28 October, 2007

This Carr Won’t Start

October 28, 2007

Well, Fanz, the debris of Week 8 in the NFL is settling around me, and I’m awaiting the first pitch of what I hope is the final game in the World Series. I just want the Red Sux to put the Blockies out of their misery, because they really don’t have any hope to speak of. Yes, it’s baseball, but seriously, fanz…

Unlike the team we are all pathologically loyal to. There IS hope-

Yes, Virginia, there are a few wins in our future. And THIS YEAR.

Like you, I’m sitting at home, mentally digesting what we saw in the BOFA, and physically digesting the awesome tailgate grub served up by Clay (Lord of the Pit!!) and the supporting PantherFanZ. And to top it off, we enjoyed the company of our brothers from the Great White North. The Canadians really make the tailgate an event to look forward to every year. Too bad we can’t do it more than that.

And for the first time in, well, a year, we had a half of football AT HOME that gave us reason to cheer. Sitting in my beloved spot, my wife and I were amazed at the ELEVEN MINUTE drive to open the game! If we were going to beat the Mighty Colts, THIS was the way to do it! Vinnie TESTOSTERONE led a PERFECT drive that culminated in a touchdown, and the defense absolutely GOT AFTER Peyton and his horseshoe adorned comrades and if I’m not mistaken, held that irresistible offense WITHOUT A FIRST DOWN for most of the half! You all saw it, too! Even Vinnie’s unfortunate pick in the end zone didn’t diminish my hope- The Colts promptly three-and outed, and we were down by only three to this vaunted team. There was bona fide- HOPE! The team looked like they had responded to the coaching, and to Testaverde.

Start the second half.

When Carr was announced as the QB, the stadium let out a collective groan. Fair to Carr? Maybe not. I actually felt bad for him to hear the clear and loudly voiced boos. But it was as if the power switch was turned off on this team. The offense, defense, and special teams disappeared, and Indy rolled up twenty-one unanswered points. The one scoring threat we had evaporated with a Jeff King fumble. This was a complete reversal of the home opener against Jacksonville in ’03. How terribly depressing to watch this continuing home field DISadvantage. Now, we’ve found out that Vinny has an ankle injury. How bad has yet to be determined, but I’m thinking that Fox wanted to compare his two QB’s in a regular season situation that just wasn’t critical to the division race. With a mere ten-point deficit, this Carr simply wasn’t equipped to drive very far. The offense simply doesn’t seem to respond to his (lack of) leadership, and with no offensive support, the defense ran out of gas in the face of the resurgent Colts attack, which is understandable.

But my feeling is that the Carr option at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers is a failure. If the team is forced to use this shell-shocked and ineffective football player for an extended period, the season may be lost, unless David Carr has a SERIOUS change of game management, mechanics, and perception from his teammates.

That ain’t gonna happen.

I just hope they can wrap Vinny’s ankle extra tight. He is our best, and perhaps ONLY hope for victory, unless Matt Moore proves to be a NFL-caliber quarterback. Because right now, I’m convinced David Carr is NOT an NFL caliber quarterback. And I can just see Foxy say, “Well, if he’s in the NFL, he’s a NFL quarterback.”

Sorry, Foxy. He’s not. The leadership qualities, the toughness, the skill, the vision, the game management- They are simply not there. He is certainly an athlete. I will give him that. He was impressive enough in college to be a top pick. So was Brian Bosworth. So was that bust of a OL in Green Bay, Tony Mandarich- NFL almanacs are full of first rounders who just couldn’t cut it. I can’t see how David Carr escapes induction in this hall of dishonor. But hey, Dave- look on the bright side-

You could be a gay fashion model! With the political correctness machine telling us there’s nothing wrong with that lifestyle, you could make lots of hay on your gay sex appeal, even if you’re not! But as they said in that classic Bill Murray movie “Stripes”- you could be willing to learn!

And speaking of bright sides-

Here’s the sunny sector for the Panthers-

You won’t believe this, but it’s true.

We are STILL in first place in our woeful division as of this writing. And we have a trip to Tennessee to meet the Kerry Collins led Titans coming up. KERRY COLLINS! Speaking of QB’s that just can’t cut it. With a visit from the Duckies to follow, things just don’t look that terrible. In this division race, losing to the Colts just wasn’t that bad- EVERY team in our division has lost to the Colts. (Uh, flash for you Cedar Street Seer- the Duckies haven’t played them yet-) Big deal. Losing to the Colts this year is like my daughter Lauren getting in the ring with Mike Tyson. The only shame in losing to the Colts today is the fashion in which we lost in the second half.
So, looking at the big picture, there IS reason to have hope!

With ONE big IF-

IF Vinnie Testosterone can return to practice, and game action soon.

