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  • Omega Atrocity

    A case for Bismack Biyombo

    By Omega Atrocity

    One of the few moves the Hornets will be making in free agency is whether or not to re-sign 22 year old big man Bismack Biyombo. After playing out all 4 years of his rookie scale contract, the team now has to make a decision on whether or not to extend the qualifying offer to Biyombo. For those unfamiliar with the way the rookie contract system works in the NBA, every rookie first round pick (Biyombo was pick 7 in 2011) drafted that comes over immediately is given a two year contract, with two team options for years three and four. After the rookie deal is played out, the team can extend the qualifying offer to the player, making him a restricted free agent. The player and team then have several options on where to go from there: The player can choose to simply play out the QO, becoming an unrestricted free agent the next offseason (The only player to ever decline offers and do this is Greg Monroe) The team can offer the player a new contract which, if accepted, starts immediately The player can accept another team's offer, giving the original team (Hornets in this case) 3 days to decide whether or not they wish to match the contract   Bismack Biyombo came into the league as an incredibly raw prospect, playing basketball for a very short amount of time before becoming an NBA player. Draft Express said in an article written on Biyombo pre-draft:  Knowing he would be a project when he was drafted with the 7th pick in the 2011 draft, the Hornets pulled the trigger on him anyway. After two seasons of starting and being the main center for the Charlotte Bobcats, the organization decided to sign free agent center Al Jefferson to a contract, making Biyombo the backup big man on a better team. The last two seasons Biyombo has been used as the backup center, and has done largely the same statistically as his two years starting, even with less minutes. Biyombo even started 21 games this past season when Jefferson went down with a calf injury. The team did not suffer a drop off, and actually went 11-10 with him in the starting lineup. Bismack Biyombo is a defensive presence that is very good at protecting the rim. Biyombo averaged 2.9 block per 36 minutes last season, and has averaged 2.7 blocks per 36 minutes for his career through four years. In comparison to the other perceived great rim protectors in the NBA:  Tyson Chandler through four years: 2.2 blocks per 36 DeAndre Jordan through four years: 2.5 blocks per 36 Anthony Davis through three years: 2.7 block per 36 Serge Ibaka through four years: 3.5 blocks per 36 As you can see Biyombo is in some fine company as far as blocking shots goes. In fact, of players playing over 1000 minutes last season, Bismack Biyombo ranked 4th in blocks per 36 minutes.  Biyombo is quite obviously an elite shot blocker at the NBA level already, which is very impressive considering the fact that he is 6'8". Another part of the game where Bismack Biyombo shines is in his rebounding prowess. Biyombo averaged 11.8 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, and has averaged 10.4 rebounds per 36 minutes on his career. Again, lets compare that to four of the perceived nest rebounders in the NBA through their first four seasons: Kevin Garnett through four years: 8.5 rebounds per 36 DeAndre Jordan through four years: 10.8 rebounds per 36 Dwight Howard through four years: 12.2 rebounds per 36 Andre Drummond through three years: 14.9 rebounds per 36 Again, it's pretty apparent that Biyombo is a very good rebounder. I wouldn't classify him as elite, but he very good at rebounding. So, despite Biyombo's many offensive flaws (he can hardly catch a basketball), I believe the front office should extend at the very least the qualifying offer to Biyombo. Biyombo's qualifying offer is $5,479,933. For a team that's over the cap and not in a position to offer anymore than the MLE and bi-annual exception to free agents, there is no reason Biyombo shouldn't receive it. With the acquisition of Spencer Hawes in the earlier trade with the Clippers, and the drafting of Frank Kaminsky, the Hornets do have a frontcourt logjam at the moment. But Biyombo provides defense and rebounding that no one else on this team can provide. Couple that with the fact that $5 million will be nothing with the cap going up and the Hornets organization would be making a mistake letting this promising big man go just because he is offensively limited. He has an elite skill, and that alone makes him valuable. Note: All stats used in this post are from basketball reference This is the first blog post like this I've done. Please do provide feedback on this, positive or negative. I hope to provide a few more of these, including a cap breakdown when free agency starts. Follow me on twitter.
    • 8 comments
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  • KB_fan

