Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Draft Week, Sir.

Brethren: It's draft week, which is usually a much more anticipatory time for the Sports Brethren, as it's our one official NFL moment until early fall. Yea, the official schedule came out recently, but I like to take a Silver Foxian view of the schedule and say "you play who they tell you to play." But this year, the Panthers have no first round pick, which means they won't be active for the first five hours of ESPN's coverage. Of course, the Silver Fox will tell you we already had our 2009 first round pick -- last year, when we traded up to get Jeff Otah. Hiiiyyooo.

But there are some things to note with this draft, despite the relative lack of impact the Cats can have. Of course, that can all change if the stealthy Panthers do something big with Julius Peppers before or during the draft. Everyone's been saying we pretty much have to deal him before the draft takes place if he's going to be moved at all, so things seem very "calm before the storm" quiet right now. There was solid Twitter chatter today about a rumor that sprung out of the QC's best sports radio station, WFNZ (more on that later), but beyond that, the Panthers front office is doing the right thing by saying, "We have Julius on salary cap right now and we anticipate he'll be a Panther come fall" and force the Peppers camp to drive the conversation. Which they haven't been, which has led to a very All Quiet on the Panther Front offseason.

Some Draft Day musings, and an appearance by dear Nacho, desde:

Brethren (cont'd): First thing of note that I think has been undercovered so far this year: the new start time of the draft. We're now getting started at 4 PM EST, which seemed like a ludicrously late time, until I read that link. Apparently, the draft was pushed back to 3 PM last year, so this year is only an hour later. I was under the impression that the draft still started at noon, like it did back in the day, but then I remembered I haven't watched the first day of the draft live since 2003. That was my senior year in high school, and since I went to college, Draft Saturday has fallen on the high holiday of the Foxfield Races, the most wonderful UVA tradition ever, and thus, I've been preoccupied (read: drunk and not near a tv) and unable to watch the draft live. (Yes, even in the late 80s, Foxfield was a ridiculous conceit to day drink heavily. Love how some things never change.) In any event, I find the 4 PM EST start time patently ridiculous because now the first day probably won't end until 1 AM, but it also means I can probably catch the Panthers #59 pick live from the bar Saturday night. I guess now Nacho and the Left Coasters can sleep in and not miss the start, but still seems like quiet a late start time for a slow-moving event like the draft.

Issue #2: Who should the Panthers pick? Fuck if I know. We don't pick for so long, it's a bit absurd trying to actually nail down a name. I hear the Utah DE (we drafted Steve Smith and Jordan Gross from there so every Ute must become a Pro Bowl Panther!); I hear some DE from Ga Tech (if he falls to us!). It seems pretty widely accepted we're going after a DE or DB because of the Peppers situation and the Ken Lucas roster cut. Sure; I could go either way there. Thing is, I have no idea, but I'm sure I'll be pumped and convincing some poor undergrad girl in a booth at the Virginian that we made a wise decision Saturday night, and thus it would be wise of her take me back to her humble abode.

Issue #3: So this is the digital marketing nerd in me, but back to that point I made about Twitter earlier: my search patterns have drastically change when I need news now. Whereas I would usually search Google News as quickly possible, nowadays, Twitter Search is much more reliable. For instance, today, I received a text from Nacho about the rumor Peppers is being dealt to the Patriots for Richard Seymour and a 2nd round pick. While sweeping the Internets with glee, trying to find the story, I went to Google News and searched. Nothing came back about the rumor. So I responded to Nacho about where he heard. His response, "a KSK retweet." So I checked Twitter Search and boom, 12 answers about the rumor. Real-time search results, provided by the users for the users. Granted, this is something I've mildly read about at work, but until now, had no personal experience with the power of real-time search. And it's why Google should be shitting their pants over Twitter.

/end nerdgasm.

Issue #4: The Observer upset the Cap'n quite a bit this weekend by throwing out the fantasy that the Panthers draft Pitt QB Pat White. Now, I encourage such whimsical thinking, but Pappy didn't take kindly to the ridiculousness of it. It's sad that the Panthers brass would be so written off that their own fans won't even entertain the thought that they could pull something like that off. But I like to think that's where the Silver Fox operates best: when everyone already thinks they know what he's up to.

Either that, or it's been a long damn time since January 10th and I've forgotten how he blindly stuck to a defense that Fitzgerald was killing and didn't have the good sense to reign Jake in. Well, maybe not completely forgotten, but I still -- for some reason -- have faith in the Silver Fox.

