Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wow, what a week...

First off, let me say that I am not complaining at all, but man this has been a busy week! Gonna touch on some things and then put the blog to bed for the weekend.

Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown was smacked with a $60,000 fine by the NBA on Wednesday. The league also fined the Bobcats $60,000 as well. Brown was ejected in the 3rd quarter of the Bobcats game against Atlanta on Monday night, and he failed to leave the court in a timely fashion.

Brown said on Tuesday that he likely deserved to be ejected. He also sent Assistant Coach Dave Hanners out to talk to the media Monday night after the game.

This fine is flat out wrong. Period. If the NBA wants to get its house in order, then get a deal done with the referees that have been policing the game for years. I know there are labor issues to be hammered out, but if the replacement refs start the season, you will have more players, coaches and ultimately fans unhappy with your product. In a world where entertainment dollars are tougher to spend, do you want thee ticket-buying public thinking of another option?

Carolina Panthers head to Tampa Bay this weekend, looking for their 2nd win of the season. I'm thinking it will happen. Confidence is contagious. A rising tide lifts all ships. Insert your own cliche here. The Panthers gleaned so much confidence with their win over Washington, it will be shocking to see them fall flat Sunday against the winless Bucs. Carolina still wants to get the ground game established, but something that escaped me Wednesday was that their ground attack was slow out of the gate in 2008, as well. Maybe there's a pattern.

Had a wonderful visit in studio with Panthers kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd on Wednesday night. He also brought along his wife, Tina. Both are heavily involved in the Twitterverse, and both are tremendous people. I hope to have that interview posted on our website by the end of the day.

NASCAR gets a home game this weekend, running the NASCAR Banking 500 (the race formerly known as the Bank of America 500). Qualifying set for Thursday night (weather permitting), with the race running Saturday night.

Continuing on the NASCAR theme, the inaugural class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame was announced Wednesday. Bill France, Sr., Bill France, Jr., Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Junior Johnson will be enshrined May 23, 2010. Hard to get angry at the first class--the list of 25 was as impressive as it gets--but both France's? I agree with many that David Pearson being left out was a bit strange. 105 wins, 2nd most of all-time? Well, you can't please everybody, and NASCAR is likely happy that they, and their new Hall of Fame, is getting scrutinized like the Baseball Hall, and Football Hall. A good debate about who got in and who got snubbed never hurt anyone. Should be a neat induction ceremony next year.

OK, I am off to Lowe's Motor Speedway for a long day at the track. I'll be live out there for Sports Night, then Friday it's the doubleheader. Sports Night at 10, and the Discount Tire Friday Night Final at 11. Saturday, back to the track for live post-race coverage of the NASCAR Banking 500.

Sunday, I might sleep. A lot.

Mike Solarte

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