    Comparing the Panthers (Age, Experience & PFF Category) 2014 & 2015

    By KB_fan

      (Apologies for the formatting problems.  I’ve now broken this up into two parts which I hope will help) I'm working on a series of comparisons of the Panthers' Starting Rosters over time:  from the beginning of one season to another, and from the start of a season to the season's end. I'm not sure how best to present the data and how well it will format here.  It may be best if I just upload a spreadsheet.  But for tonight, here are a few tables to get the discussion started. How did our beginning of the season starting roster in 2014 compare with what looks probable to be our starting roster at the beginning of the 2015 season?  I'm interested in age of players, experience (years played), and also how PFF ranks our players. I've used data from PFF, Our Lads, and ProFootballReference. First, a reminder of the PFF ranking categories:   PFF GRADE CODES   Elite 6   Not enough info High 5   Rookie Good 4   Rookie / UDFA Average 3     Below Average 2     Poor 1       You can see PFF's ranking of our current depth chart here I've given each category a number value from 1 - 6. Here's our Starting Line up on Offense at the beginning of last season: Here is how our offense looked at the beginning of last season OFFENSE:  2014 Starting Line Up (9/1/2014) Pos name Age Exp PFF (pre-season) QB Cam Newton 25 3 4 HB DeAngelo Williams 31 8 3 FB Mike Tolbert 29 6 5 TE Greg Olsen* 29 7 4 WR1 Kelvin Benjamin 23 0 R WR2 Jerricho Cotchery 32 10 4 SWR Jason Avant 31 8 3 LT Byron Bell 25 3 2 LG Amini Silatolu 26 2 3 C Ryan Kalil 29 7 4 RG Trai Turner 21 0 R RT Nate Chandler 25 2 2 Avg:   27.2 4.7 3.4       Experience = years played   Here’s how the offense MAY look at the start of this season. OFFENSE:  2015 Expected Line Up (8/2015) Pos name Age Exp PFF (pre-season) QB Cam Newton 26 4 4 HB Jonathan Stewart 28 8 4 FB Mike Tolbert 30 7 4 TE Greg Olsen* 30 8 5 WR1 Kelvin Benjamin 24 1 3 WR2 Corey Brown 24 1 3 SWR Devin Funchess 21 0 R LT Michael Oher 29 6 1 LG Andrew Norwell 24 1 3 C Ryan Kalil 30 8 4 RG Trai Turner 22 1 3 RT Mike Remmers 26 2 3 Avg:   26.2 3.9 3.36             Starter Changes 6 (compared with 9/2014)     2 (compared with 2/2015)   CONTINUED IN NEXT ENTRY…. (here) There is more discussion on the offense from 2014 vs 2015, including more tables, in the Panthers Forum, in the related discussion thread here
    • 3 comments
    • 1,873 views
  • Jeremy Igo

    Writing a Successful Blog Entry

    By Jeremy Igo

    Looking through the blogs that have started I thought I would give some tips.  1. There are blogs and there are blog entries. Each member is allowed one blog. Within that blog you can make unlimited entries (articles).  2. Choose a descriptive and unique title for your blog with keywords. If it is a Panthers blog, you may want to have Panthers in the title.  3. Make sure your blog article is rich with content keywords. If your entry is about Panthers running backs, making sure the words Carolina Panthers and Running Backs are within the first sentence or two will be appreciated when google indexes your blog entry. Google love = more attention to your article.  4. Share the link to your article on social media. Twitter users love links, but google also pays attention to social media. Social media love = Google love. Google love = more reader.  5. Format your entry well. Our new huddle has feature rich text editing capabilities. Use them.    In the end, Huddle Blogs is a feature that will allow those Huddlers with an entrepreneurial spirit to make more of a name for themselves in the Panthers fan community. How popular your blog becomes is totally up to you. Put in the work, provide quality content, and the huddle platform will deliver results.  It is my hope that this feature will be the spring board to bigger things for some of our talented folks on this site.     
    • 0 comments
    • 1,075 views

Our community blogs

  1. 29e1y4n.jpg

    My version of the 2017 Carolina Panthers depth chart. This will constantly be updated.

    Thanks for viewing!

