that I continue. Thank you again and I appreciate it more then I could ever state here in words. And now, on to the feature presentation. You may not recognize the name but he is a voice I know and admire in sports broadcasting. When I first moved here in 1996, I was a Cowboy fan but slowly but surely, became more enamored with the Carolina Panthers. Within a couple years, I became a huge Panther fan and part of the reason for the enjoyment was the voice of the Carolina Panthers, Mr. Bill Rosinski. He was with the Atlanta Falcons from 1992-1994 and then took a job with the expansion team Panthers where he would stay until 2004 when contract negotiations could not be agreed to and he left his position. He was the voice I heard as the Panthers made that run for SuperBowl XXXVIII when they lost by a last second field goal to the New England Patriots. Anyway, I respect this man a lot and have even attended a taping of his TV show Sportsnight which I enjoyed a lot and hope to attend more in the near future. Please give a warm Orange welcome to the classy Mr. Bill Rosinski.
12 Reasons Why..... Bill Rosinski Is More Then Just A Recognizable Voice On The Radio
1. For those not familiar with your work, please help introduce them to Bill Rosinski. Where are you from and what made you want to do radio broadcasting for a living?
I was born outside Buffalo, NY, Tonawanda to be exact and grew up a fan of the sports teams there. It was listening to Van Miller doing the Bills back in the mid 60s on radio that inspired me to get into broadcasting. He sounded like he was having fun and I thought it would be a great profession.
2. What is your educational background? Where and how did you get your first start in this business?
I studied radio and TV at Marietta College in Ohio. My first job was at a radio station in Marietta and I started as a DJ. Within a few months I was able to get into sports at the station doing high school and Div III college football, basketball and baseball play by play. That was in 1975 and I have been in radio and some TV ever since.
3. Where can those interested hear and see you on a regular basis? Any idea of potential working partners for this upcoming season similar to your work with Coach Dan Reeves last year?
This year I am back with a full season of games on Westwood One doing the NFL. I will be working again with Dan Reeves. I will start early with the Hall of Fame game in Canton and I have my first eight regular season games set including the Panthers at Bucs in October and the NFL game in London between the Chargers and Saints. I will also be doing some ACC national radio for football working with Ricky Proehl the former Panthers receiver and John Bunting the former head coach at North Carolina. I also do a TV show that we tape once a month with interviews with area sports celebrities. Its on Time Warner Cable channel 18 each Wednesday at 7pm. Its called Sportsnight
4. What advice would you give someone interested in getting into sports broadcasting? Any particular helpful hints you would recommend?
My best advice is to make as many contacts as possible in the business. I can't tell you how many jobs I have had moving up the broadcast ladder thanks to knowing someone who knew the decision maker. Also don't be afraid to do a job in the business that might not be exactly what you want. Once you are in the door you can expand your horizons.
5. Would you give us an example of a day at work for Bill Rosinski during the football season? How much preparation work goes into your broadcast?
Doing national broadcasts has me on the internet during the week reading the two cities newspapers and gathering as much information as I can. I also put together a spotting board with both teams offense and defense which helps me keep track of who's who on the field. Both teams will send plenty of information as well. Doing a college game the same weekend can be hectic. This year I will do Georgia Tech at BC on Saturday and then the Patriots opener against KC the next day. Dan Reeves and I usually go to dinner the night before NFL games, talk about the broadcast the next day and on game day we are both on the field as the teams warm up trying to talk with the players for any last minute info.
6. What is your favorite part of the job? What is your least favorite part of your job? And what was your best moment professionally?
The best part of the job is doing the games. People actually pay money to see these games and we get paid to be there. AMAZING..
The negative is the travel. I like seeing the different cities but waiting in an airport is the worst.
My best moment with the Panthers came at the end of the NFC title game when the team beat Philly to go to the Super Bowl. I thought all day about what I might say if the team won and I finally came up with "Yes Charlotte there is a Super Bowl and we're in it." Fans still tell me its one of their favorite calls. Also last year I was able to call Brett Favres record breaking TD pass against Minnesota which surpassed Marinos all time record.
