Time to Embrace the Spotlight

By Friday, December 4, 2015

I’ve been reluctant to write about North Carolina football this season. Don’t ask me why. It’s embarrassing. About halfway through the season, it became obvious this team was one capable of reaching heights no Tar Heel team has achieved this century. I was reluctant to throw off that run with jinx-filled fluff. Until now. It’s time to bask in the attention and glory that is Tar Heel football. Saturday night’s ACC Championship Game represents the largest stage any North Carolina football team has played on. Carolina has played in big bowl games in the past but never in this modern era with all the attention and coverage that comes with college football these days. Charlotte's finest. Hood and Williams (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) For nearly a week, the national discussion surrounding college football has been whether or not the Tar Heels can get in the College Football Playoff with a win over No. 1 ...

North Carolina: Four Keys to a Final Four Run

By Friday, November 13, 2015

The 2015-16 North Carolina basketball team needs no introduction. That's typical of a team that returns 88 pct of its scoring, tops in the ACC. You already know Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Justin Jackson and company. While the faces are familiar, the pressure is new to this crew and unique to any North Carolina team for a myriad of reasons. While the goal and expectations are clear and the Heels are preseason No. 1, this is not the 2009 team which was blantantly the best in college basketball. There are a few items the team needs to address if it hopes to play in the program's record 19th Final Four. 1. Kennedy Meeks Late Season Production These four keys are not necessarily in order of "importance." However, we might as well start with a player who was arguably the most important for the Tar Heels last season. The Tar Heels were markedly better ...

The Most Known Unknown

By Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's downright depressing to think about all the optimism surrounding the start of the Charlotte Hornets season just one year ago. It appeared perfect. The return of a beloved nickname. A surprising playoff appearance the season before. An offseason declared by nearly all the pundits as successful. Spirits were high at the hive. The Hornets were bound to take the next step up the Eastern Conference ladder. Well, the ladder was instead a chute and one year later, while there is still more buzz surrounding the franchise than at any point during the Bobcats era, the confident excitement is now nervous hope. Nervous because of a disappointing campaign last season and a key injury, yet hopeful due to new additions and style of play. That hope manifested itself in fans and analysts attempting to draw postseason aspirations from a 7-1 preseason record for Hornets. While I am all for the excitement, even if temporary, there were two things ...

Why All The Fuss Over FPI?

By Thursday, October 8, 2015

In the days leading up to a football game, what is the most common question asked by fans? It is, "PAAAWWWWLLL, who is gonna win da game?" A few years ago, ESPN introduced a metric called the Football Power Index that tries to help answer that question. FPI, as it is known, ranks all the FBS teams 1-128 based on numerous variables. However, its intended use is as a predictive measurement, both for individual games and season projections. FPI has caught some attention this week around these parts because it currently has North Carolina has the favorite to win the ACC Coastal and reach the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. It gives the Tar Heels a 50.6% chance to win the division. Duke, for what it's worth, has the second best chance at 21.4% per FPI. You don't have to agree with the numbers. Hell, as a scared (and scarred) Tar Heel supporter, I'm ...

The Carolina Panthers Will Win…

By Friday, September 11, 2015

I'm on a hot streak, y'all. I correctly predicted a heartbreaking loss for the Tar Heels last Thursday against South Carolina, and I did not lose last night in picking the Patriots -7. I'm 1-0-1 on the season. Burl... so hot right now... Burl. With that being said, why not put my scorching hot start to the football season to the test by trying to predict each game of the season for the Carolina Panthers. Few things are more difficult than predicting the outcome of the NFL regular season, particularly for an inconsistent and unpredictable team like the Panthers. But, hell, I am on a roll. Let it ride. Tackling is important (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Sept. 13: at Jacksonville - WIN (1-0) Casual observers might think, "pssh it's the Jaguars." Diehard Panthers fans know better than that. They think, "pssh it's the Panthers." Carolina is 7-13 in season opening games in its history and ...

