Friday, September 26, 2008

Spraying to all fields

It is Friday, and in addition to the Discount Tire Friday Night Final, I have a lot on my mind. So, here goes.

College football picks:
Without breaking down game tape, my picks for teams of importance in the state look like this.
ECU beats Houston - ECU bounces back from NC State loss.
Duke beats Virginia - Duke finally gets a conference win in forever.
Miami edges UNC - the T.J. Yates injury could be a dagger.
South Florida over NC State - Classic back-up game for the Pack.
Wake over Navy - Wake outlasts the Middies.

The Panthers and Falcons should be a dandy game. Again, not getting too in-depth on the matchup, this one will simply boil down to which team decides they want to grab control of the division. In the past, the Panthers have consistently failed to show that killer instinct when there was a lot on the line. This team has the potential to do that, it's just a matter of them getting the job done. I would like to see the Panthers negate the pass rush of John Abraham, by pounding the ball on the ground on offense. On defense, I want to see Julius Peppers blow up the man in front of him, and make Matt Ryan run for his life. Granted, the Falcons have a running game now, with Michael Turner carrying the mail, so sacks could be hard to find. This is a good week 4 game for both teams, after each went 2-1 in their first 3. Likely a true barometer for Atlanta, and an atonement kind of game for Carolina.

Personally, I don't think highly of Atlanta. Their 2 wins came against Kansas City and Detroit--two teams that would have a hard time with Oregon State (the way they played USC on Thursday night). This week, they will face a defense that has the ability to bottle up the run, and make things uncomfortable for a rookie QB.

I'm going Panthers, by 4, something like 24-20.

Now, the thing that is stuck in my craw, is the Uptown Charlotte ballpark for the Charlotte Knights. And it should be pointed out that this is my opinion, and does not represent the opinion of News 14 Carolina or Time Warner Cable.

Everyone has an opinion on this. Tax payers don't want to subsidize a new park, and I get that. The Knights would be responsible for a bulk of the costs of building the park. The thing that gets me is Jerry Reese. Just what is his problem?

Is he fighting for the greater good by trying to stonewall this project? Is he fighting for the citizens of Mecklenburg County in this pursuit of blocking construction? If that is how he feels, then he is wrong. He is not fighting for me. He is not representing my interests. All he is doing is standing in the way of progress on this, because he believes Charlotte can be a Major League Baseball city.

I'll wait, so you can finish laughing.

This is a city that has great fans, but think about this: If the Charlotte Bobcats are not selling out a 19,000 seat venue for 40+ dates a year, how will this area (and not just the city, but the surrounding towns) supports a facility (and team) that would likely have a capacity of (and this is just a guess) 50,000? A ballpark in Uptown Charlotte has a better chance of having 5,000-7,000 fans in it each night with the businesses, and such that are there. Minor league baseball is cheaper on the fans wallet than the majors are. Check the ticket prices out. You'll see the differences. A family can go to a game, and still have some money left over.

Major League Baseball, incidentally, has been rather quiet about the whole thing. In fact, I don't believe that the league has even mentioned the word Charlotte, other than to say it is the home of the Chicago White Sox International League affiliate. Charlotte has been used as a threat in the past--when teams want a new stadium and threaten to relocate. The Florida Marlins were one of the teams that said "hey, what about Charlotte?" once, and if I recall, the Montreal Expos did, too. Well, the Marlins are still in Miami, and Montreal went to Washington, D.C.

Here's what I want to know. What is Jerry Reese getting out of all this? Is he in line for a huge windfall if an MLB team does come to Charlotte? Is he holding this up because he just wants a nice patch of grass he can walk barefoot in? What is the motivating factor for him? If I had to guess, I would say that no Uptown park means more money in his pocket from someone. I have no proof of this, I am just offering a thought, and if my thought turns out to be true, then baseball fans in the Charlotte area are truly being struck out. All due respect to Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, it's a nice park, but it is not the place for a team based in Charlotte.

It's time we got to the real reasons this plan is being held up by Mr. Reese. Enough of the grandstanding. Just come out and tell everyone why this is taking place. Rather than say things like (paraphrasing) "I will use every resource to block this project," come out and tell the truth.

Hard to believe one individual can stop the progress of a ballpark, especially since the guy stopping it isn't the one writing the checks to build it.

OK, off my soapbox. Enjoy the weekend!

Mike Solarte


Anonymous said...

Jerry Reese is a buffon, and should be pummeled by the Knights. Build the park, and then have Reese disbarred. He is wasting the courts time with this nonsense, isn't he?

Anonymous said...

Reese is a punk. He's wasting my tax money and I want him sued for it. He is the worst kind of lawyer there is.