     

    OFFENSE: 
    WR1: Kelvin Benjamin - #Charles Johnson# - #Kaelin Clay#
    LT: #Matt Kalil#
    LG: Andrew Norwell - Tyler Larsen
    C: Ryan Kalil - Gino Gradkowski 
    RG: Trai Turner - Chris Scott
    RT: Daryl Williams - *Taylor Moton*
    TE:  Greg Olsen - Ed Dickson - Chris Manhertz 
    WR2: Devin Funchess - *Curtis Samuel* - #Russell Shepard#
    QB: Cam Newton - Derek Anderson - Joe Webb
    FB: #Darrel Young# - *Alex Armah*
    RB: Jonathan Stewart - *Christian McCaffrey* - Fozzy Whittaker

    DEFENSE: 
    LE: Charles Johnson - *Daeshon Hall* - Wes Horton
    UT: Kawann Short - Vernon Butler 
    NT: Star Lotulelei - #Kyle Love#
    RE: #Julius Peppers# - Mario Addison 
    SLB: Shaq Thompson - Jeremy Cash
    MLB: Luke Kuechly - David Mayo
    WLB: Thomas Davis - Jared Norris  
    LCB: James Bradberry - #Captain Munnerlyn# 
    RCB: Daryl Worley - *Corn Elder* - Zack Sanchez
    SS: #Mike Adams# - Colin Jones
    FS: Kurt Coleman - Dean Marlowe 

    SPECIAL TEAMS: 
    K/KO: Graham Gano
    P/H: Andy Lee
    KR: #Kaelin Clay# - *Christian McCaffrey* - Fozzy Whittaker - Joe Webb 
    PR: #Kaelin Clay# - *Christian McCaffrey* - #Captain Munnerlyn#
    LS: J.J. Jansen 

     

    * = Draft Pick
    # = Free Agent
    () = Undrafted Free Agent

     

  2. So, we went to NY and had one of the more exciting games in the past month. For much of the game, the Canes had the momentum and just looked better. However, there were a few plays that were just bad. Simply bad. I couldn't personally figure out why the game was going the way it was. In a game where you would think intensity would be high given the stakes and our position in the standings in relation to the Isles, we seemed at times to go into cruise control. It was like everybody was listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    259efc8843d7dfa92b222dabee41564e.jpg


    However, the Canes ended up pulling it together and winning it. An OT win didn't help us in the standings, but it did at least keep our momentum and gave us our third straight win. On to the game itself.

    1st period:

    The game starts off well enough. Jaccob Slavin absolutely rips one and a 1-0 lead is obtained.
     

    Seriously, look at that blast.

    The forecheck was great and the Canes had a lot of success getting the puck in and working the puck in the zone. The high of that early goal was quickly erased when just 2 minutes later, a turnover in our defensive slot results in Cam having to scramble. The puck gets worked to the point where Cam fights through traffic, but the puck leaks through. 1-1 game.

    Nothing else really happens. Some good chances both ways, but Cam stands tall (as he did much of this game).

    2nd Period:

    The 2nd period starts very sloppy, for both teams. The ice in this god forsaken arena is abysmal. They were scraping the heavy snow at the end boards all game long. There was even a point where they had to doctor a huge gash in Ward's crease with snow and water because basic maneuvering on this soft excuse for ice lead to chunks getting cut out. However, the ice wasn't the only issue. Turnovers lead to most of the chances for the Islanders this game, and it happened early in this period. Hanifin turns it over in the neutral zone which results in a brief 3 on 2 situation with Hanifin racing back in to help. Strome throws it on net where Ward WOULD have made the save, but Cizikas is streaking to the other side of the crease and gets tied up with Hanifin. Cizikas' stick redirects the shot right at the glove of Ward and it goes in. 

    Just as the in-rink announcer is announcing the goal scorer and assisting players, Lindholm sauces one beautifully to a wide open Hainsey in the slot. He fires it in to tie it at 2. But seriously, that pass.
     



    Lee Stempniak was celebrating his birthday on this day. What does Stemp do? Absolutely snipes Berube. 
     


    Two unanswered goals gives us a 3-2 lead....and then Brock Nelson snipes Cam at the end of the period to tie it up. The rush that lead to it was a turnover, again, in the neutral zone. As much scoring that happened, particularly NY's goals, it wasn't from bad play on the Canes part overall. It was merely momentary lapses in judgement and decision making which were capitalized on. 