How Many Games Will UNC Win in 2015? The Answer Is…

By Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's finally here. The week the entire sporting world has been waiting for all summer. Yes, it's the 22nd week of the baseball season. It all comes down to this! Only a mere five more weeks to go, ya'll. Every pitch counts. Sike! It's football season, jabronies. With football season comes predictions. Everybody loves them whether they admit it or not. If you see a tease that reads, "predictions for every team" there is like a 95% chance you click on it and a 1% chance you will agree with the content. Therefore, I am glad you've stumbled upon this page for another set of predictions. These are without a doubt the most accurate predictions you'll read this season for the 2015 North Carolina Tar Heels. At least as of right now. I make no guarantees starting Thursday. Marquise Williams (Credit: AP photo by Gerry Broome) Sept 3: vs South Carolina (in Charlotte, ...

Ice Cold Take: Cam Newton and Josh Norman

By Monday, August 10, 2015

Everything these days must be either good or bad and black or white. There is no room for gray area. This is especially true in the world of sports. A player is either a legend or a bum. A team is either a contender or pretender. Apparently being average no longer exists. No industry within sports is more prone to toeing the line of absolute declaration than sports media. Hence the outrageous overreactions to situations as minor as a marijuana possession citation or, I don’t know, a shoving match in the second week of training camp.  In case you have not heard, Cam Newton and Josh Norman got into a bit of a skirmish Monday morning at Carolina Panthers training camp. Such an altercation likely fits smack dab in the middle of a hot take scale. It’s notable because Newton is a $100 million franchise quarterback but in reality it’s just ...

It’s Not You, Frank. It’s Us

By Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Hornets were always going to draft Frank Kaminsky with the No. 9 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Hornets fans and others tried to convince themselves otherwise after Justise Winslow unexpectedly fell into their laps but it was always Frank the Tank The local reaction has been, well, predictable. Most are not happy with the selection. However, I think it's fair to say the reaction has little to do with Kaminsky himself. He could turn out to be a fine player, and had his moments in Summer League. Instead, the pick is being met with criticism due to a dismal draft history and the options the Hornets possessed with the pick. Why the long face, Frank (Courtesy: Charlotte Observer) Deja Vu Kaminsky is not the first BIG man the Hornets drafted in the top-TEN from a BIG TEN school expected to do BIG things from long range (nice, Bryan!). In fact, it's the third ...

Wait… Basketball Is A Team Sport?

By Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I'm over it. I'm done fighting. I'm defeated. Whatever. For years, I fiercely opposed the entire idea debating who the greatest basketball player of all-time is. I did not loathe this conversation because there is one obvious answer, as many simpletons believe. Instead, I combatted this tired debate because it's pointless and reeks of an inappreciative attitude towards many of the greatest players the sport has to offer. Do you think Michael Jordan is the greatest ever? Cool. That's fine and fair. However, there is no need to bash Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson or whoever in order to prove that. Jordan's accomplishments speak for themselves so don't roll your eyes at the achievements of others. It's an insecure attitude and reveals a lack of appreciation for good basketball. Nonetheless, I am done trying to convince people to stop debating who is the greatest ever. Basketball draws itself to one-on-one comparison's due to the nature of the game and the marketing of individual stars ...

Cam’s Contract: More Than Numbers

By Wednesday, June 3, 2015

LeBron James vs Michael Jordan. Tom Brady and deflated footballs. Caitlyn Jenner and the ESPYs. That's the short list of sports topics which elicit more absurd debate and grandstanding than large contract signings. Before a player even begins their first year under a new deal, they are already vastly overpaid according to fans and analysts. Not overpaid in the grander scale of society, but in comparison to peers and worth to their team. If you so desired, you could read dozens of articles about the in's and out's of Cam Newton's new contract. Is Newton worth $103.8 million? Will the structure of the deal hamper the Panthers in signing other players? Will Newton continue his upward trajectory as a player and firmly supplant himself among the top quarterbacks in the game worthy of such a contract? I don't know. You don't know. Nobody knows. I personally believe the deal is fair given his age and projection, as well ...