Sunday, August 31, 2008

Orange Spotlight-Tully's Good Times

A new feature I am presenting is one titled Orange Spotlight which will show something Orange friendly(either selling orange colored products or actual Syracuse Orange supporter whether it be officially or not). My first installment is my favorite stop when I am back in Syracuse and that is Tully's Good Times with nine locations throughout upstate New York(and I hope one day soon one in the Charlotte,NC area as well). If you have never been, I highly recommend you try it and go with either one of my favorites which are the Philly Cheesesteaks or the Tully's Tender Dinner (or the Tully's Tender Salad for you salad folks). I won't name names here but I know people who either left the Syracuse area and miss the tenders or people in the area who say every time they go there, they have to get them and I will gladly concur. It is also inexpensive for the portions you get and if you eat there, you will find out that the tender dinner is very well proportioned and the soft drink glasses are huge as well.

You can find them in Batavia, Fairmont, Rochester, Buffalo(Clarence), Vestal, Liverpool, North Syracuse and Erie Blvd East(in the heart of Orange Country). For more information on exact locations and even access to mapping them out, go to (the link is also listed under my Extras area titled"Top Place For Orange Eating") and click on locations. You can also find copies of their menus, purchase gift cards and find out about charity fund raisers through their website. As someone who loves this place so much that he wrote about them in his book, I can also tell you first hand that the people who run these places are some of the best people to deal with that I have ever dealt with from marketing to individual managers(though in all honesty, I have only been to the North Syracuse and Erie Blvd. locations so far). They also contain game rooms and many televisions(over 70 according to the website) to watch sports including Orange games. So come on, stop into a Tully's today and if you don't live near one, do what I did and ask them when they plan to put one closer to you. One day I will convince them how successful their franchise could be in the Charlotte/Concord North Carolina area so I can eat there daily, if my wife let's me. Just like the card above says, Tully's, Great Food And Good Times.

Finally....I Have My Orange Ride And One Day Everything I Own Will Be Orange

This is my new car that I had to get. Once I saw manufacturers who made orange cars, I was determined to own one and now I have it as further proof I do bleed orange. Go Orange!

5 Guys Signed To Panthers Practice Squad And One Is Orange

Today, released that 5 guys have been named after they cleared waivers from yesterday's cuts to their practice squad for your Carolina Panthers. At the top of the list for me and in my heart is #38 undrafted rookie safety from Syracuse University Joe Fields. I can't express how happy I am for Joe and how much I hope to see him possibly in a Panthers jersey on the field soon. I know Coach Fox and GM Marty Hurney are in the hot seat according to media outlets but I think Joe had a good preseason and can make a great player someday soon. Obviously, things can change overnight but for right now, I am so proud to be a Panther fan.

The other four guys who were named to the practice squad today were running back Decori Birmingham, wide receiver William Buchanon, defensive tackle Nick Hayden and offensive tackle Geoff Schwartz. I had hoped safety Terrence Holt would make the squad as well but two safeties would not really be feasible and would probably cost Joe his roster spot. Otherwise, I have no issue with the names they added and this is not the time of year any coach enjoys because any guy you release could make you regret it later with another team but you have to choose the guys you think will give you the best team on Sundays.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not A Good Day In Orange Country

Not only did the Syracuse Orange football program lose big time 30-10 to Northwestern earlier today in their 2008 season opener, which I am sure you can find the coverage on numerous websites and blogs but today was also the day NFL teams had to cut their roster down to 53. Among those cut with Orange ties are Joe Fields from Carolina, Taj Smith with Green Bay and Dowayne Davis with the Dallas Cowboys(according to the teams official websites). The only undrafted free agent from the last Syracuse Orange season is linebacker Jameel McClain who made the Baltimore Ravens final roster. This is a rough time for all and I wish the best of luck to those who did not make it. Remember, there is always a chance to catch on with another team as some teams will look at the cut players and sign them from other squads or injuries happen and they get recalled. I know personally as a Panther fan, Fields was a long shot to make it with them already being deep at their safety position but it doesn't mean you still couldn't hold out hope of it happening( I even had hopes of convincing my wife to allow me to spend money on a #38 Fields Panther jersey if he did). Again, best of luck to both the Orange football team who better wake up and not sleep on Akron as well as those players cut today and even Jameel who I hope proves throughout the season how good of a player he can be at the professional level. Go Orange.

12 Reasons Why.....David Poole Is A Great Source Of NASCAR Knowledge

For the Labor Day weekend, I thought I would bring you a hard working man himself and a bit of something different. Some refer to NASCAR negatively while others watch and attend races like its part of their weekly life. This week I wanted to bring a perspective of a man I respect not only for his knowledge but his no nonsense approach to his work. A man not afraid to express his opinions even if NASCAR doesn't want to hear what he has to say. This man's name is David Poole and when you finish reading this interview, you will see not only how passionate he is but how much respect he has for the sport and his work. I first heard him years ago on Primetime With The Packman a few years back on WFNZ and liked his analysis then. I have also heard his show and trust me, you could be a casual fan like me who may only see one or two races a year and still walk away from the show having been entertained and educated. So here it is, I welcome to The Big Orange Bloggin Chuck's page none other then THE top writer for NASCAR today and of our generation, Mr. David Poole.