7. As a former radio broadcaster for the Carolina Panthers as well as numerous other NFL games, what is your opinion/prediction for the 2008 Carolina Panther team? If you were in Vegas now, who would you place your money on for making it to the Super Bowl and winning it all? And while on the subject of the NFL, where do you think Bret Favre ends up and what would you think if the Buffalo Bills signed them?
I think the Panthers should make the playoffs this season. Jake Delhomme seems like he's healthy and that's a huge key for this team. The biggest questions include finding a running game. Still in 13 seasons the team has had just two backs rush for over 1000 yards. Can the o-line jell in time to open holes and protect Jake? Also the team needs a pass rush. Jenkins is gone, Rucker has retired and can Peppers rebound from last seasons disaster? I don't think the schedule is all that tough so if they can figure out a way to win at home they should be pretty good.
If I were in Vegas I might put a few bucks on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Jacksonville should be really good this season as well. Favre, if he plays should end up with a team that runs the West Coast offense. Tampa could be a new home.
If Favre ends up in Buffalo we will know that pigs do fly.
8. I know yours a hockey fan as well and since I try to cover the Pittsburgh Penguins on this blog as well, what is your favorite team and what do you think of the Penguins team? Do you think the Russian League will negatively influence the future of the NHL by attracted top names like Jagr as time goes on or is it just a fade like the XFL or USFL?
My team is the Sabres. Watched them from the beginning in 1970 with the French Connection. At least they signed Ryan Miller to a long term deal but usually they lose good players because they don't have the money to pay for them.
The Penguins should be very good again. Fleury is a solid goaltender and that's what the playoffs are about. Crosby is a guy who plays with an edge and should be that teams leader for a long time.
The Russian league might interest some Europeans but most players know where the fame and fortune is. You don't see Russian league highlights on ESPN.
9. Professional wrestling is something I enjoy following and discussing here as well. I remember fondly that your old talk show had Good Old J.R. Jim Ross,who in my opinion is the greatest wrestling announcer of all time, on there a couple times and you two seemed to know each other well. What do you think of Jim Ross personally and professionally? Is there any chance we may hear your familiar voice from ringside some day? Or is there anything else you have not tried professionally that you would like to experience?
Funny you mention JR. I had lunch with him when he came to town last week to tape Smackdown. Jim was the third man in the booth when I started doing the Falcons games in 1992 with Jeff Van Note. JR was doing WCW back then. He is the voice of wrestling although he mentioned to me in a few years he might wind it down. I have not thought about being ringside but like any other sport you've got to do your homework, know the different holds and the background on all the sports stars. As most fans know he is a huge Oklahoma football fan and is tight with Bob Stoops the head coach. He travels to most of the games. He would love to be the Voice of the Sooners. He also has two barbeque places open in Norman and Oklahoma City and markets his own sauces.JR has a blog as well. He is quite the businessman.
One thing I would like to do is baseball. I did high school and college and minor league in Buffalo.
10. What is your favorite source for sports news and information? What is your opinion on 24 hour sports programming and their impact on the world of sports and the fan's perspective of the games?
ESPNs web site is good, Pro Football Talk has some great info on the NFL.
What 24 hour sports programming has done is forced newspapers to take a look at how they do things. Before ESPN and sports talk radio the newspapers had a lot of game stories. You don't need that now. I think papers should give us more opinions and I think you see writers doing this. I love David Poole of the Observer who covers NASCAR but throws in his own opinions on how FOX and TNT cover the sport. I also love the NHL network. Watched the Rangers-Leafs playoff game from 1971 the other day. Most players were not wearing head gear and there was a bench clearing brawl. The third man in rule had yet to be born. It was great stuff.
11. If someone asked to describe you, what would you wish to hear them say and be flattered if they did?
For any radio voice if someone says "you made me feel like I was at the game" its the ultimate compliment. Also I am always flattered by Panthers fans who tell me they miss me and tell me I will always be the Voice of the team. They claim Panthers fans don't have passion. I would disagree.
12. Your Free Space: This is your chance to say anything you wish. Do you have anything you want to plug, any last minute advice, or any topic not discussed above you would like people to know? Take as much time as you want but I have one rule, keep it clean though I don't think that will be an issue with you.
