Friday, June 11, 2010

Panthers, Blackhawks, and the World....

The Carolina Panthers are in a bit of a pickle, as Thomas Davis has a torn ACL in his right knee. No, this isn't a recording. He suffered the same injury last season, and was rehabbing back. I'm not looking to assess blame to anyone. The guy was doing everything asked of, and prescribed to him. It happens, and how the Panthers deal with this loss will say alot about what their overall plan of attack will be this season.

Jon Beason could slide into Davis' spot at the Will post, and Dan Connor could take Beason's spot at the Mike. Whatever the case, everyone on the defense will have to ramp things up even more. That means guys like James Anderson, Jamar Williams and others have to become better than they are right now.
Muhsin Muhammad retired from football on Thursday, after a more than solid 14 year career. In the Mount Rushmore of Panthers football, his is the final face. Sam Mills, Mike Minter, and team owner Jerry Richardson are the first 3 on the rock, and Moose belongs there with them. He played 11 years in a Panthers uniform, and it might have been more, had it not been for a $10 million dollar roster bonus he was due, but never got because Carolina released him. That led Moose to Chicago, but eventually, he would come home. Muhammad was a face of the Panthers, in both good times and in bad. He holds or shares many of Carolina's records as a receiver and starter, but to a media schlep like me, he was always a reliable guy to talk to after games, one that wouldn't dodge a question, and always greeted you with a smile. Richardson, Head Coach John Fox, and former Panther QB Steve Beuerlein talked about Moose at his retirement ceremony, all mentioning how professional Moose was as a player. Well, that included dealing with the media, and he was aces.

To Muhsin, and his family: thank you for all you have given to the NFL, and the Carolinas. Enjoy the next step in your lives, and glad you can retire the icebags.

The FIFA World Cup is finally underway. I say finally, because of the murderously long pre-game show. I know it was only 30 minutes, but is it necessary? The opening game is South Africa-Mexico. If Team USA is in the opener, it makes sense. Otherwise, give me the 5-7 minute game setup, and let's go. Yeah, I know, it's about selling commercial ad time, but I promise you, I won't be checking that pre-game out any more. From a TV perspective, they butchered it, which is sad. Think of the dollars that are committed to this event. Yikes.

Last, but not least, 49 years of suffering have come to an end for Chicago Blackhawks fans, as the Hawks won the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The 4-3 final in overtime giving Chicago its first Cup since 1961. I want to publicly acknowledge my counter-part, Jim Connors, for being such a good sport about it. Jim is a Philly native, and as Chicago is my team, the Flyers are his. Our "mayor's bet," for the Stanley Cup Finals was the loser of the series had to wear the winning team's jersey on air during Sports Night. Thankfully (or me anyway), Chicago won, and Jim had to find Blackhawks gear. He did, and looked great. I snapped a pic on my phone, and have it here for your viewing pleasure. Again, I am well aware this series could have gone either way, and as a Blackhawks fan for 36 of my 40 years, this was a tremendous moment in the history of my lifelong team. Have a great weekend and enjoy all the action, from the World Cup to the NBA Finals, which are all knotted at 2-2 after Boston won game 4 on Thursday night.
Mike Solarte

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