Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The aftermath of week 3

Well, I had a clunker of a weekend picking games--whiffed on the Panthers, ECU, and Carolina. Did manage Wake over FSU, but other than that, el stinko.

The Panther loss to Minnesota was simply this--all of the little things amounted to Vikings positives. Panther false starts, blocks in the back, holding, you name it, they did it. It was the worst the Panthers have looked all season--and they lost by 10. Couple things to keep in mind, here. Adrian Peterson was banged up, but still played and ran for 77 yards. The Vikings got 1 TD off of a turnover, and one from their offense. Panthers lone score came from their offense. Give credit where it's due--The Vikes were just better that day. Do I think they are better overall? If they are in the Dome, then yes. They are, however, beatable.

Next up, the Atlanta Falcons, a 2-1 team that has wins over Kansas City and Detroit, with a loss to Tampa Bay. We'll have more on this matchup later in the week (I promise).

Tough break for the Cats, losing LB Dan Connor to a knee injury. Donte Curry is back with the team, filling the roster spot left vacant after the injury. He was cut last week to make room for Steve Smith's return from suspension.

Other tough breaks: TJ Yates at Carolina. Russell Wilson and Nate Irving (among others) at NC State. Lots of big time injuries smacking some of the state schools. Speedy recovery to all, and good luck to the coaches trying to fill those voids.

Attended testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Tuesday, checking out the Sprint Cup drivers as they gear up for the Bank of America 500 on October 11th. Kasey Kahne has the chance to become the first Cup driver to claim all 3 races at the track in the same season. Kahne swept the races there in May, and he has won the fall race before. Should be interesting.

Heard from Brad Keselowski. He will try to make his Cup debut in Charlotte during the B of A 500--he needs to qualify on time, as he has no points to fall back on. He's 3rd in Nationwide Series points, and today, team owner Rick Hendrick said that Keselowski represents "the future of the company." Fairly lofty chatter from a guy that currently employs Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and coming in 2009, Mark Martin. Keselowski is talented, no question, but that statement could have some adverse affects. Hope not, because Keselowski is a good kid.

Tennis returns to the Charlotte area with the Citadel Group Championships at the Palisades. 8 players, all with remarkable tennis resumes take the court in South Charlotte, among them Jim Courier, Stefan Enqvist, Wayne Ferreira, and Anna Kournikova.

Yes, A-K comes to the tourney, along with Chanda Rubin, to play some mixed doubles exhibitions on Saturday. Tickets are going fast, according to Courier, so if you are a tennis fan, and want to see some of the greats from the not-so-distant past, this event is for you.

Until next time,
Mike Solarte

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