I got my real estate license this year and am working with Allen Tate. If there are any fans out there who are looking to buy or sell a home or know someone looking to do the same please give them my name. My website is http://www.billrosinski.com/.
Pat Yasinskas and I wrote a book about my time with the Panthers. It came out last fall and is called Bill Rosinskis Tales of the Carolina Panthers. Its available at local book stores.
Finally I would like to wish the best to all the Panthers fans and hope this season is a good one. Bill Rosinski
Thank you so much Bill and like many Panther fans, I still consider you the voice of the Panthers myself. That is not a knock at Mick Mixon or any of the other guys but for me I know his voice was a major reason I tuned in to radio broadcasts when I could not see the game(and sometimes choose it over the TV anyway). Check out Bill's stuff and for those of you Orange fans, this is a Buffalo man so that's close enough for me(its all cold as heck and covered in snow in the winter just the same).
With Elite XC this weekend on CBS and Dana White taking shots at women's matches, I thought I would share this video of one of the female fighters on the card this weekend. Shayna Baszler fights Cristiane Cyborg this weekend but this is a clip of an earlier fight of hers. Dana says the talent level in the women's division is not strong enough to explore it and sorry,I know this will shock you all but I disagree. I think this also shows the sportsmanship that many in the MMA world share as well when people who know nothing about the sport try to generalize it in a bad light. Check out this fight and Elite XC this weekend and judge for yourself.
Former Syracuse Orange and current Indianapolis Colt wide receiver Marvin Harrison is expected to be in training camp and ready to go when it begins on Friday morning, according to Colts head coach Tony Dungy. Coach Dungy is quoted as saying, “The last I heard from our doctors’ meeting was Marvin would be ready to go when we get there,’’ Dungy said this afternoon. “He’s been running and feeling good and everybody, including Marvin, is really enthused and optimistic about how that’s gone.’’ He also discusses how he plans to be conservative and cautious with Harrison and he has ben told they expect no criminal actiosn against him in light of the recent shooting that involved a gun that he owned. This is good news for Colts fans and those of us who like to draft him high in fantasy leagues. However in the same piece in the Indy Star by Mike Chappell, he says Dwight Freeney is expected to be listed as physically unable to perform list when camp opens due to a foot injury. I know that defense missed him last season and not sure about the status of the foot but hope it heals soon. If those two are healthy, along with quarterback Peyton Manning who will sit at least 4 weeks following knee surgery, this team could again contend for the best record in the NFL. I hope both are healthy and play the full season. Maybe it's just me but I don't root for any injuries even if your facing my favorite team, I would rather see the best team loaded and win if they earned it.
Hello my friends and welcome to my "One Stop Shop" for all your sports news needs in a quick burst. Sometimes, I look at my brief notes I post and wonder if maybe I should do this more often but with a lot going on this week, I figured now is a good time to break it out. So hang on and I am sure there is a chance you will see something in here that you will be interested in.
Congratulations to Sidney Crosby for winning the ESPY for best NHL player of the year. This is a fan vote for ESPN and as much as I love Sidney, with his injuries this year, still not sure if this was his award or not though I do think he is the best player in the league, though maybe I am slightly biased as a Pens fan. They lost some key players this off season but looking forward to see what this team does next season to follow up on the Stanley Cup finals run.
Speaking of hockey, the Charlotte Checkers have been working with Habitat For Humanity this summer and on July 23rd at 8am, they will have a ceremony along with Sutter Home as it has finally been completed. I commend this team and everyone who worked on this project and think it's great to hear positive news for once about what these teams do with their communities. Many times we, myself included, spend a lot of time focusing on signings and statistics but it's so good to hear stories like this and when I find them, will have no issues posting them right here on this blog.
My buddy over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician has a piece on his page that upset me as a parent of a college student. He breaks down the situation at the University of Iowa where a student athlete complained to the university that she has been sexually assaulted by two other student athletes and they assured her they would handle this issue on campus for her though apparently they did little to nothing and never contacted the real authorities to help aid the investigation. If you get the chance, go to his blog listed on the left of the page and read more about it. It took them a month to suspend the players after one of them was only a few doors down from the victim while she was forced to deal with constant harassment. This is what scares a parent most when they send a child off to school and the way Iowa handled it, scares you even more. I hope everyone involved is forced to resign right away because nothing less then that is acceptable with how they handled the situation. Police departments have trained professionals to handle situations like this and whether these guys are innocent or not, they would have provided more resources to find the truth but I guess the athletic department public relations is more important then a possible abused victim.
