Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Sports Report

I'm just now getting around to this. What a tough week it was, through Sunday, for sports teams who were unlucky enough to have me rooting for them!

A short sequence that included a holding call that negated a touchdown pass, an interception that crushed another promising drive and the ensuing play where a defender inexplicably slipped, all conspired to upend the Tar Heel football squad's fortunes. A third-quarter, 18-point advantage vaporized, and perhaps with it any confident hopes for bowl eligibility. This one will sting for a long time.

The Hockey-Hurricanes lost two overtime games on the road. Fantastic that they picked up a couple of points for the regulation ties, but both games could have been victories. Those two points that went unearned will prove regrettable come playoff-race time. I can't quite put my finger on it with these guys. Doesn't seem like they're all pulling together, or in the same direction, every night. Not sure if that's coaching or rather a question of all those guys having the same level of want-to each night.

The game that kicked my ass, though, was the Panthers on Sunday. Joke DelHominy just ain't got the grits. He is, by himself, responsible for two losses. Before that game his QB rating was 33rd in the league. Think about that. There were 32 starting QB's better than him and one scrub better than him. If there has ever been the epitome of one game being the proverbial last straw, the scenario Delhomme found himself in Sunday just had to be it: Before this game, he's the worst there is...and he gets even worse by throwing 3 interceptions.

Jake is probably the most likeable guy on the team, and the fact that his teammates rise to his defense is admirable. But, he can't play the position because A) he can't throw the football, and B) he won't throw the ball where only his receiver can catch it (or away).

If he had four wide-receivers named Steve Smith, he'd still manage to screw the pooch at least twice a game. The nuances of being on the same cerebral plane (and how did those two disparate personalities ever acheive that?) are fickle. The ad-libbing that they were sometimes memerizingly great at, just isn't dependable enough to win with any consistancy.

Of course, that makes you wonder what the hell is going on with the coaching staff. Am I the only one that slings the remote across the room after...?
  • Possession One: 3 running plays earn a first down, followed by 2 running plays, then an incomplete pass on third and two, followed by a punt
  • Possession Two: Incomplete pass, incomplete pass, incomplete pass. Punt.

Fox and Davidson have to know this guy is incapable of playing the position. Every defensive coordinator that has ever coached a game is telling his team, "the thing that will win us this game is if we get the Panthers to put the ball in Delhomme's hands. Even if they're successful in their running game, some force of idiocy will inspire them to actually want to throw the ball." Fox/Davidson abandoning the running game (the one thing they're good at) isn't a matter of if, but when.

The O-line is great at run-blocking, but look like the Keystone Kops every pass play. For the love of George Halas, Fox, let them numbnuts do what they're good at! Quit trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

For the past two years, the best quarterback in the state of North Carolina has been Armanti Edwards at Appalachian. That includes all the D-1 schools and the Panthers' entire roster. Here's a revolutionary idea for you: Cut Delhomme immediately (so there's no temptation to revisit that failed experiment) and run the Wildcat exclusively. Take turns letting DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Smith, and Julius Peppers receive the snap. They may not win any games, but they'd be a lot of fun to watch, contrary to what we're getting now. And before you whine, "...Oh but, once you remove the receiving threat of Steve Smith, defenses will put 10 in the box, and you'll never get anywhere...blah, blah, blah"...consider the fact that Travelle Wharton has a QB-rating roughly the same as Delhomme's. That is, anybody on the team is more threatening to a defense, throwing-arm-wise, that the Bum from Beaux Bridge. Cut him and draft Edwards.

Want one more very good reason to shit-can Jake? Here 'tis: In today's Observer, Tom (worst sportswriter ever) Sorensen offers the headline : Let's give Jake one more shot (I try to never read past his headlines any more, thanks to lots of, ahem, "teachable moments"). Okay Sorensen, but only if that shot is in a 1.5oz glass, in a bar on the way outta town.

My new Panthers cheer: Geaux Jake! And take Sorensen with you!

The only thing I enjoyed for having wasted that much time in front of the TV? Ford Trucks' new commercial that tries to rag on Chevy and Dodge trucks. "Our Ford trucks have Smart Truck technology...they'll help you if you get lost or lose your tools, and they'll provide voice-recognition that helps you play all your favorite lite-rock hits from the 80's. Don't forget our man-step, too!" I'll bet they dump the King Ranch version in favor of a sponsorship arrangement with a beer company that markets their products in cans that change color when the contents are at the appropriate temperature.

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