12 Reasons Why.....David Poole Is A Great Source Of NASCAR Knowledge

1. Can you give us a bit of background on who David Poole is and the many jobs he has?

I cover motorsports for the Charlotte Observer and for its racing-themed website, I write a blog for the web (not as often as I should, admittedly). I also am a co-host of "The Morning Drive," the weekday morning show (7 to 11 a.m. in the East) on Sirius NASCAR Radio (channel 128). I was a regular panelist on Speed's "Pit Bull," which lasted one season because that's all NASCAR chairman Brian France would allow it to exist. I try to help out NASCAR's television partners (Speed, ESPN and so on) when asked.

2. How did you get started and what school and courses helped you prepare for your work?

I grew up in Gastonia, N.C. I decided I wanted to be a sports writer because I loved sports but lacked the slightest bit of ability to play any of them. I went to the University of North Carolina and was sports editor of The Daily Tar Heel in my final semester in 1981, which allowed me to cover my first NCAA Final Four. I had a lot of very good instructors at Carolina, but I got my education in the news business working for the school paper and doing internships in the real world. There's nothing you can learn in class that takes the place of facing and meeting real deadlines.

3. What is a busy day at work like for you and can you give us a sample of what goes into your work before we get the finished product?

Let's use a typical Friday during a race weekend as an example.
I will get to the track about 6:15 am and find the radio room. I will do four hours of live radio on Sirius and then start my Observer job. I will try to catch up to see if stuff has happened while I was on the air. Usually the late morning and early afternoon present opportunities to talk to the top drivers in the garage. Sometimes I go to several such sessions, some times I completely skip them. It depends on what's happening.
I will start trying to assemble a notebook as the cars are practicing. Qualifying will start around 3, usually, and I keep up with each car as it posts a speed. I send a list of those results along with a six-to-eight graph quick lead on qualifying to the website. Then I do post qualifying interviews and file the qualifying lead and the notes.
I will leave the track, typically, about 7 p.m. I grab food on the way back to the hotel and try to figure out what I am going to write for the Sunday column and/or race advance. Sometimes I will go into a weekend knowing what that story is going to be and I will spend Friday gathering interviews and info on that. Go to bed about 10 and get up the next morning at 7 or so and go back at it.

4. Any advice you want to give any folks interested in journalism or broadcasting?

If you're a broadcaster, don't perform. Cover. You're giving information, you're not doing a comedy routine.
If you're going to be a reporter, don't get hung up on what kind of medium you work for. I don't care where your product is presented, your product is information. The newspaper, the internet, the blog (and even a radio or television interview) is just the delivery system. What you are providing is information and if you get good information and find a way to present it in a fashion a reader or viewer finds informative, you can find a way to get that information delivered.

5. What is it about NASCAR that you enjoy and got you so interested that you wanted to cover it for a living? Does it bother you when people belittle it as a redneck thing and not a sport?

I am not a NASCAR fan. I haven't earned the right to call myself that. A fan pays his own money and puts up with the travel and the traffic because he wants to. I get paid to go. I don't work hard enough to follow racing to be called a "fan." But there are worse things to get paid to do. By and large, the jerk quotient in NASCAR is exceedingly low (certainly by comparison to other pro sports I have covered). The people work tremendously hard and most of them have tremendous passion for what they do. I admire that, greatly.
Yes it bothers me that racing is stereotyped. It bothers me more that people like me, who grew up in the South, get that same treatment. I never had an outhouse. I've always worn shoes. Nobody in my family is married to his aunt or her uncle. I've only lived on one dirt road. People who dismiss racing as not being a sport or as being "goobers turning left" are just lazy, too lazy to actually even try to understand how wrong they are.
We go to a place where racing hasn't been before and there's always some nitwit columnist who'll write what I call the "Bubba column." It's the same everywhere. "Here come the good ol' boys, spittin' tobacco juice and watching 'Hee Haw' on DVD." It's just so lame and so damn predictable.

6. Do you have a favorite driver currently and all time? Do you ever find yourself rooting for certain guys while your covering a race? Who was your favorite interview in the business or guy to talk to when covering a topic?

I have a favorite driver in pretty much every race. It's the driver who would make the best story if he (or she) wins. I am selfish. I want the best story. So yes, I root for a guy who might be in the hunt if I think he'd made the best copy.
The best interviews, consistently, are guys like Jeff Burton and Kyle Petty who realize that there's more to the world than racing and who sometimes step back and take a larger view of the world and at least offer their views on how racing fits into it.
My favorite interview I've probably ever done is a hard question. It might be a man named Archie Smith, who kept telling everybody he knew he was the last living driver who competed in the first race in NASCAR history in Charlotte in 1949. He was wrong -- about 10-12 guys were still around at the time I met him. But Archie was just a tremendous guy and I enjoyed meeting him and hearing his tall tales. It might be Juanita and Booker Miller, the parents of the girl who gave Dale Earnhardt the lucky penny he had on his car when he won Daytona in 1998. They're just special folks. This weekend at the U.S. Nationals drag race in Indianapolis I had an interview with John Medlen, the father of drag racer Eric Medlen who was killed in a 2007 wreck, that will be with me a long time.