Ok, TWO big Ifs-

IF Matt Moore can play NFL quarterback.

Ok, THREE big Ifs-

IF David Carr can turn things arou- uhh,

TWO big If’s.

This NFL season has many twists and turns, and no team is immune from the injury bug. What happens to the invincible Colts or Pastry-Rots if Manning or Brady goes down? Many of the teams we are facing down the road are dealing with this. The Titans. The Duckies. The Jag-you-wyres. The Phoney-Niners. The SeaDogs. I STILL see maybe TEN WINS in this team! As Mark “Pack-Man” Packer” says, “you gotta go play.” And so we will.

Just one thing John Fox.

Please, please, please-

Don’t start the Carr.

I await our tilt with Tennessee with great anticipation. This ride’s still rough, but somehow still worth it. Hang on with me, Fanz!

Gotta comment? E-mail me, The Cedar Street Seer


15 October, 2007

Steps in the right direction

October 15, 2007

I’m digesting what I saw Sunday Afternoon, Fanz-

I’m cautiously giddy about the victory- But I’m beginning to feel like I put new tires on a ’68 Camaro that’s in dire need of body work.

Ok, insert your Vinny Testicle joke here.

To be honest, for the first time this season, we’ve seen a defense play with HONEST – TO – GOD EFFORT. And it was as wonderful to see as an oasis in a desert. The irony is not lost on me as I write that last sentence. The Cardi-noles are no longer an NFL pushover. They are putting together a really decent team that’s capable of competing at this level. Of course, they suddenly found themselves running their potent offense without their starting QB-

Oh, forgive me for sobbing an ocean of tears in empathy for you.

We started Vinny freakin’ TESTICLE, who had his hand diggin’ in a sack o’ chips watching Monday Night Football SIX DAYS AGO-

But while Vinny gets the ink, to me, the defense really gets the credit for this wind. If Chris Gamble doesn’t make a girly man-tackle on Edgerin James, perhaps ‘Zona never sniffs the end zone. THIS, This, Foxy and Turkey-Vac, is the Panther Defense we’ve come to appreciate since you came here. But hear this gentlemen-

To me, this one performance does not give you a pass. Not for ONE EFFIN’ MINUTE!!! I’m recalling an impassioned John Fox imploring his defense to “APPLY THE PRESSURE!!! DON’T FEEL IT!!!” Time to bring that speech back, Foxy- The bye is here, and now come the toughest stretch of games we have had to play in years. We’ve seen the Road Warrior act- NOW-


And until you do, I remain silent in the stands. STILL.

Here come the Colts. The super powerful, unbeatable Indianapolis Dolts. World Champions. With a QB that appears in every commercial on TV it seems. Can we possibly beat these guys? I don’t think there’s one pundit, including possibly the Cedar Street Seer, that believes we have a chance come October 28th. But how’s this?
On a nice fall afternoon two years ago, we did the very same thing to a Bill Belichek led, Tom Brady QB’ed New Englandland Pastry-Rots!
At home, believe it or not. If we play like we did yesterday, why not?
Yesterday, I saw significant progress in all phases of our game. I was most impressed with the effort on D, as I stated before, but also pleasantly pleased with the play of Vinny Testeverde, see, I didn’t even call him a TESTICLE this time! I remember posting a comment about Jake having that special leadership quality – The way the offense responded to Vinny yesterday has me thinking perhaps he possesses the same qualities. Of course, it’s one game, but perhaps that’s the jumping off point- My mind hearkens back to a gorgeous home opener back in ’03- Go there with me for a moment, will you?

A lifeless Panther team flops around with Rodney Pete at QB. Enter Jake DelHomme. And we didn’t look back until Adam Vinateri spiked us in the heart after one of the most entertaining and exciting Super Bowls ever played. Kinda just like Brain’s big screen plasma Samsung that was struggling with analog before Dano the 12th Man tweaks it and all of a sudden, we’re seeing a masterpiece unfold in HD! The irony is not lost on me that the team put it in overdrive once HeroDano made that move. I’m feeling a similar vibe with Carr, and Vinny. To which I am making an impassioned plea-


I’ve made the statement before that athletes at this level are all capable. And they are. Some though, have that quality that makes them that much better than others. And Vinny has that. Carr- well, we’re unsure. The offense has not responded to him in three weeks as they have to Vinny in THREE DAYS!!! Don’t be a fool, Foxy. The season is at stake. And while we’re at it-

Don’t start Danielle Morgan. That fragile body has a mind that can hit you into next Wednesday, but a body that breaks the moment that notion’s put to flesh. You are DONE, Dan! Retire while you can still walk- this defense has shown we can be above average without you. Jon Beason will see to that.