While discussing blogs and in lighter news, Axe has started his annual "2-Point Conversation" for his blog on http://www.syracuse.com/ that discusses two issues a day until training camp starts for the Syracuse Orange football team. you can email him at email@example.com if you have a question you would like answered about this season's football team. I personally am scared/anxious about this season since due to injuries and academics, we are a little short on talent this year. I really would love to see this team turn it around and have pride when I put my #44 jersey on but I need something to show me they are worth relying on again. After the last few seasons, I would be almost content with the team finishing around .500.
Wow, the lead ins just keep coming since I wanted to discuss the KannapolisIntimidators who currently are playing .500 ball with a 15-15 record. The finally won last night 7-2 after a 7 game losing streak. They also lost infielder Dale Mollenhauer who was promoted to Winston-Salem on the 18th. They are still only 4.5 games out of first place.
Sticking with baseball and first place teams, how about the series staring tonight as the Philadelphia Phillies travel to Shea Stadium to play the AmazinMets with the game starting at 7:10pm EST. Both teams are tied at at 53-46 in first place with Florida only one game back. Tonight will feature Johan Santana with his 8-7 record on the mound for the Mets facing the newly acquired Joe Blanton for the Phillies in his first appearance since being traded from Oakland. Mets have to win this series to avoid a possible fall to third place with the Marlins and Dan Uggla just waiting to see if they can benefit from these guys beating up on each other. Santana will have to prove his big salary tonight in this important game and the high paid talent behind him like Wright, Reyes, Beltran and Delgado need to step it up as well and prove who is the team to beat in the NL East. Who will prove to be more accurate, Beltran or Rollins? There is also numerous speculation that the Mets are looking at upgrading their outfield with names like Matt Holliday and Xavier Nady being discussed. The only problem, many say that the Santana trade took our top prospects and it would take at least a few of them to get a deal for either of those two,who are my top choices. Do you mortgage your last one or two top prospects on a known talent like Nady and Holliday to help make the playoffs or hope Church and Tatis can provide enough strength for the long haul? Problem is, it may cost you one of those two guys and a prospect or two for Colorado or Pittsburgh to even consider a deal and even then, who knows. I do hope they figure out something because this team may have fought their way to the top but with other teams around them trading for players to improve, the Mets better think and think hard about what they are willing to risk to remain in the pennant race.
In some Charlotte Bobcats news since I do live in this city, EmekaOkafur has apparently decided to stop negotiating and is ready to move on, according to Rick Bonnell in his latest "Inside The NBA" blog on http://www.charlotte.com/ . Rick discusses possible sign and trade deals with teams like Dallas, Golden State, Cleveland and my two top options if I were in the Bobcat front office Miami and Chicago. The hopes are that a trade with Miami could land the Bobcats Shawn Marion or a deal with Chicago could get them Luol Deng and another. I personally think Emeka has a lot of talent but if he is wanting to leave, I would be on the phone before lunch with Miami and Chicago to see what they want and wish him the best of luck in the future. He was the face of the franchise as their first draft pick but breaking the bank for him to me is not worth it and maybe Larry Brown would enjoy some new faces to the Bobcats team as he gets ready to assemble his new team. This is coming from someone who owns an Okafur jersey but hey, I also owned a Shaq Orlando Magic jersey at one time too and I got over that too. Then again, like I have said previously, over the past couple years I have lost interest in the NBA anyway so to me its just an orange jersey.