7. NASCAR is in what I believe is it's second season on Sirius Satellite Radio( and you co-host a show on the NASCAR channel. Could you tell us about your show, when it's on and do you find it hard to cover racing that much everyday or are you one of those guys who could talk about it every minute of the day if you could?

This is our second year on Sirius. I did the show with Marty Snider in year one and now Mike Bagley is with me. We're on 7 to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday. Every day is different. Some mornings you're beating on a topic that's already dead and you want to scream. Most of the time, though, at least one caller every day will say something that suggests a good story idea or makes me think about something in a way I never have. There's value in that, I think.

8. What is your opinion on the current NASCAR product whether it's the "playoff system", drivers or the races themselves? What would you change in it whether it's the Nationwide series of Sprint Cup?

The Chase is a vastly superior way to end the season than the prior system. NASCAR can't have its championship season peter out as baseball ends and football begins, not in the business world in competes in. More people get more attention for a longer time for being championship contenders under this system than they ever could the old way. That being said, there's too much emphasis on the championship. Fans don't come to the race track each week to see guys collect points. They want to see their favorite driver win the danged race. That ought to be, by a wide margin, the only thing that really matters on a race day.
How do I fix that? Simple. I'd give a guy a 500-point bonus for his FIRST win during the first 26 races. Not every win, just the first one. That way, every team comes out of the gate at the start of the season knowing it needs to win a race to be in good shape to make the Chase. Winning one would not guarantee you make the Chase, but it sure would help. And it would redirect the focus from "good finishes" to wins. Then, I would also give that same bonus to a team for its FIRST Chase win. That way, no champion could be crowned who did not win at least one of the playoff races.
The Nationwide Series needs to be blown up and started over. What I would do is make the Nationwide Series open to drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 only. That doesn't mean you couldn't run Cup if you're 18. But once you hit 25, that's it for you in Nationwide. You can run Trucks if you want to double up, but the Nationwide becomes what it ought to be, more of a series where people learn how to race and to win.

9. What's the one race someone should watch if they are a newcomer to the sport to help them appreciate it more? Is this your favorite race personally and if not, what is?

Bristol night race. No question about it. If you go to Bristol and walk away saying, "I just don't get it," then never mind. You'll never be a race fan and that's just that.

10. Are NASCAR fans the most dedicated fan base in sports? Do you think they are also the most likely to support a driver's sponsors like Dale Jr. with Amp or Jimmie Johnson with Lowe's Home Improvement stores?

NASCAR fans are incredible. They put up with more crap to follow their sport than I can imagine anybody doing. They'll park in the mud and carry coolers three-quarters of a mile and spend three days to see a race. There's an adage about "driving 800 miles to see people race 500 miles" and it holds.
There are fans who're very brand loyal -- they will shop or won't shop at a store specifically because of a sponsor tie. Some fans are loyal to a fault. By that, I mean they'll cheer their favorite driver for doing the same thing they boo somebody else for doing. But that is what being a fan is all about.

11. Is there any one thing you have not tried professionally that you would like to attempt? Any job you worked that you wished you never had to go through? Is it that stressful working with Marty Snider?

I'd like to write a novel, but I don't have the time or the discipline right now. I would like to be a general sports columnist -- somebody who covers the Super Bowl, the Masters, the Final Four, the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and big college football and basketball games every year. Every time I've been at a race where a driver was killed has sucked beyond compare. If I never have to cover another funeral that's fine with me.
Marty and I actually had fun, a lot of fun, working with each other. We just simply disagree on just about everything.

12. Your Free Space-David, this is your last chance to talk about something I may have missed, promote something your doing or just say anything you wish to say. Oh but there is one rule, you have to keep it family friendly so no cussing please.

I actually do have something to say, and it's about politics. It is completely not related to anything do or have any hand in covering, but it is something that really bothers me. When did it become necessary in this country to make the person you're NOT going to vote for into the worst person on the planet? As Americans we get to vote however we want to, but I am just completely weary of this demonization of the other side.
My wife got an e-mail the other day suggesting that Barrack Obama might actually be the anti-Christ. It wasn't a joke. It actually came from somebody deluded enough to think it was his or her religious duty to point this out!
On the other side, you've got people who can talk about John McCain as if he didn't serve his country with incredible honor and valor just because they don't think he should be elected. What's wrong with us?
We make zillionaires out of people who scream at us telling us that "Democrat" or "Republican" is a slur. We make famous people who spread lies and -- more dangerously -- half truths about the other side so often and so loudly that good, honest, decent people give up trying to figure out what they can actually believe.
In the end it just hurts all of us, making our country and our world a more dangerous and more difficult place to live in and raise our children and grandchildren in.
And I'm sick of it.