And while we’re talking about phases of the game, the one that STILL needs the most work is our Special Teams coverage/return units. And although we DID show improvement yesterday, it’s still our weakest element. The coaching there MUST improve. It’s good to see Ryne Robinson make a bit of an effort there, and getting Smitty back there once in a while, sorry guys, I still think it’s a good ideal. But overall, our performance yesterday is still light years ahead of the past four weeks. And given that performance- The Carolina Panthers are 4-2 in the annual derby that is the NFL season. Who in our conference is better than that? Dallas and Green Bay? That’s it. And we get to play them both. Beatable? You bet, if we play like yesterday. If we get Romo The Homo to turn the ball over SIX TIMES like he did at Beefalo, I GAR-IN-DAMM-TEE ya we beat the snot outta them. Who else in our conference has an equal record? Tampa Bay. Who else?
And after the steaming pile of s**t we’ve had to watch over the past four weeks, we are in an exclusive group of FOUR TEAMS??!!

Why not us? Why not US to hand Indy their first loss? Why not us to go up to Green Bay and shred the Heads? Don’t think we’ve got the team? Nonsense. Of course, it COULD all turn right back in the opposite direction, and we can lose to every team left on the schedule. But here’s an intangible- Testeverde sounds an AWFUL lot like Testosterone, that rarified substance that makes men supermen, and makes women CRAVE men. The REAL San Francisco Treat. The substance that dripped off of every bit of John Wayne, and the substance that helps us all sleep soundly at night knowing Jack Bauer is defending our country from hostiles seen and unseen-

Just something to think about.

Meanwhile, the coaster takes a nice scenic breather as we roll back home to the next bumpy part of our ride, which all of a sudden, doesn’t look so bad- But hang on anyway, Fanz…………

Gotta comment?

E-mail it to the Cedar Street Seer

09 October, 2007

We Win- So What?

I’m mad at these Carolina Panthers.


After the rage of sitting through a thoroughly UWATCHABLE home game against the Tampa Bay Yuck-aneers, with so much at stake, as a fan, I’m forced AGAIN to sit through another unwatchable mess as the team attempts to convince their fanz, and perhaps the league, if not themselves, that they are respectable and indeed are not the heartless underachievers Jenks says they are.

Kris Jenkins absolutely speaks the truth about these Panthers. What we all saw at the BOFA September 30th, in my opinion, was the very bottom of the barrel of my Panther experience. Not even the 1-15 season ender, with Brain and I shivering in a cold rain while the Patsies had their way with us was as infuriating. The black, relentless negative karma of Marc’s unexpected passing covering last seasons dismal showing against the Squealers did not fill me with rage like the abortion of a game last week. This game, against a team that really didn’t have much more talent than we did, was the very worst performance the Panthers ever had. And we, the loyal PSL owners, had to sit through it. All I could think of was the money I’ve spent on this pair of seats in one of the priciest sections of the stadium. At least we had a tailgate party to make Marc proud. But to be honest, I would have rather been playing bad golf as to see these heartless overpaid underachievers collect a paycheck equal to or exceeding what most of us make in a year. And for the very first time since Foxy came on board, I am seriously questioning his coaching, his staff, Hurney’s personnel decisions, and the game planning. I am beginning to think that the John Fox era has run its course here.
And I’m desperate for Foxy and the Irish Tenor to prove me wrong-

I’ve often drawn a serious line of separation between the three major levels of sports. If Independence High School took their team to Dook University to play football one Saturday afternoon, (or any effin’ afternoon, hell, morning, night, whatever!) the game would have to be called at halftime. It just wouldn’t be close. Independence may not get a first down. Subsequently, if the numero uno team in the colliegiate ranks took THEIR team to a bottom feeder NFL team, oh lets say, THE TEAM WE ALMOST LOST TO SUNDAY-

You could expect the very same result, and ironically, that happens to be The Bayou Bengals of Louisiana State Yooo.

With that said, you could say that the players in the NFL are the very best of the very best. The top .00001% of the minute pool of athletes plays in this league. The abilities of even Joey-Bag-O-Donuts Harrington exceed by exponential amounts what you or I could muster even with eight months of the most intense of training. Even Wrecks Gross-Man. Ok, maybe not Wrecks. So…Why do some teams succeed while others fail, year after year? What do the New Englandland Patsies have that we do not?


IS Tom Brady that much better than Jake? Is he? What if Brady played behind Jake’s line? Behind the Duckie’s line? And for that matter, what makes Tommy’s line so great???


Is it really like Jenk says? Is it a matter of heart? What is the magic concoction that lets an afterthought like Stanford blister the overrated and over hyped Trojans like a USED Trojan IN THEIR OWN HOUSE???


