Typically speaking, absolutely nothing happens in July in the sports world, save some college football preview stuff and some NFL training camp hype at the end of the month. But this year? Um, well, let’s just say it hadn’t been a typical year. A sampling: the Carolina Hurricanes announced a sale to a new owner (who says the team is staying in Raleigh), the Panthers fired their GM (and then re-hired the last guy they fired, currently sticking him with the ‘interim’ tag) and two cities (Raleigh and Charlotte) made big pushes to get an MLS team (and one of those cities got sore when they fell behind and their area’s state legislators started whining about it).
All in all it’s been an atypical sports July. But in case you were afraid you were in some twilight zone version of NC, don’t worry: it’s been feeling like 100 degrees all week and the ball sweat is so real I’ve been changing boxer shorts at midday. If that don’t scream “North Carolina July” I don’t know what does.
Enjoy some of the best in NC sports media this week:
Panthers Appear to Be Choosing Family Over Football, CBS Sports: Like many of you, I was at the beach when the news of Dave Gettleman’s firing was announced. If you needed answers like I did, nobody did it better than Will Brinson in this piece. The bottom line: the Panthers don’t do things like the Patriots, and Jerry Richardson seems to be ok with that, even knowing his style makes it harder to succeed on the field.
Marty Hurney 2.0 the Right Man For GM Job, Charlotte Observer: Of course, after firing Gettleman the Panthers had to fill the role. Marty Hurney was in town and knew the roster to it made for an easy move, I get it. But are we sure this is really going to be an “interim” deal? I’m not saying Joe Person is wrong about this being the right move. I do find it interesting that while fans didn’t care much for Hurney (or his overall results), privately members of the media always tell me he did a better job than he got credit for.
Dramatic MLS Stadium Plan Faces Dramatic Challenges, News and Observer: I feel like we’ve been been given you a lot of Luke DeCock here recently, but to be fair there has a been a lot of pro sports news in the Triangle recently and, well, Frank Dascenzo isn’t around any more. While the #919toMLS rally (recapped here by Raleigh City Sport) was awesome, and I salivate at the idea of the proposed stadium, it’s fair to point out that it’s a lot harder to pull all the right strings to build a stadium than it is to wow people with a cool rendering. Of course, Charlotte lawmakers bitching about it only makes folks in the Triangle want to get it done even more.
The Last Cowboy, Sports Illustrated: Joe West has reached almost mythical status as the most widely recognized (most loved? most hated?) umpire in Major League Baseball. He is also about as NC as the come–born in the western part of the state, grew up in the eastern part of the state and played for ECU and Elon. As baseball forges into the “machine replaces man” era of umpiring, West is seen as a throwback to how things used to be done. But, if you greet him nicely at the plate, he’ll probably pose for a picture. On the flip side, Dan Collins of the Winston-Salem Journal (whose age I do not know but feel confident in saying is not a millennial) thinks maybe it’s time to let the cameras and computers run the show in baseball.
Roaches, bears play role in coaches’ favorite recruiting stories, WRAL: The Pigskin Preview is a tradition that produces a few yuks and not much meat each season. Here were some of the yuks.
Tweet of the Week, Part 1: David Cutcliffe and Charlie Mickens are two men who take their job very seriously….but never TOO seriously.
— ABC11Charlie Mickens (@GameDayCharlie) July 21, 2017
Tweet of the Week, Part 2: Yep, a little self-serving here, but to be fair this periscope features the #919toMLS parade/rally and has appearances from Mark Armstrong, David Glenn, Adam Gold, Joe Ovies and many other media members, plus a brief exchange with NCFC owner Steve Malik.
— SportsChannel8 (@SportsChannel8) July 19, 2017