Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Friday

About 7:30 pm as I post this, with just some random sports musings, heading to the weekend.

  • Night with the Knights was a wonderful time. Cal Ripken, Jr. is a wonderful speaker, and had loads of great baseball stories to tell following dinner. Best part of the night: Ripken relaying the story of how his streak was nearing 2,00 games, his wife pregnant with his son. Due date on the baby: July 26. Cal pleading to his wife he will be there for the birth, streak be damned in one breath, then thinking to himself (and saying to the crowd), "Oh sh!t, now what do I do?" He then told her that he would be there, but the streak would end on their son's birthday, and would that be fair to do that to him? The crowd got a kick out of that, but even moreso during the question and answer session. A child asked Cal if he had any other nicknames besides "Iron Man." Ripken, clearly caught off guard by the presence of a minor replied, "Sorry about the cuss word earlier, kid." Laughter took about 5 minutes to subside. Congrats to the Knights on a wonderful evening.
  • Daytona 500 runs on Sunday with Martin Truex, Jr. 0n the point. Don't look for him to be around long, however. The Hendrick cars have enjoyed a nice Speedweeks, with Jeff Gordon winning a 150 race on Thursday. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. starts 14th, Jimmie Johnson starts 7th, and then there is Mark Martin....on the outside of row 1. I called the #24 car to win it, and I stick by that, but a better story is Martin taking the checkered flag. I would love to see that.
  • Bobcats enjoying some down time, although it seems a bit of snub for Emeka Okafor to be home instead of in Phoenix. Okafor has had a solid season, averaging a double-double thus far. I don't know if it's a sign of the Bobcats not getting respect throughout the league, of if it's just that Okafor doesn't have that "star" quality that the game desires. Whatever the case, Okafor has been dependable every night for Larry Brown this season, so he deserves the R&R he'll get.
  • Speaking of the Cats, how about Vladimir Radmanovic? From pine-rider to averaging 17 points in his 2 appearances so far. He took a bit of a shot at the Lakers following the Cats win over Washington on Wednesday night, basically saying, if I get the chance, I can contribute. He hadn't even practiced with the Bobcats before facing the Clippers on Monday, scored 13. One workout later, he drops 21 on the Wizards. Imagine what he can do with an entire training camp under his belt? Ok, I'm kidding, because he's only a starter right now, due to injuries. Gerald Wallace should return after the All Star break, along with Raja Bell (although, I don't know the timetable for his return). Juwon Howard is still nursing a toe injury, but with so many years in, he can take extra time to rejuvenate his legs. This might be a team to watch in the 2nd half. They'll have to overcome a road-heavy schedule, but they've got pieces now, something they didn't necessarily have earlier.
  • Had the chance to chat with Charlotte 49ers AD Judy Rose on Friday (an interview that can be seen on news14.com this weekend). Talked about the progress of the new football endeavor, and what a job they have in front of them. Seems to be the right people in place to make it happen. One thing that will certainly help the process would be an economic turnaround--like the opposite of what we are in right now. I am not sure they can pull it off, but I'll say this: I'm rooting for them

Hope you have a great weekend, and we'll take a look back at the weekend that was in sports on Monday. Thanks for checking out the blog!

Mike Solarte