How about some wrestling news for you wrestling fans, well more like my opinion? I have to admit, lately Raw has been a better show to watch then it was the previous year or so. The wrestling is good and the characters are entertaining. Its not perfect but can make for some fun TV whether you like serious angles (like HBK/Y2J) or the humorous side(with Santino and Noble being hilarious). I still prefer TNA Impact though as my favorite show but have to admit tha Raw is better as of late. I think the top talents in wrestling in my opinion are in TNA with Kurt Angle(when he is healthy) and AJ Styles though sometimes I wish they would do things differently character wise with some in TNA. I noticed http://www.tnawrestling.com/ has stated that they released Kaz this week as well,which some are speculating could be story line driven but time will tell(and if it is, that's one I would like to see). Heyman was the master of worked shoots and I think anyone who watched ECW back in the day knows that when done right, they can build a lot of interest in a guy. Also, if you go to TNA's website, check out the "Spin Cycle" which I think is a great addition to the website and let's you get to know the wrestlers better as well. Though maybe its me but some of them show more character there then on Impact.
In MMA news,this Saturday July 26th on CBS is the second installment of EliteXC. I have heard a lot of people busting EliteXC's chops for what they called a bad showing last time around, though I liked it and after the past UFC card has just as much controversy with an eye poke decision, maybe some see its not just EliteXC though some will never see anything but UFC. This week's EliteXC show though will be headlined by the rematch of Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith with the under card featuring Antonio Silva as he faces Justin Eilers and a female match up of Shayna Baszler fighting Cristiane Cyborg. My guess would be that Gina and Kimbo will possibly make an appearance as well so that the fans can see faces they recognize and possibly to discuss their futures with EliteXC. I am looking forward to the show myself and just glad to see MMA getting the attention it deserves on network TV and not at 2am either.
By the way, as my last note, is anyone else ready for the fall TV lineup to return like me? The summer line ups they have make me more of a sports fan everyday and I am anxious to see where shows like Hereos and Chuck go since they have not returned to TV since they ran out of scripts due to the writer's strike. Some of this reality crap sucks although the wife and me both do enjoy watching that show Wipeout, which along with Black Gold and Ice Road Truckers are the only thing non-sports related to watch. Though Psych has returned and In Plain Sight are entertaining, none of them have the anticipation that I had when Chuck and Heroes were on regularly. Fall is almost here and thank you God, football and better TV, I love the fall.
The Carolina Panthers today announced that they have signed third round draft pick Charles Godfrey from Iowa and seventh round pick Geoff Schwartz of Oregon to contracts. With 4 days left before reporting to training camp at Wofford College, only the two first round picks, Jonathan Stewart and Jeff Otah, are left unsigned as the Panthers have worked hard to get the rest of the draft signed before reporting day July 25th.
Maybe its just me but I am getting excited to see what this team can do for the first time in a long time. I liked who they drafted and the majority of their off season signings and releases, especially at the wide receiver position(welcome back Moose). My biggest question marks are on both lines but I think they can both be improved with the additions they made and with the hopes that Pepper's 2007 season was just one bad season in a great career. With Rucker retired now and Jenkins traded, the days of the fearsome foursome(with Peppers and Buckner) are history and that defensive line will need Peppers desperately to step up and be a dominant force and others will need to step up their game. I personally think Peppers has shown great potential but I refuse to give up on him just yet as others may have done. I will say that its a lot easier to be dominant when you have the other three guys he had along side him previously but two of them just left this past off season so we shall see. Even though I bleed Orange, this is one time I will root for a Tar Heel, Go Pep. Offensively, just as Julius Peppers enters a contract year, so does offensive lineman Jordan Gross since he only signed a one year tender under the franchise tag. Personally, I think Jordan will also step up his game and quote that famous line from Jerry Maguire, "Show me the money" and get his long term deal. This newly retooled O line will have to mix together well and give Jake the protection he needs to stay healthy if this team wants a chance in the post season. Right now, I think this team is on paper, at least a wild card team but I hope everyone in that locker room plays with a chip on their shoulder because many are speculating that anything less, and that chip you see leaving from the table will be Coach John Fox and possible GM Marty Hurney, whom I think after such a great draft should get to stay but will this team play at that high of a level for them is the question. Oh and you just had to know I was going to end this on an Orange note since we have one in camp right now. I am rooting for the former captain of the 2007 Orange football team Joe Fields to make the final roster and I might just add a #38 Panther jersey to my collection. I think Fields is a great player and will add some depth at the safety position and I will be rooting for him to prove he belongs in the NFL when preseason games start for this team August 9th against the Colts. Go Panthers, Go Joe, and Go Orange.