Thank you very much David for your insight and politically speaking, I agree as well. Sometimes I think politics is more about who can tear the other down more whether it's the candidates or us as citizens.
From a racing perspective, I think as always you brought a lot to the table worth discussing and I could not possibly agree more on your view of using the Nationwide series to develop younger talent and maybe, just maybe as they develop, we would see 40 something more qualified drivers racing who's names are more known from their success they worked up to earn and have more experience instead of potentially costing a Sprint Cup driver the championship because they got in the way. And I grew up in the Syracuse, New York area and loved Hee Haw but I can tell you that just like everywhere else, southern people and race fans have so many great people that generalizations actually make the person who make them look less credible, especially those who call southerners racist or unedcuated yet make these statements which are just as wrong as anything you think they believe in the south. Whether your a racing fan or not, thats beside the point but labeling a fanbase on something you don't understand is called prejudice.
I enjoy David's show on Sirius channel 128, which you can find out more about at and his column in the Charlotte Observer, which you can also find at or

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Doppler 9 Radar

For my 'Cuse friends, how about some weather forecasting to plan for home game days

Monday, August 25, 2008

12 Reasons Why..... You Should Support The Charlotte Checkers

Recently I sent out inquiries to a few different people or teams to participate in the 12 questions segment and this was one I really hoped would work out and it did. His name is one you may not know but you should. He is Jason Shaya and as you can see below, he is a busy guy. You can also find him interviewing Head Coach, General Manager and recently promoted Vice President Derek Wilkinson on video on their website For the record, this team has made the playoffs 11 times in 15 years and you can find season tickets as low as $396 and single game deals as well with great promotions often. If you looking to attend a game, the season will start soon. The season opener will be on the road at Florida on October 17 with the home opener scheduled for Halloween night October 31 at 8pm against Augusta. Check out Jason's comments and I think you will gain more respect for this team and what they are doing in this community. I love hockey and I have to admit, when I attended a game last season, I had a great time and wished I could attend more often myself (working nights and occasional weekends doesn't help with sports life). So without further ado, here is Jason Shaya and "12 Reasons Why.....You Should Support The Charlotte Checkers."

12 Reasons Why.....You Should Support The Charlotte Checkers

1. Who is Jason Shaya and what is your exactly job title/position?

I am the director of media relations and broadcasting for the Charlotte Checkers. My job is to garner local coverage for the team through our media outlets along with calling all regular season and home games on the radio and internet. Basically, I get paid to talk about hockey…it’s a tough life.

2. What is your background(schooling, previous experience, etc.) and how did you get started with the Charlotte Checkers?

I started my professional broadcasting career with the now defunct World Championship Wrestling. I moved on to become a television sports producer then began doing play-by-play professionally for hockey and lacrosse. The Checkers heard my demo material and saw my resume and immediately fell in love with me. I can’t really blame them.

3. What advice would you give to someone interested in a similar career path? Anything they should consider doing or jobs to take that may help their chances?

My best advice is for kids to finish college! There isn’t anything more important than an education. If you want to work in this business you need to sacrifice everything. You might have to move half way (or all the way) across the country. The pay stinks and the hours are lousy. Now that I think of it, I am not sure why I do this…oh wait, I just re-read my answer to question number one.

4. What has been the highlight of your career with the Checkers? What do you hope to see them accomplish most with this franchise while you are employed there?

The highlight of my career was calling a home game with over 12,000 fans in attendance at Time Warner Cable Arena. Last season, I also became the first ever broadcaster to do the play-by-play from between the team benches at ice level. I didn’t think it was such a fun idea when I was nearly hit with a puck.

5. Can you walk us through a busy day at work for you so people can see a sample of what it's like? What are you favorite and least favorite parts of the job?

During the season, my number one job is to talk to media about covering games and doing feature stories on our players and team. I prepare all the game notes and make sure everything is up-to-date. I get to the arena about five hours before and prepare all my radio equipment and do interviews. It’s the most fun you can have without actually playing the game.

6. Could you please explain to fans who may not be familiar with the Charlotte Checkers( which you can learn more about at, some history and current information on this organization?

The team is now in its 16th season but, the Checkers have been apart of the city since the 1950’s. Although ice hockey isn’t as popular here in the South as it is in other parts of the country, the interest grows every year. When someone comes to a game for the first time and gets a first-hand look at what hockey is really all about, they always come back for more. Goals, fights, hits, speed…and that’s just in thirty seconds some nights!

7. Recently the Charlotte Checkers agreed to a deal with Charlotte sports station WFNZ ( to air games on their radio network. Can you give us some highlights of the deal and what we can look forward to with this new arrangement? Any chance we could see a television deal in the works one day as well.

The deal with WFNZ is a great thing for the organization. WFNZ is the premier sports radio network for the city and we are proud to be affiliated with them. Our fans can hear most of our road games and some home games during the season on the radio. Every single game is always available by logging onto The television question is an interesting one. We feel that we have pretty much all the pieces in place to make that work. Now, it’s just about working out the details with a provider. I would say that this season could very well bring television games and it would get bigger with each season.

8. Last year I attended a Checkers game for the first time and I loved it but I am a hockey fan. What do you think are major factors that help bring fans to a game and what would you say to those who may not have experienced a game before, or maybe even hockey in general?

Hundreds of thousands of fans gravitate towards Checkers games because they are fun and affordable. Even if you are aren’t a traditional hockey fan, it doesn’t take long to gain interest once you sit down and watch the game unfold for a matter of minutes.

9. On a similar note, Charlotte and North Carolina in general are warm climates not necessarily known for hockey but do you think that perception could change in time and grow with the Checkers and the Carolina Hurricanes right down the road as well? Could this lead to seeing more skating rinks in the area and maybe more youth development in the near future?

More rinks in the area would be tremendous and I think it’s about time someone else put a few more sheets down! I am at the local rinks every week and they are packed with people every single time I walk in…I used to think they were just waiting to see me, but now I realize that hockey is just really popular J Hockey will continue to grow faster and faster and as soon as someone recognizes the dire need for another arena, the city will be better off for it.

