Tuesday, October 6, 2009

OK, so I took the bye week too...

Apologies to the loyal blog followers out there, but I needed a break. Mentally refreshed, I look ahead at week 5 for the Carolina Panthers, and other items.

The Panthers will break into the win column this week when they host the Washington Redskins.

They have to.

It's just that simple. The Panthers need to beat a team that they should beat, and they need to do it in convincing fashion. Washington serves up just that recipe.

The Skins are struggling. Forget their win last weekend against Tampa Bay. It could be argued that the people that have left comments for this blog could get together, practice for a week, and beat the Bucs. They are THAT bad. The Skins were the ones that ended the NFL's longest futility streak, allowing the Detroit Lions to snap a 19 game skid, dating back to 2007. A win over the Bucs is not a "right the ship" kinda thing. It's what you're supposed to do.

The Panthers are not only hungry, but they are rested, and looking likely to have, at long last, all of their defensive starters available at the same time. Save for Maake Kemoeatu, who is lost for the year, the Panthers have yet to play a game this season with all of their returning players. Na'il Diggs did not play against Dallas--he said Monday he hopes to be ready. Chris Harris hasn't played a down in the regular season (a noticeable absence), and he is optimistic about playing this week. LB Thomas Davis pronounced Harris and Diggs ready to go, but of course, it's not his call to make. If Harris can go, and Diggs returns from his rib injury, the Panther defense will be at full strength.

Notice I left out the Julius Peppers crack....and it's just sitting there, too. Discipline.

Offensively, I want to see the Panthers grind the football on the ground. Pound it every chance they get. They have to do that away from Albert Haynesworth. He was listed on the injury report last week as "probable" with a glute injury (perhaps he landed on his wallet?), but he did play. Allow DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to work their magic on the outside, in space. Set up the pass with the run. It's fundamental, but it has worked for this team in the pass. Don't abandon the run, until the game gets out of hand (which it won't).

More on this game later in the week.

Charlotte Bobcats open the pre-season Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'll say it again: EXHIBITION ANYTHING RESULTS ARE MEANINGLESS. Don't get caught up in wins and losses in the pre-season. Guard Raja Bell summed it up nicely on Monday, saying they don't want to lose, but in the fake season, improvements are what you look for. We'll see how they progress during their 8 faux games.

Finally, the Charlotte Knights look like they will continue to play in Fort Mill, SC for at least the next 4 years. The team and local legislators have to hammer out the details, but it looks likely that they will remain. I am glad and sad by this news, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fine folks in Fort Mill.

Truth be told, the Knights should be out of there, and moving into a nice, new Uptown Charlotte ballpark. That isn't happening, and may never happen, thanks to Charlotte attorney Jerry Reese. Reese filed lawsuit upon lawsuit, which delayed the project to the point that it is virtually dead. The economy going south didn't help matters. All along, Reese claimed he wanted to block the ballpark, in the hopes of luring a Major League Baseball team to Charlotte.

Why? Well, who knows. What bothered me most about this whole thing, was Reese seemed to be propping himself up as the voice of the people against this ballpark, and against the Knights moving in.

I can say this: Jerry Reese didn't speak for me. He didn't speak for a lot of people, yet he was able to derail this project.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, at this same meeting on Monday where the York County Council agreed in principle with the Knights deal, Reese and other investors proposed up to $150 million dollars in private investments to update Knights Stadium. Included in that was a new minor league hockey arena, a mall, and new housing.


So is Reese speaking for the citizens of Charlotte by blocking the construction of a new Uptown ballpark proposing this deal to the York County Council in South Carolina? What would the new park he blocked have done for Charlotte? How about employ workers to build it. Perhaps entice new businesses around the stadium to spring up, like bars and restaurants. Generate more revenue for the city, based on more fans attending games (and visiting those bars and restuarants before and/or after games). An Uptown park almost guarantees a box office boost.

I can see how all those things are huge negatives.

From an outsider point of view, this looks like Reese has some vendetta against the Knights ballclub, and has no interest in trying to improve the city where he works, and makes a living as an attorney.

I'm no lawyer, don't claim to be one. I do know that the opinions expressed in this blogpost are mine and mine alone, and do not reflect the views of News 14 Carolina management, Time Warner Cable or any of its advertisers.

Maybe one day, Reese will offer up the truth behind his motives. It would certainly clear up a lot of my questions.

Mike Solarte

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/MikeSolarte

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When we're choosing up the N14C's Blog Readers team to take on the Bucs I'd like to put dibs on the kicker position....you gotta like a position that's protected from big people falling on you.