    Speaking of capitalizing, with 11 seconds left in the 2nd, the Canes dump the puck in and Berube plays it out. The forecheck gets there and forces a turnover. McGinn is open in the slot and throws a shot on net that gets saved, but EVERYBODY loses the puck. Teravainen comes in and taps in the goal with 1.1 seconds left in the period. 4-3 lead going into the 3rd.

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                      Teuvo had us all like


    3rd Period:

    The third period was really uneventful. The Canes spent most of the period grinding it out and trying to preserve the lead. Not too many real scoring chances until about the halfway mark. Off the faceoff, Bailey gets the puck in the high slot and absolutely rips a laser over Ward's shoulder. Perfect shot, nothing to be mad at Ward about. It was on NY's 32nd shot of the game, and Cam made more than a few BIG time saves this game, including a breakaway and several scrambling saves. The rest of the period is just defensive hockey on both sides. Few shots after the tying goal and a lot of hitting. Unfortunately, with under a minute left, Aho tries to just dump the puck and sends the puck over the glass. This gave NY another power play going into OT.

    Overtime:

    The Hurricanes come out and kill off the 4 on 3 PP opportunity. With only 2 minutes to go in OT, the line of Staal-Faulk-Hainsey are on the ice. They run a nice little play off the left circle which gives a wide open look for Hainsey from the point. And he buries it. Ron Hainsey gets the game winner and the Canes get the win.
     

     

    Seriously, what a shot. Berube is now property of Ron Hainsey. In Berube's defense, he started to look tired by this point, because he made some great saves in this one as well. I can only assume what Hainsey thought as the puck was coming to him.

    tumblr_o55c3bw5wF1ro95bto3_r1_250.gif




    Final Thoughts:

    - Power Play was 0-3 on the night, but saw the same level of puck movement that has been present recently. Unfortunately just couldn't get a shot to go in.

    - Ward showed that he's back to his old ways, but does need the team to not put him in bad spots with turnovers. Did make a great breakaway save in this one.
    - Teravainen is progressively improving.
    - Rask had one hell of a night. Tons of ice time and his presence was felt when he was out there.


    Washington is the next opponent and payback has to be on the minds of every man on the roster. Will Ward make yet another start, or does Lack get the nod? Who knows. All I know is that the Canes are still in this hunt.

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  3. Note:  these tables and graphs are discussed and explained in greater detail in a Carolina Huddle home page entry.  You can find the article here:   [link to follow]

    Panthers Week 1 history.png

    Panthers have only won 8 season openers in their history, but in 5 of those 8 seasons, they've been to the playoffs.  In 2005 and 2013, the Panthers lost very close season openers, but went on to have excellent seasons, and make the playoffs.

     

    Does the week 1 score have any correlation with season scoring - either points scored or points allowed?

    Here are the data to help answer those questions - both in table and graph format.

    First, here's a look at Points Scored in week 1 and in the averages for each season (in all games, losses, and wins)

    Wk 1 vs Season Avg - Points Scored.png

     

    Points Scored - graph.png

     

     

    Here are the data in terms of points allowed in week 1 games, and for each season:

    Wk 1 vs Season Avg - Points Allowed.png

    Points Allowed - graph.png

     

    Superbowl History & Week 1 games.png

  4. Preface: This is a general impression of each team, except the Broncos. I have not analyzed any rosters except the orange-clad opponents we will face on Thursday. I am in the process of writing my game preview for Week 1, so look forward to a position-by-position analysis on Wednesday. But for the purposes of this thread, just assume a subjective but reasonable hot take.

     

    Week 1: @Denver Broncos

    Won't give away too much of my preview for this thread, but I believe the Panthers will play a similar game to the Super Bowl in Denver this week. It will pit one of the best offenses (if not the best), against one of the best defenses. The Panthers offense should improve this season, a thought that should be scary for every single opposing Defensive Coordinator. I think the Bronco's defense will regress slightly due to the loss of Malik Jackson, but they will still probably be a top-5 defense. Here's the catch though, Carolina will also have a top-5 defense while Denver's offense doesn't seem to be a whole lot better. @Jeremy Igo thinks that we should beware of Trevor Siemian, and I agree with his analysis. But the fact of the matter is that they lost both Owen Daniels and Vernon Davis, and didn't find replacements, at least not any with any name-recognition. Not only that, but their offensive line went through some turmoil as well. They lost a few guys, and switched other guys around. They did gain Russell Okung, which offsets their losses. But Panthers fans know all too well that continuity in the trenches can mean the difference between a stout protection unit, and five turnstiles lined up in a row.