10. Recently the Charlotte Checkers worked alongside Habit For Humanity to build a new home. Could you talk about the experience and also what other charities the Checkers are active with regularly or any planned events?

The Habitat for Humanity home building was a great experience for the front office staff because we got to get our hands dirty and help in the building process. I believe the wheels are in motion to building another Habitat home. The Checkers have given back over $800,000 in the past two seasons to local charities through our ticket fundraising programs and donations from fans. For more information on how to work with the Checkers to help non-profit charitable foundations, please visit our website at . The Checkers also have their own charity called CheckMates Charities which helps raise money each season.

11. What do you think is in your mind the worst naive statements of the average person about playing at the level of hockey(ECHL) that the Charlotte Checkers play? Does it upset you when it's referred to as minor league or when people say the talent is overpaid and what would you like to tell people with those beliefs?

There is no anger in being referred to as a “minor league” team. That’s what we are! There must be feeder systems to the National Hockey League and we play that role. Not every hockey player has the gifts necessary to jump right into the NHL after being drafted. Some of those players go to the American Hockey League (which is the AAA level). Other players are sent to the ECHL (AA level). Many former Charlotte Checkers are playing in the NHL and it’s great to hear from fans who can say “I saw that guy when he was just starting!” We are a minor league team with a major league mindset. Everything from our arena, number of fans and the money we raise each season is very “major league.”

12. Your Free Space- This is your chance to say anything, promote anything you wish to, or just plain vent about anything not previously covered but just one rule, keep it clean.

I hope that if people in Charlotte haven’t given the Checkers a chance yet, they will come out to the games at Time Warner Cable Arena. If they can’t make it to the game, check out the broadcasts this season on WFNZ and . Hope this wasn’t too boring!!

Thank you Jason and hey, how can you not like a guy who got his start in wrestling and works for a hockey team? You were not boring and in fact very informative and I hope especially those in the Charlotte area check them out and those who are Rangers fans especially, check out the guys who could be on your roster one day soon. I think Jason provided very informative responses and at times, entertaining as well and I for one wish as well we had more resources in this area to support youth hockey whether it's through the schools or leagues to help boost the younger generations interest in the sport. We may have a warm climate here but street hockey is just as fun as well and rinks can be fun to hang out in to get away from the heat as well. Check out the team and their website and hey, Checkmates auditions are on August 31st as well so for those of you guys who love to see the ladies, I assure you that you will not be disappointed if the past is any indication. Remember skip the trick or treating Halloween night and support the Charlotte Checkers at 8pm at Time Warner Arena(formerly the Charlotte Bobcats Arena) and show them some love as they do within our community and I bet you walk away a fan.

This Saturday's Orange Game Providers

For those curious to find out how to check out the season opener for the Syracuse Orange football team, I found out it can be found a few places. If you want to catch it on television, ESPN2 has it listed for the noon start. If you are on the internet and have either AT&T Yahoo (SBC) or Verizon high speed internet, you can catch it on And if you have Sirius satellite radio, you can find Syracuse coverage beginning at 11am with the pregame show as Sirius is a contract partner with Syracuse University(those of you with XM will have to wait until the channels and packages are restructured to catch the action there but you should be able to find it before the end of the season). Just thought I would give you a quick note to allow Orange fans the chance to plan accordingly. Go Orange.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mike"Mad Dog" Russo Returns To Radio

I just found this out today and have the official press release now that confirms that half of the famous sports talk duo Mike And The Mad Dog, "Mad Dog" Mike Russo has signed a deal to debut soon on Sirius XM Satellite Radio with a channel named Mad Dog Radio with his show titled "The Mad Dog Sports Show" airing from, shocker here, 2pm until 7pm daily. I was in New York when Mike personally broke the news that Dog was gone and heard the call to his show live on YES network so that part did not shock me but the Sirius XM deal did and even though I am a subscriber, I never even considered it a possibility. I hate that the two broke off a great relationship that has been together I think 19 years and was a cornerstone in sports talk whether you like them or not. After seeing how much they are supporting him, I hate to see him leave but I can't blame the guy either because this is a huge chance which I am sure is financially secure for him and his family as well. I hate that they will now compete against each other though but I wish the best for both(and plus this means one of my favorite Sirius talk shows Mike and Murray will either be moved or removed). The show will debut Monday September 15th and I will post a link to the press release below for more information. WOW!

Marvin Harrison Talks About Not Talking

I just read an interview with Mike Chappell from the Indy Star he did with Marvin Harrison recently and not sure what I missed but I guess many in the media have been harshly critical of him. His response was to do an interview where he basically acknowledged the negative coverage and state that for right now, he wants no further discussion with the media. Here is the link so take a look for yourself

