Saturday, December 20, 2008

Road trip thoughts

Making the long drive up to the Big Apple (no, it's not a sign of News 14 being cheap--we need our live truck to get items back in a timely fashion), had a few random thoughts to drop into the blog.

-Thinking about the NFL schedule makers. When the games were released, certainly no one had any idea that the 2 best teams in the NFC would be facing one another, and it could have been any of the teams. It could have been Minnesota-Atlanta, New Orleans-Detroit (yeah, ok), or any of the other matchups in week 16. Very cool that it worked out like this.

-Flex scheduling may be the best thing the league has done for its fans in years. I know the folks at ABC would have preferred they had the control for the Monday Night games before they got out of the business with ESPN taking over, but given the rules in place to flex games, this is about as good as it can get.

-Panthers will have a walk-thru in Charlotte on Saturday before heading into New York. I'll be interested to know if Maake Kemoeatu has a setback, or he progresses towards playing Sunday night. As of Friday, he was questionable with an ankle injury, but he did practice on a limited basis--an improvement from Wednesday and Thursday when he didn't do anything. Limited participation is just slightly more active than not practicing at all, still, being out there is a positive sign. We'll see how it plays out. UPDATE FROM THE ROAD (3:04 p.m.) Panthers placed G Keydrick Vincent on IR Saturday, ending his season. Vincent suffered a groin injury last week against Denver, and injury the Panthers apparently felt would not heal in time to get him back for a playoff run. Panthers promoted DT Nick Hayden from the practice squad to take Vincent's roster spot.

-News 14 alum Lisa Reyes (now working in NYC), tells me 6 inches of snow is expected for Sunday, although she didn't give me a timetable. A snow game, in New York, 0n national tv. Yeah, that's football, baby! UPDATE FROM THE ROAD (3:04 p.m.)-looks like precip during the day, and 15 degrees Sunday night. BRRRRRRRRRRR!!

-Random travel stat: The News 14 newsroom possesses a Carolina Panthers car flag which owns a lifetime road record of 5-2 (2-1 in the 2003 playoffs including the Super Bowl and 3-1 in 2005 with 1 reg. season game, and 3 playoff games). That flag is making this New York trip on Live Unit 2, in the hopes of pushing further north of the .500 mark, and staying as complete as possible in the process. The picture should give you an indication of the miles this baby has seen.

I'll try to post more once we get into the city, and I get any updates on player status. We'll also be live tonight on Sports Night from the Apple, and Tim Baier (happy birthday, Timmy), is staffing the EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C. He'll have game coverage from the nation's capital as well.

A busy Sports Night at 10-don't miss it!

Mike Solarte

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