Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The streak ends....well, ended,

I came up 294 blogs short of matching Brett Favre's streak of consecutive starts, but since he plays once a week, technically the streak lives on. Just roughly 5 more years of blogging once a week. I'll let you know how that works out.

Panthers picked up win number 2, in what will likely be the final home game coached by John Fox for Carolina. Way too early to be talking about the next guy to lead the franchise, and frankly, Fox deserves better. I still maintain he deserved more support from the front office (read ownership), but as he would say, it is what it is.

Fox doesn't show a soft side all that often, but his underbelly was exposed after the 19-12 win over Arizona. If you saw his postgame comments on News 14 Carolina, you saw Fox reach for the bottle of water on the table when things were getting a little misty. Good for him. It's a 9-year run that will end with his worst record as a football coach. Not a Head Coach, but a football coach. He has NEVER gone through a season where he was a coach on a team that suffered double digit losses. It began in the off-season when the team gutted veteran players, guys Fox trusted. It will end badly, and that's the part that hurts the most.

A Thursday night meeting with Pittsburgh is on tap next for the Panthers. Just 2 to play, but if there is an up-side to playing Thursday, it is that the team will get Christmas off. I'll be with the Panthers when they close out the season against Atlanta on January 2.

The Charlotte Bobcats have shown flashes that they can be a good team. Problem is, those flashes have been overshadowed by stretches when they aren't playing so well. The latest display of that coming Monday night when they were blown out by the Washington Wizards (with a record of 7-19 after the win). The final of 108-75 marking the 3rd time in their last 5 games they fall by 30 or more points. Gerald Wallace was out of the lineup for the third straight game, but that doesn't make up for the blowouts. Something is missing here. There is an element with this team that wasn't here a year ago, when the Bobcats were winning games, setting the high-water mark for wins in a season, and making their first playoff appearance. Thing is, the personnel, hasn't changed very dramatically. It's puzzling, because Larry Brown didn't become a bad coach overnight. The players didn't become bad players overnight. Something is missing, and even though it's late December (already?), time is starting to get away from the Bobcats on this season. Having suffered through loss after loss with the Panthers, I'm hoping covering the Bobcats in the 2nd half of the year will be more fun that the fall was.

Congrats to Mike Krzyzewski for tying legendary coach Dean Smith with 879 wins. One of the highlights of my career was being in Winston-Salem when Dean surpassed Adolph Rudd for the top spot (Bobby Knight would surpass Dean later). A record like this means the coach has shown a wonderful ability to recruit, and then coach the talent. It is also a testament to staying committed to the program. In a day when coaches leap-frog from one job the the next, guys like K, Smith, Roy Williams (he counts as well), show just how important it is to be committed to the job, the university, the players, and the program.

Will try to hit the blog once more before Christmas, perhaps looking at the Panthers-Steelers, a Bobcats update, and maybe even a poem.

Mike Solarte

1 comment:

MichaelProcton said...

How exactly do you consider Williams "committed to the university?" Isn't he the guy who swore up and down that he was never leaving Kansas and didn't give a shit about UNC?