The Hornets Distance Themselves Further From Charlotte

A very reliable source who has asked to remain nameless pointed to the above Hornets jersey's similarity and it made me wonder, are the Hornets afraid to confuse the jersey with a Bobcats jersey or are they denying their own heritage? I know there was a bad fall out in Charlotte when the team left for New Orleans and even though I am not an NBA fan, I still smell something foul. It may not be exact but its so close, it's obviously an attempt to duplicate it. I understand there is interest in appealing to the old school throwback jerseys but why not use the city that everyone knows you started in since without them, you would not be around and unless your fan is a new one, they know the history, though if they are, they should learn it anyway. The old Charlotte Coliseum was sold out several times and put this team near the top in attendance in the NBA for the majority of its run in this city and now the Hornets organization is in return, spitting in their face. I really doubt the Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson told them they would have trouble if they used the Charlotte name and doubt even more the city of Charlotte would have fought it either. This is just one more cheap shot at the city of Charlotte by the Hornets organization for their petty payback at not falling at their feet before they tucked tail and ran from the city. Charlotte would have no way benefited from them using their city's name on it so the only reason I see for omitting the Charlotte name from in is because they apparently hold a grudge worse then a 6 year old kid who couldn't get their way. The New Orleans Hornets may be successful in the NBA with Chris Paul at the helm but to me, that organization is still showing signs of being just as bitter as when they left.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back From Syracuse

Just a quick note to let you know that I am back from a great time at my cousin's wedding and got some Tully's. I am also training for work on day shift for the first time in almost 12 years so please bare with me for the next two weeks(then I will be thrown to afternoons) while I work out the schedule kinks. I do have a couple things in the works that I hope people will like and will pay off for your patience. No major changes, just a couple ideas like a different interview perspective or two and some other ideas just to add to this site so thats its not just my commentary or updated sports news. Thank you for your patience and I just hope I did not lose too many people's interest when I left. Take care and Go Orange!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Going To The 'Cuse

For the 2 people who read this blog( I don't have a way to track the actual traffic so guesstimating here), sorry I have not updated much lately but it's also not going to get any better either. I am heading to Syracuse for my cousin's wedding so I will probably not be able to post anything on here while I am away. When I come back, I will actually be coming back to a job so posting may also be some what limited until I can find ways to work around my new work schedule. I highly recommend though that you check out the blog links I have listed though since they are usually better anyway, especially for you Orange and Panther fans. If you wish to check in from time to time, feel free as I may sneak on my grandmother's computer from time to time if we have some slow time and sneak something up though I doubt it will be much since I don't get to go back to 'Cuse often. Take care and I will see you when I get back, I think. Go Orange.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Notes From Carolina Panthers/Indianapolis Colts Game

Just a few notes from the preseason game tonight where the Carolina Panthers defeated the Indianapolis Colts 23-20 with a 46 yard field goal by kicker John Kasay with 3:53 remaining in overtime after a bad snap with 1 second left in regulation and a missed 51 yarder earlier in the overtime session. I did not get to see it all due to family commitments but did get to watch most of the second half and it feels so good to see the Panthers back out on the field.

Former Orange (Syracuse) Notes:

Dwight Freeney did not play
Marvin Harrison had 3 receptions for 22 yards for the Indianapolis Colts
Joe Fields had an interception for the Carolina Panthers tonight, picking off Quinn Gray with 9:39 remaining in the 4th quarter on a pass thrown slightly behind the receiver
Mike Hart though not a former Orange, a former Syracuse standout high school player trying to make the Colts roster contributed 2 catches for 21 yards and 2 carries for 20 yards.

Carolina Panther Notes:

Julius Peppers had 1 tackle, 1 sack, and one forced fumble and gave his critics a bit of proof of what could possibly be a great season for him again this year and earn that big contract he wants if he can extent that impressive pressure throughout the regular season.
Dwayne Jarrett has 3 catches for 43 yards to show that maybe he does deserve a shot at the number 4 receiver though can he do it for more then one game is the question.
DeAngelo Williams rushed 9 times for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns which proves that maybe releasing Deshaun Foster was not such a bad idea, especially if rookie Jonathan Stewart is healthy enough to help contribute, though DeCori Birmingham put up an impressive 17 carries for 70 yards.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Axeman just posted a link which you can read here . In it he discusses how Otto is up for the mascot hall of fame which you can bet your booty I will be doing come Monday when voting starts and as often as I can. I am an Otto fan who would paint him on my car if I could afford it. In fact, I was all set to make Otto my trivia answer for this week when i decided to postpone it for a week, there are only so many things orange as it is. Please vote for Otto, which you can find in Axe's article which includes a quote from Otto himself, well sort of. LETS GO OTTO!

Could Marvin Harrison Line Up On Saturday Against The Panthers?

Michael David Smith over at has an article posted where he quotes Colts coach Tony Dungy on the status of wide receiver Marvin Harrison for tomorrow nights game against the Carolina Panthers. He states that Harrison did practice with the team and should be playing with the first team in this game. Harrison obviously still trying to recover from a knee injury should be very careful and I am not just saying that since they are playing my favorite NFL team, the Carolina Panthers. It's a long season and I would hate to see him setback because he rushed it to see how it would react in game situations. I do hope all goes well and like I said in the previous post, I am looking forward to finding a way to check out this game tomorrow night and see where both teams stand, even though the Colts still have major injury issues including Peyton Manning and Dwight Freeney. I have to admit, as a baseball man, this is the most I have been looking forward to a football season ever, now if Syracuse Orange can just win some games too, that would be great and I would even settle with .500 after the last couple season.

