Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Working through the bag today....

  • NASCAR didn't penalize Carl Edwards enough for his hook job on Brad Keselowski. They weren't taking away the win, but a $25,000 fine and docking him 60 points in the Nationwide Series is hardly a punishment. A well-respected NASCAR writer said, via his Twitter account that "NASCAR really threw the pamphlet at him." Well played. What should they have done? You want to stop these guys from doing this again? Park the offender for 1 race. No points to be gained. Oh yeah, and fine him $100,000. Make it sting to have to write that 5th "0" on the check. I don't think Carl is a bad guy, but I do think that this thing he has going with Brad is gonna get one of them seriously hurt. And nobody wants to see that.
  • While on the subject, I disagree with the notion that the "have at it" policy is now lost. The Edwards-Keso thing was a 2nd incident between the same 2 drivers. Jimmie Johnson wasn't punished for punting Kurt Busch. Jeff Gordon wasn't reprimanded for booting Martin Truex, Jr. at Sonoma. To their credit, NASCAR has done a good job of keeping an eye on things, and stepping in where they have to. Problem for NASCAR, though, is that when they have stepped in, they have done so with a white glove, rather than an iron fist.
  • Carolina Panthers head to training camp next week. Already? Yeah, I know, the summer months drag on, and when football finally appears, I gripe. Not true. I don't gripe, but I do look ahead at the coming months and see long days. Truth is, the long days, are actually good days, and I for one, will savor this coming NFL season, as it may be the last one we see for a while. No movement on the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks, and by all indications, both sides appear to be ready to drag this thing out until someone wins. Note to the sides: No one will win this scrum. You both will lose if there is no football in 2011. Now lock yourselves in a room with no air conditioning, and don't come out until you hammer out a deal.
  • This NCAA investigation at UNC (among other places), has me worried for the future of some of these kids allegedly involved. As I said on the show last night, it's hard for me to blame UNC, their coaches, and staff. It's hard for me to blame the kids, too. They are to blame, however. It's just not entirely their fault. Agents are trying to lure clients, and they do not play by the NCAA rules. They don't have to. The kids have to know what they can and can not do. The schools should be educating these athletes on what the rules are, and how not to break them. I believe the schools do a good job of that. The players are the ones that have to make the choice, and if the UNC players that are alleged to be in question made wrong choices, then there is no way they can be allowed to play. Of course, this has to be proven, and I am all about innocent until proven guilty. There is no easy answer to this, but I did like the comments of Brian Griese on an ESPN show (may have been College Gameday, but I'm not sure). Griese saying that the NFL needs to hold unscrupulous agents accountable, and impose some kind of sanctions on them. I like the idea, just don't know how they would go about it.
  • The Tour de France is wrapping up, and it looks like Alberto Contador will wear the leader's yellow jersey into Paris this Sunday. I have been really pulling for Andy Schleck, as he is a fine young rider, with a ton of poise and moxie. Right now, though, he's just a bit too young to overtake the powerful Contador. Schleck's time will come, and it may come sooner rather than later. That's right, I just blogged about the Tour de France.

Great stuff coming up on Sports Night over the next few days--make sure you check it out!

Mike Solarte

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