The sports section has too many fit people this week. I guess I’ll reflect on some regional sports topics to even the playing field and give some plus-size representation!
• Norv Turner held a conference call with reporters this week, fielding questions on how he’ll improve the offense and utilize quarterback Cam Newton. Turner answered a lot of these questions with “I’m reviewing tape,” which is the coaching equivalent to someone biting into a Snickers bar to avoid answering a question. He’ll be fine.
• I think the Patriots will win the Super Bowl, but I’m going to avoid ESPN and FOX Sports for one week after so I don’t have to hear the talking heads, like Skip Bayless and Max Kellerman, bloviate over Tom Brady’s greatness.
• Michael Jordan’s patience will be tested this season. Will the most competitive man alive blow up his Charlotte Hornets by firing general manager Rich Cho and coach Steve Clifford, as well as trade franchise player Kemba Walker? Even though Charlotte has a disappointing 19-26 record, the Hornets are just three wins from the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference standings. A streak or two could keep the hive intact.
• It’s amazing to me there are 32 rookies around the NBA averaging more minutes per game than Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk (13.2), according to ESPN. Monk was a steal at the 11th pick, but he began his career trying to recover from an ankle injury.
• Judy Rose will retire this summer after 28 years as athletics director for the Charlotte 49ers. Rose has a great resume, but fans have been really bummed out over the play of the men’s basketball and football teams this year. I’d like to see Rose bring Bobby Lutz back to coach the men’s basketball team in one of her final acts as AD.
• You’re correct if you think the Charlotte Independence schedule is longer this season. More teams have joined the United Soccer League, creating new rivalries like North Carolina FC. Lame name, by the way. I hope our new rival, North Carolina FC, gets bit by the Tampa Bay Rowdies or shocked by the Charleston Battery!
• The 2018 Olympic Winter Games open Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Maybe this is the year I start following curling … that sport where you slide a stone on ice. The Charlotte Curling Association is holding a viewing party with 2010 Silver Medalist Carolyn McRorie.
• The best Daytona 500 storyline so far is whether Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or Danica Patrick try to wreck eachother post-breakup. I’m glad Mooresville-based Premium Motorsports (formerly Tommy Baldwin Racing) gave Patrick an opportunity to race in NASCAR’s big event.
• Happy trails to Billy Puckett, who coached his last regular season match with the Butler Bulldogs. His credentials are legendary, including induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012 and his 500th career win in 2015.
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