Hype, hype and more hype! And it’s only July.
You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. There is no offseason. There is certainly no offseason for hype, that’s for sure.
The boss (one of them) has been a busy dude somehow acquiring tickets to the most hyped movie in ten years – The Dark Knight. I guess he figured since he was forced to pay an extravagent amount for those tickets, he better write something about it. It’s a very good article that deserves two gold stars, a box of Twinkies and deserves to be placed on the refrigerator door.
So, while contemplating the change from my moth-riddled, favorite t-shirt that I’ve now been wearing for four days (thank you, Bob Costas), I was also paying heed to the summer blockbusters and all of the drivel great movies churned out by the movie machine in Hollywood.
The mission became clear – actually do some work so the boss doesn’t can me…or was it something else? Oh, yeah! It was to create a list of movies and how they relate to the Carolina Panthers and some of their key players. Off we go right after you click on this fancy little link right here!
The Adventures of Pluto Nash
The Panthers are getting no love. None. Nada. Zilch.
Every online and print publication is hyping the Cowboys, Patriots, Colts, Chargers, Packers but not our Panthers. They are being treated as if they are the “Adventures of Pluto Nash” of this season. You know, the crappy team that has no shot whatsoever.
All of the “experts” point to Jake Delhomme’s elbow and say, “See!!!!! He had Tommy John surgery!”
Yes he did.
Maybe they haven’t heard the news that he was sharp in mini camp. Perhaps they had their heads in the sand when Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad, two guys who know something about what a quarterback should look like, said that he looked better than they recall him looking for a long time.
This team is capable of some big things. Let the hype machine overlook them. No problem. They’ll be able to shock the NFL world!
No Country For Old Men
They say that Muhsin Muhammad lost a step. They believe that he was given a chance to succeed in Chicago for three years even while playing with the worst group of quarterbacks to come down the pike in a generation.
Worst of all, they think that at 35 years old and after 13 years in the league that he won’t be able to contribute much. He’s simply too old, they say.
Shoot, check this guy out doing an interview on the sidelines after a practice session. Have these pundits been paying attention? I doubt they were in this kind of physical condition when they were 25, much less when they were 35.
Moose keeps himself in tremendous shape. He runs some of the best routes in the NFL. Just as important, his downfield blocking is a critical addition to the Panthers offense.
The Bank Job
It isn’t the best known movie and neither is the situation with Jordan Gross.
The deadline to finish a deal with Gross came and went on Tuesday. If a new contract isn’t worked out, he’ll be playing this season for $7.455 million. If he is franchised again next year, due to a required 20% increase in salary, he’ll be getting at least $8.946 million. That number could increase since he has to be paid, as a franchise player, the average salary of the top five at his position in the league.
No news is bad news, potentially. Carolina needs to secure Gross’ services for the future as soon as they can. Great or even very good tackles don’t grow on trees in the NFL.
No matter what, Jordan Gross will be laughing all the way to the bank very soon.
Man On Fire
There have been two poor seasons during John Fox’s tenure that have been brought about by injuries – one lost to injuries along the offensive line the other when quarterbacks were harder to come by than cheap gas.
It can be argued that he failed to plan ahead in the event that injuries hit his squad. Maybe he wasn’t thinking ahead.
However, it can also be argued that this man has led the Carolina Panthers to one Super Bowl and within one game of another after inheriting one of the biggest piles of dung in the NFL. How many coaches can say that?
If John Fox is on the hot seat, I’m not sure who would be hired to replace him. Who out there is thinking of one Bill Cowher?
Mayhem. Horror. Destruction. Terror.
Then came 2007.
His play last season made us all wonder what was wrong. Was it double teams? The defensive game plan? A lack of motivation?
Much like the movie, Julius cannot become that entity that arrives with much fanfare and hype and can’t seem to deliver. He must figure it out now. We can’t handle a repeat performance of what we saw a year ago.
More importantly for J-Pepp, he’s going into a contract year and is due a huge payday. The team is already negotiating with him in good faith feeling as if he will return to his old self again. If a deal can’t be reached, he’ll have to earn that paycheck on the field in ’08.
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