Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, Monday....fa-laaaaaaaa-laaa-la-la-la....

Touching some bases after a busy State Championship Saturday. Hope everyone enjoyed the broadcasts, congrats to the champions, and a big thank you to a tremendous crew that helped us get the games on the Internet, Carolina on Demand (early this week), and of course, News 14 Carolina. On to the clearing of my brain...

  • Charlotte 49ers fired men's basketball coach Bobby Lutz on Monday. I can't say that I am entirely surprised by this, given what has happened, not just this season, but in previous years. The program has had winning seasons, but it has been thin on NCAA appearances, their last coming in 2006. Once upon a time, the 49ers program was seriously in the hunt for a bid each year. Back then, they were a member of Conference USA, a much better basketball league than the Atlantic 10, in my opinion. Once C-USA lost its bite, Charlotte took shelter in the A-10, and lost some of the fire the program had going for it. Struggles within the conference since, culminating in a horrific 1-7 swoon over their final 8 games saw them fall out of the A-10 tourney, and lose out on NCAA and NIT bids. All that, after they held sole possession of first place in the conference. Add up all those factors with the school's relentless push to introduce football to the school, and the timing says "fresh start" for hoops, in the hopes of building momentum (and revenue) into the football plan. A-D Judy Rose and Chancellor Philip DuBois will be hard pressed to find a replacement that not only excites the fan base, but wins games. And can do all that very quickly.
  • The comments around the Internet world about Jake Delhomme signing a 2-year deal with the Cleveland Browns are flat out comical. Seems the hater contingent can't resist getting their shots in. Delhomme, when average, was and is better than any QB the Browns had on their roster a year ago, and now that both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson are gone, Cleveland has their starter. I'm not saying Delhomme will take them to the Super Bowl. I am saying that he will get a fresh start in a new situation. Problem for him is that it is, after all, Cleveland. A team that has been rebuilding since....well, a long time. Mike Holmgren is the Czar of Operations (or whatever title they agreed upon), and Holmgren believes Delhomme can succeed. They are reportedly paying him $7 million in the first season to do just that. I'd say that is a vote of confidence.
  • My sincere apologies to the Charlotte Bobcats for being the 3rd bullet in this blog. All they have done is win 6 straight, the last 2 without Gerald Wallace (injured foot and ankle). I know it's not possible, but Larry Brown should get consideration for Coach of the Year. This roster has been in a state of flux since training camp, and this team continues to succeed and improve. I was concerned about the trade that sent Flip Murray to Chicago, but Tyrus Thomas has been nails. A fresh start for him in new surroundings, and he has responded. I'm not familiar with whatever baggage he had in Chicago, but it seems that luggage got lost on his way to Charlotte. He's been a solid contributor at a time the Bobcats need it, with DeSagana Diop, Nazr Mohammed and Tyson Chandler being banged up. only Chandler has returned recently, while Mohammed tells me he's getting closer. Looking at their remaining 17 games, Charlotte faces 2 teams that are playoff certainties (Oklahoma City and Atlanta). They will meet 4 teams vying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference (Miami, Toronto, Milwaukee and Chicago). the rest of their remaining games are against teams that have losing records, and are (at this point anyway) going home for the summer at the end of their regular season. On paper, it sets up for the first ever playoff appearance for the franchise. Of course, the game isn't played on paper.
  • Want to mention for those folks in the Charlotte area, the Karaoke for Charity event on Tuesday night at Dixie's Tavern in Uptown Charlotte. Panthers receiver Kenny Moore is hosting the event, starting at 7pm. Proceeds from the event benefit both The Harvest Center, and Summit House. $15 bucks gets you in, and a buffet spread, plus quality entertainment as this is a karaoke contest. Should be a great time with some of the Panthers in the house,m and some of them singing. Word is Jonathan Stewart is working on something. If you have the time, and the means, stop by and help out. Sing a tune, if you can carry one.

More later this week.

Mike Solarte

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