Enjoy watching Berman tip the picks; I'll be leering at sundress cleavage through my un-reality aviators, swilling bourbon, sweating through my finest race clothes, and generally being a gentleman.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

So That Happened

Nacho: The month of March has come and gone, and with it nary a blog post could be found from the fabled SportsBrethren. Fear not, we've not succumbed to peanut salmonella or something, there was just a lot going on. The Cap'n Pappy and Mammy flew out to LA to visit me, and Brethren was shepherding "Eastbound & Down" into the cultural zeitgeist.

In the interim quite a bit has gone on on the Charlotte sports scene. The Panthers, again, didn't listen to me and make a play for Jay Cutler. On the brightside, Ashton only has to fly to Denver to see his buddy. The Panthers haven't dealt Julius Peppers yet, but my guess is they will. He's trying to get a big paycheck in a bad economy, so don't be surprised when the first-round-draft-less Panthers deal him on April 25th to pick before #30.

The Bobcats had a helluva month. February ended with a drubbing of the Clippers that I got to witness firsthand in the Staples Center. Even got to meet DJ Augustin's cousin, and they enjoyed the enthusiasm. The Cats rolled off a nice five (or was it six? -- Brethren: It was a franchise-record six!) game winning streak and found themselves in the hunt for the 8th seed. At the rate they were playing, it looked all but foregone that they'd sneak in as the last team, but some unfortunate, typical late game collapses seem to have doomed them.

For further analysis follow us, after...

Nacho cont'd: I got really into the Bobcats during the month of March, primarily because I discovered sites like and that show streaming video of games. I consumed more Bobcattery than I'd ever done before, and eventually found myself invested in their success. I buckled and admitted that Larry Brown had done well by the time, I speculated about Allen Iverson's prospects in Charlotte, and in the end bit the eff out of my fingernails and yelled a lot. I share Brethren's optimism about the Bobcats 09-10 season and look forward to a fulfilling playoffs over the next eight months.

March Madness happened and the first week was awesome and everything after that kinda stunk. There was a lot of bad basketball played and few upsets. I guess I'd like to see UNC win, but I have no vested interest. I do firmly believe Tyler Hansborough will be Spain's best player in three years, tho. (hat tip to Dave for that prophecy)

And now, someone with a better education....

Brethren: Hello there, friends. I'm truly apologetic for now just getting back on the Sports Brethren blog horse. In our late winter hibernation, a fine blog with the fine promise of only posting during business hours has popped up, the Panthers have remained as stoic and Panthery as they always are, and the Bobcats became a relevant NBA team. Like riding a bike, I'll get back to what's familiar; we present the "where the fuck is spring yet?" edition of the patented bulleted Brethren thoughts:

- Did you watch Eastbound & Down? Did you fan Kenny Powers on facebook? Did you send a friend a customized voice message from the Legend himself? Did you interact with this kick-ass banner ad? If you did one or more of the above, thanks for helping a brother pay rent.

- But seriously, Kenny Fucking Powers is a goddamn bullet proof tiger, and I will do everything I can to convince my HBO marketing clients to call their colleagues in Programming and bring it back for Season 2. Which means I'll have as much influence as any other joker, but gives me an easy conversation piece to discuss with anyone I haven't seen in a long time.

- Wow, Carolina. Ridiculous first half. You are validating the Analyst-in-Chief quite nicely. Next thing you know, he'll be firing CEOs because he can. Snap.

- I actually disagree with Nacho/Smokey -- I think Peppers plays next year for the Panthers. Hurney and the Silver Fox are content to pay him ri-gawd-damn-diculous money or take their sanctioned 2 first round draft picks. They're playing within the rules of the system, and they're keeping their mouths shut. Which seems to have worked out better than, say, what the Broncos did the past two months.

- It's tough to make any predictions about the Cats next year, simply because so much rides on what we do with Pep. These few weeks leading up to Draft Day will determine a lot how the rest of spring/summer play out.

- Opening Day today. How 'bout the Mets' bullpen? Night and Day from last year.

- And, of course, the Bobcats. The five seed is ours to lose next year, I really believe that. AI, as Nacho suggests, may make some sense, in that it moves Bell to the bench, and provides a scorer that we need from the wing. But it's hard to ignore the rapid decline of AI, and I'm not sure we have the cap space -- nor the inclination to fuck with what seems like good team chemistry -- to take a flyer on The Answer.

We'll hopefully be more frequent with the check-ins around here. I'm off to watch the Tar Heels cement this National Championship and drink some bourbon. Good to be back, folks.
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