Joe Fields Update For Preseason Game Against Colts Saturday Night

David Scott blogging over at has the depth chart for the upcoming Saturday night game against the Indianapolis Colts. For the full list, just click on their blog link to the left of the page. For those Orange fans wanting to know the status of former Orange captain Joe Fields I can tell you that they have Joe listed at 3rd on the depth chart at strong safety behind, in order, Chris Harris and Terrence Holt, with this roster subject to injury of course. That is a factor since Chris Harris sat out Thursday's practice with an upper leg injury/groin strain so unless its just a precautionary measure, there is a chance Holt will take the starting nod with Joe Fields possibly getting a lot of on field time during the second half of the game. Joe is obviously the long shot at strong safety to make this roster so he will need to take advantage of every chance he gets when he can see some playing time to prove he deserves a chance. Chris Harris did a good job last year when he came over from Chicago and Holt was signed in the offseason to help give some strength at this position. All I can say is good luck to Joe. I will be trying to watch when I get home from the airport Saturday night but since I have no sports fans in my house with me, it won't be easy but I will try my best.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Is Erin Andrews Distracting You From Your Sports News?

Picture courtesy of
Over the past couple years, the name Erin Andrews has invoked controversy. From college world series players being enamored by her beauty to columnist Mike Nadel calling her out for being too friendly, her name to some is less then respectable. Is this an unfair assessment or the nail hammered on her head? I contend any this type of criticism of her and her looks are nothing more then mere jealousy or the old boy's network trying to maintain it's "integrity". Anyone who wants to evaluate solely based on her actual work I will actually concede though I disagree.

How sad is it that a personable, attractive woman is penalized for such attributes? I have no problem whatsoever with her using any advantages to be successful at her career as long as she does a good job at it. How many journalists in the past have used personal connections to get a story? I am unsure of the exact number but I am willing to wager it happens regularly (and if I had connections, I would use them too, its called networking). They are using resources available to them just as Erin is doing when she is being personable with players. I promise you that the majority of those who complain would use anything within their means and within legal and moral guidelines to get their own sources for stories. Those who label Erin's actions immoral should stick to their church bulletins and covering their church softball league (though those people can get awfully dirty too). Everyone has differing definitions of what fits their morals and I know my conscience is just fine with being personable or if you prefer to label it as such, flirtatious. And don't think for one second that if some male journalist had ripped abs and muscular biceps and wanted to cover USA Softball and thought it would be to his advantage, he wouldn't have on clothing to show it off and flirt as well.

I also have an issue with laying the blame solely on Erin Andrews. Is it really Erin to blame or the person who melts simply for her attention? It takes two to dance the two-step so even if she is leading, there is still someone else following along willingly. If I am at work and an attractive co-worker convinces me that she needs help by batting her eyes or asking about my biceps before feeling them for herself, am I not equally involved if I agree to such an offer and flex for her to feel? I am a happily married man (and I think she is happy too?) and even if I was single, it is still my responsibility to decide what is right and what is wrong. Besides, its not like Lou Pinella walked out and handed her some dollar bills and told her to "shake it baby and I will make it rain." It was a lighthearted mood in the clubhouse which everyone except Mike Nadel seemed to enjoy and though my baseball stint ended when I became too old to play Little League, I seem to recall the game being about people having fun. What is wrong with some playful give and take between a player and a journalist as long as it doesn't cross the personal boundaries of those involved? Maybe if Lou walked out and asked Erin to leave because that's not what he wanted in the clubhouse I could understand but even he didn't seem to mind and played along with it. So next time before you accuse Erin of using her sexuality to get closer to the players, why not ask the players why they allow it and in some cases, encourage it to happen. To me, the only thing you may have done was upset some girlfriend or wife who will now read Erin was in there and what will that accomplish? Nothing, not a single thing but at least your conscience is clean now.

Look, am I defending Erin Andrews because I like her work? Yes I am and her being attractive is a great addition to the broadcasts as well. Then again, if Barbara Walters was delivering the news, I would still listen to see what news item was being reported. I may disagree with ESPN at times but utilizing beautiful women who have a knowledge of sports is not disgraceful, simply appealing to those who would pay more attention. Many sports fans love a pretty face delivering the news and last I checked, its not like women like Erin are ignorant about sports. When they decide to do an all bikini broadcast using models reading off cue cards then we can talk but these are professionals working hard and occasionally trying to keep the mood light. So next time you think Erin is scooping you on a story because the guys like her better, maybe you need to think about what you can do to improve your situation. To me, I am not a journalist nor did I major in it in college but a great journalist finds a way to get the best story, not find excuses for why they did not. There are many out there who do this better then me but I will never resort to blaming them because I didn't get the story or choose to instead make myself part of the story. My blog may not be the best out there but I will work as hard as I can to do my best with what I have available to me and if Erin Andrews is simply doing the same, then more power to her.