     

    Prediction: 24-20 Panthers

    Record: 1-0

     

    Week 2: vs San Francisco 49ers

    We are playing the 49ers. Any given Sunday and all that jazz aside, I think our boys will be fired up to return to play in front of a frenzied home crowd. It seems that the 9ers are on the right track to rebuild their franchise, but they are playing the defending NFC champion. Out of their league this season I think. Plus I'll be at that game and fug Colin Kaepernick, so we better win.

     

    Prediction: 30-17 Panthers

    Record: 2-0

     

    Week 3: vs Minnesota

    What a gruesome injury to Teddy Bridgewater huh? The Vikings brought in Sam Bradford to take over starting duties for this season, but I'm just not as afraid of him as I was Bridgewater. I think the Vikes will score some. But I think we will score more.

     

    Prediction: 27-17

    Record: 3-0

     

    Week 4: @Atlanta

    This is an interesting game to predict. The Panthers are 2-1 in their last 3 games in Atlanta. Cam, Some Money Johnson, and Thomas Davis love to play here. And the last time the Panthers were in Atlanta, they were distracted and gave away their undefeated season. I don't think they have forgotten, and I think they will play hard. But as much as I hate Matt Ryan, he isn't a bad quarterback. Not elite or even great. But good enough that, coupled with Julio Jones and rookie cornerbacks in the Panther secondary, this game scares me. Atlanta isn't going to challenge the Panthers for the division I don't think, but they have just the right tools to edge out the Panthers. The best thing Carolina can do to earn a win is to get after Matt Ryan early and often. He folds under pressure. I don't see the Panthers being stopped by their defense, but hopefully before Week 4, we will have a better indication of how our young secondary will fare against better competition. This looks to be their first test, and until proven otherwise, I will have faith in our team.

     

    Prediction: 27-24 Panthers

    Record: 4-0

     

    Week 5: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    The Buccaneers will probably also be a stiff test for the Panthers young secondary. Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, coupled with Jameis Winston's mobility, will prove to be very tough for the defense. As for the Panthers offense, they scored 37 and 38 points on a defense that hasn't seen a lot of turnover in it's starters. I don't see that changing much but, to be safe, I will hedge my prediction a bit.

     

    Prediction: 31-20 Panthers

    Record: 5-0

     

    Week 6: @New Orleans

    The third of four tough tests for the secondary, this will be a nail-biting game. If the Panthers can take advantage of a weak Saints offensive line, they might be able to contain Drew Brees. But no one should forget that the Saints have great receivers, and that they always play the Panthers tough, AND this game will be in New Orleans. Its hard to make a prediction, because the Panthers may dominate, or they may lose a close game. I have no worries that Cam will be able to lead this team if a shoot out occurs like last year when these two teams played in New Orleans. Im just wondering if the Panther defense can capitalize on the weaknesses of the Saints offense, while minimizing the effect of their own weaknesses. The good news is that by the time I write this preview, we all should know what we have in our secondary. Look for Carolina to take a lead with a few minutes left in the 4th and stiffen up to hang on for a victory.

     

    Prediction: 34-27 Panthers

    Record: 6-0

     

    Week 7: Bye

    NFC South Standings:

    1. Carolina 6-0

    2. Saints 2-3

    3. Buccaneers 2-4

    4. Falcons 2-4

     

    Week 8: vs Arizona Cardinals

    This game is impossible to predict. I need to see how Carson Palmer will bounce back from the shellacking we gave him in the NFCCG. I need to see if Larry Ftiz is going to maintain his level of play as he gets older. I need to see if that defense is rightfully hyped up. 8 weeks into the season is a long time from now and so much could change. I think the Cardinals will be fired up to get revenge, but this game will be in front of the Carolina faithful, which infuses the Panthers with a insane amount of energy of their own. Still, if I am going to chose a winner right now, I think I have to go with the Cardinals. And that sucks because I will be at that game. I think it will be close though.

     

    Prediction: 24-23 Cardinals

    Record: 6-1

     

    Week 9: @Los Angeles Rams

    I think the Rams might be wild card material this year. But I don't think they will have the tools on offense or defense to challenge the Panthers. More to come by November 6th, but for now...