I’m all of a sudden feeling like the Cowardly Lion launching into an over-the-top sermon about the virtue he thinks he lacks. But he doesn’t, as he and his comrades the Scarecrow and Tin Man rescue Dorothy, and vanquish the Wicked Witch. Peppers has no heart you say?

Nonsense. He has oodles of it. So does Ruck. So does David(wrecked)Carr. So does Keary Colbert. And there’s NO QUESTION of Smitty’s heart. An NFL player is in uniform on any given Sunday BECAUSE he has abilities that exceed other athletes. It takes skilled leadership to put the pieces of a football team together. Yes, I’m talking coaching. If players aren’t tackling, aren’t finishing plays, if their jumping offsides or false starting continuously, I’m not blaming the player.

I’m blaming the coach. That’s right, Foxy- I’m blamin’ YOU.

YOU. You and your staff. I’m mandating you, Foxy. You have the players you are going to have this year. And these players are not a whole lot different than what you had in ’03. Find a way to bring the best out of them. Don’t be a slave to loyalty because of a player’s past performance. THIS IS NOW! Start the player who is performing best- If that means letting Alex Frickin’ Haynes start over DeFumblo Foster, START HIM. Let’s see what they have. Find the combination that works on Sunday, and roll. If that overpriced player has to fume on the bench, perhaps he’ll bring nice trade value. Nothing matters more than WINNING in this league. Winning with character and fairness, which is. Put away that video recorder, guys.

Of course, to be fair, I’m not a coach, and if I knew as much as even Tom Knotts knew, I’d have a job in football, but I don’t. But I know lack of heart and drive when I see it. And I continued to see it for most of the game on Sunday. THIS IS THE NOO AWLINS ‘AINTS for GOD’S SAKE!!! This is a team that is struggling at every position and if we are going to have a winning season YOU MUST KNOCK A TEAM LIKE THIS out FROM THE VERY START!!! But once again, a limp defense allows an average team to zip down the field, and keep the defense on the field on third down. And after that. And after that. I continued to feel the rage. The offense really couldn’t get moving because they didn’t have the TIME to get into a rhythm! Why is that? BECAUSE THE DAMN DEFENSE was on the field so long! David Carr (or whoever is going to play QB this year) needs to have the time to develop the rhythm necessary to control the game. Defense doesn’t tackle, doesn’t stop anything, and doesn’t pressure the quarterback. The sword stays in the sheath, and we don’t’ have a chance to score.

Enter Jon Beason. Enter Richard Marshall. Enter Chris Harris. Guys that didn’t get much mention beyond the Panther media guide. At last, players playing the “Panther Way”, at least the Panther Way that made me burst with pride and confidence years ago. So, it’s contagious. Pep blocks a field goal, Carr hooks up with Smitty, a CLUTCH INT is made by Harris, and even when Carr screws the pooch with a TREMENDOUSLY STOOPID pick of his own, the defense STILL comes through with a three-yard series. Kasay saves our ass once again. By the way, I really think John and Mike (AfterDinner) Minter deserve statues besides Sam one of these days.
So, a quarter of progress. We got nowhere else to go but up after September 30th.

So What??

How quick could it regress, PantherFanz? I really should be happy, but I’m still mad, still concerned, and now- the worst news of all-

Jake DelHomme will be out for the season.

Jake personified so many of the things that a leader has. Not just a leader. A leader of one of the most powerful entities in sports- A National Football League team. Think Tiger Woods would like to win a Super Bowl??? You damn right he would. And he couldn’t sniff it. You think Michael Jordan would? (and bet on himself, too!) Jake is all of that and more. And he will not be playing this year. So, it goes back to Foxy and the staff. Carr would not have been a first round pick if he was worthless. Like the Lion, the Scarecrow, and The Tin Man, each player on this team needs to find that extra intangible that is VERY tangible to HIMSELF, and come together with the team, and FIGHT! And this comes to the coaching staff to bring this out. Once, we had a dozen players out to injury, and STILL made a serious second half push to be considered in the playoff picture. That team was AWESOME to watch, and effortless to cheer your heart out for. This team?

As it’s playing now, no. I have vowed not to wear the jersey, not to cheer, not to give my heart to a bunch of heartless underachievers until they SHOW ME SOMETHING! Is there hope? Of course there is. Even with Jake out. That glimmer we got in the fourth quarter yesterday makes the optimist in me believe. Barely. The Realist is in firm control thinking the season is lost without Jake. But---

The clacking of our cars heading up the track on this crazy coaster ride to Arizona continues… Here we go, PantherFanz….

Hang on….this is gonna be rough.

Got a comment??

Send it to me, the Cedar Street Seer