Little Sam Grows Up And Loves Her Baseball

As a huge fan of this show growing up, when I found this minisode, I had to post it. Its "Who's The Boss" and it's the episode where Samantha, played by Alyssa Milano realizes she needs her first bra and she also gets a brand new baseball glove as well, who knew she would turn out to be such a baseball fan. Yes, I was that guy who bought Teen Beat magazine just to cut out her pictures for my wall and even one year sent her a birthday card(I am only 3 months older then her so it's not like I am a perv, borderline fanatical at times I can agree with I guess). Please enjoy this video as I prepare my next blog entry about another attractive woman.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Video Of #81 Mr. Art Monk Finally Entering The Hall Of Fame

For those of you who may be like me and set your DVR to tape the ceremonies only to forget to tape the show after in case it ran long, I found this video on of Art Monk's complete speech. A classy, professional who I wish more would emulate that showed exactly why he is the personification of a hall of famer with dignity and went out to do a job he loved and at a high level. Thank you to the voters for finally recognizing that he deserves to be in, though I am still not sure why you passed on him 7 times before finally voting him in. Anyway, without further ado, here is his speech in his entirety

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hall Of Fame Credible Again To Me

Former Syracuse Orange and NFL receiver Art Monk is being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame tonight at 6pm, thus ending my years of ignoring it's very existence. Art played for 16 seasons in the NFL with 14 of them for the Washington Redskins where he was one of the best to ever play the position. He averaged 13.5 yards a catch through his career, finished with 940 receptions, 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns. Those of you who want think you need Super Bowls rings to matter, he has them too. He also had 5 seasons of at least 1,000 yards, 6 with at least 70 receptions and was named to the NFL All Decade Team for the 1980's.

And to go with those stats, Art Monk was the personification of professional athletes as he always conducted himself with class and dignity. I am not going to rant old school and say all these new guys could learn a thing or two with their "look at me" moments but sometimes I don't think it would hurt a couple of them to follow his example. I find it ironic that the top receiver of my favorite team, a man who's jersey hangs in my closet, is suspended for 2 games on the same day Art Monk goes into the Hall of Fame. Art waited too long for this honor and if this situation doesn't point out why sometimes you don't need to lead the league to be in the Hall of Fame, but be that guy who works hard and consistently for your team, there should be some reward for that. I would like to congratulate Mr. Art Monk today on his honors because sir, you are a big reason I am proud to be Orange and one day I hope to add a #81 to my jersey collection(though Syracuse please, as a Panther and former Cowboy fan, I can't justify a Redskin jersey even for you ha ha). Go Orange and thank you Hall of Fame voters for finally proving you deserve to be acknowledged again and can correct your errors of the past.

Panthers Steve Smith Suspended Two Games

Carolina Panther Coach John Fox announced today that wide receiver Steve Smith is suspended for the first two games of the regular season following his actions against cornerback Ken Lucas yesterday on the sidelines of training camp. Lucas suffered a broken nose and did not practice today with the team at Fan Fest. Smith will practice with the team up until the Sunday before the first game of the season, according to Coach Fox but was also not present today. Coach Fox has this to say about the suspension, "He'll be suspended for the first two (regular season) games. What he did was wrong, we take it very serious, and he's being punished severely for it." For more quotes directly from him, you can check out or click here .

Minor League Baseball Promotional Event Of The Year

Friday, August 1, 2008

Marvin Harrison NOT Playing This Weekend

According to Mike Chappell of , Marvin Harrison will be on the sideline watching on Sunday night's Hall Of Fame game preseason opener in Canton, Ohio against the Washington Redskins. The team is stating its more of a precautionary measure then anything else, no sign that he will not be ready to go when the season starts. Chappell also speculates that he believes Harrison will probably sit out the August 9th preseason game against the Carolina Panthers as well. I am wondering if the camera will spend more time on the sideline of this Hall of Fame game since Harrison will be joining there by Peyton Manning, Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney, who all are sitting out Sunday's game due to injury.

Steve Smith/Ken Lucas Fight

Today a fight broke out in Carolina Panther training camp between Steve Smith and Ken Lucas which resulted in an injured Lucas. I have waited a while before posting something on this to find the best version of this story without too much of someones bias, especially if they were like me and NOT there to see what happened. I will post a link to since they seem to have the best, well thought out article on the piece also getting comments from Coach Fox and Jake Delhomme. If you haven't heard the story or don't want to read some pompous article and want a very well written take on the issue, click below though there are still some details missing that may change the shape of this whole situation.

Jim Brown Suing EA Sports And Sony today has a short story on former Orange and NFL great Jim Brown is suing EA Sports and Sony for using his likeness in one of their games, which is apparently unnamed in the suit. When you use the All-Browns Team(Cleveland that is), you will see a running back that is #32, which is obviously the retired jersey of Brown, though they do not use his name. You have to think he has a point with Cleveland retiring the jersey in his honor, whether you agree with Brown or not, that does give him more creditability for his point since its saying he was so great, this is his number forever in a Brown's jersey. Jim Brown states that he wants them to pay unspecified damages for this action and no "free rides". I will commend Jim on not flipping on his stance since he has always been one over the years to fight for more rights for players compensation when they are utilized in such manners whether it's the league or sponsors doing it.

I have to say, EA screwed this one up because if your forming this game and you don't know your using a famous jersey, especially one that's retired in their name and don't research it to see if the player objects, you asked for it or should have at least used a fake number as some do. I understand the gamers want the players to be able to use the top stars to enhance the experience but these guys do deserve some kind of reasonable compensation since these games make millions and millions on these games and you are using the legends they created to help build it up, though lets be honest, that compensation should not be too awfully much or I will assure you that EA NFL 2010 will have a whole new look or not exist at all. Be interesting to see what happens whether they settle out of court or what they think such compensation should be.