     

    Prediction: 27-14 Panthers

    Record: 7-1

     

    Week 10: vs Kansas City Chiefs

    Another tough game to predict. My general impression is that the Chiefs are going to be pretty good this year. But their receiving corps doesn't scare me as much as teams even within our own division. Not sure about their O-line, but I have faith in our defense to get after Alex Smith and stuff Jamaal Charles if he is healthy for this game. I think it will be a close game that the Panthers pull out in the end.

     

    Prediction: 21-17 Panthers

    Record: 8-1

     

    Week 11: vs New Orleans Saints

    The same concerns apply here as did the earlier away game against New Orleans, but Carolina will be double motivated by a friendly crowd and playoff seeding. I think it wont be as close, but will probably still be closer than Carolina fans would want. I forsee a late score by the Panthers to make the game seem less close than it was.

     

    Prediction: 34-21

    Record: 9-1

     

    Week 12: @Oakland Raiders

    Traveling to the West Coast wont be so bad for the Panthers the first week. The Raiders are an up-and-coming team not unlike the Buccaneers. I think they are a season away from being a threat to the top teams. Not that the Panthers should sleep on this team. If they do, Oakland has the tools to may Carolina pay. Late score by the Raiders to make the game seem closer than it was.

     

    Prediction: 28-20 Panthers

    Record: 10-1

     

    Week 13: @Seattle Seahawks

    Like the Cardinals and Chiefs games, Im not sure what to think about this game. I believe this Panthers team is able to win every single game this season. I don't see anyone on our schedule that makes me think “we wont win that game”. But if I were to a pick a game that the Panthers lose this season, it would be this one in Seattle. They will want revenge for both embarrassments we gave them last season, and its always hard to play in front of their obnoxious 2012ers.

     

    Prediction: 21-20 Seahawks

    Record: 10-2

     

    Week 14: vs San Diego Chargers

    Many people think this team will be a push over. Im not so sure. They have talented starters on both sides of the ball, and they will kick off another 4-game stretch (this time to close the season) where the Panthers rookie cornerbacks and safety depth will be tested. My gut tells me the Panthers win this game comfortably, but by no means a blow out. After the loss in Seattle, this team will be itching to bounce back in front of the home crowd. And top to bottom, the Panthers are simply more talented.

     

    Prediction: 27-17 Panthers

    Record: 11-2

     

    Week 15: @Washington Redskins

    We in Carolina know that our defense is a plug-and-play system in the secondary. We have routinely gotten high-level play out of scrubs for three years running now. No offense to Josh Norman, because I truly believe he is an elite cornerback. But if he thinks the Panthers will be lost without him in this game, I think he will be mistaken. Plus, he can only cover one side of the field at a time. How is Washington going to defend Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Greg Olsen, Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, Ted Ginn, Philly Brown, and Mike Tolbert all at the same time? They can't and they won't. Norman might well get his once. Maybe he even has a pick-six. But I really don't think They have enough to stop Carolina completely. If anything, this game will be a shoot out.

     

    Prediction: 30-24 Panthers

    Record: 12-2

     

    Week 16: vs Atlanta Falcons

    Just like New Orleans, the same concerns apply in this game. We will know whether to worry about this game or not by the time it rolls around. It wont be a mystery. But also like the home game against New Orleans, the Panthers don't like disappointing the home crowd. I think we win handily.

     

    Prediction: 34-21

    Record: 13-3

     

    Week 17: @Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    This is the last game of the season, and another hard one to predict. On one hand, this team didn't rest its starters last year against the Buccaneers at home. It doesn't seem like “resting starters” is part of Ron Rivera's coaching philosophy. But this game will be in Tampa Bay, and the Panthers will be sitting pretty with 13 wins. I think it's going to depend on what the playoff seeding implications of the game are. If the Panthers can't improve or protect their seed by playing starters, then I think Rivera rests them and I think our backups wont win against Tampa's starters. The other issue will be that, like Los Angeles, Tampa may be fighting for a Wild Card berth this season. I think the chances are highly likely that the Rivera will rest the starters if Tampa is fighting for a playoff spot at the same time the Panthers cant improve or protect their playoff positioning. If my predictions are right that the Panthers have earned 13 wins before Week 17, I think they will be sitting on top of the NFC. I doubt that either Arizona or Seattle will be in position to challenge Carolina's top-position, and the only other logical competitor is Green Bay. By virtue of their pansy schedule this year, I think the Packers may go 14-2. So let me wrap this up... I think Tampa will be fighting to get in the dance, I think the Panthers will be competing with ONLY Green Bay for #1 seed. I think we play the starters and take the same approach we do every week, “just want to be 1-0 this week.”

     

    Prediction: 27-24 Panthers

    Final Record: 14-2

    Final NFC South Standings:

    1. Carolina 14-2

    2. Tampa Bay 8-8

    3. New Orleans 6-10

    4. Atlanta 6-10

     

    NFC Playoff Seeding:

    1. Carolina

    2. Green Bay

    3. Arizona

    4. Washington

    5. Seattle

    6. Philadelphia

     

    AFC Playoff Seeding:

    1. New England

    2. Pittsburgh

    3. Denver

    4. Houston

    5. Kansas City

    6. Jacksonville

     

    Wild Card Week:

    Philadelphia @ Arizona → Arizona

    Seattle @ Washington → Seattle

    Jacksonville @ Denver → Denver

    Kansas City @ Houston → Kansas City

     

    Divisional Week:

    Seattle @ Carolina → Carolina

    Arizona @ Green Bay → Arizona

    Kansas City @ New England → New England

    Denver @ Pittsburgh → Pittsburgh

     

    Championship Weekend:

    Arizona @ Carolina → Carolina

    Pittsburgh @ New England → New England

     

    Super Bowl:

    Carolina vs New England → Carolina

     

    Electric-blue goggles were left off for this post. I really think 14-2 and a Super Bowl win is a possibility for this team. If i were to predict a range, then 14-2 is the ceiling and 11-5 is the floor.

  5. As you have probably heard, there were three Power Ball lottery winners last night. Each winner will take home over $300 million before taxes. The winners were from Florida, Tennessee, and California. In a stunning twist, the winner from Chino Hills, CA, which is a suburb of Los Angeles, has come forward. Before we tell you the name of this person, let's hear a little background straight from the horse's mouth.

    During an exclusive interview with the winner, we here at "Carolina in the Caribbean" found out some of the juicy details. 

    The winner, henceforth referred to as "Mr. W" for Winner, was in LA on business when he stopped at a 7-11 to buy a refreshing Pepsi. On a whim he bought some lottery tickets. He bought 100 of them, because he is already what most would consider wealthy. After spending his $202.15, he went on his way to his business meeting in Inglewood. He had recently worked out a plan to relocate his business to LA, and was finalizing some things with one of his business partners. He had just went public with the announcement, and it was not well received in his soon to be former location. The move would have a fairly large impact on the economy of the area, and no one was happy with him.

    We asked him about the perception of him in his former town, and this is what he had to say:

    "That town no longer exists to me. I tried to get them to work out a mutually beneficial package for us to stay, and they came back with a bag of rotten apples and a location in a bad neighborhood. Not that there are any good neighborhoods there, but this one was really bad. My customers would be robbed the minute they left with new merchandise."

    He went on to further disparage his former home, but we can not print what he said, as it was profanity laced, and not in good taste. Suffice it to say that he compared the town to a hole found on a not so clean lady of the evening after she has serviced more than one of her clients without bathing in between encounters. 

    Much has been printed about the tensions that were created by the announcement of the move. The main issue was that the move was announced before approval had been garnered from his business partners. There was competition from 3 other franchise owners for the same location, and each one basically had to take a big steaming crap on their current location to prove that they should be the ones to move. Now as you can imagine, the two who did not gain the approval now are stuck in a location that is covered in fecal matter of their own doing. 

    What may surprise everyone reading this, is what Mr. W said after that"

    "If I had bought these winning tickets back before I moved, it would have been enough of an incentive, and enough of a supplement, that I would have stayed. This money, along with what the city gave me would have been enough to cover the building of a new location and I would not have had to move my business."

    This announcement will be a slap in the face to the residents of his former town, but it is something they need to hear. You were 6 numbers and one thirsty owner from keeping the move from happening.

    So without further ado, let me introduce for the first time, as 1/3 winner of the $1.6 billion Power Ball Lottery:

    Stan Kroenke - Owner of the LA Rams

    Stan-Kroenke-Arsenal-007.jpg

     

    Please note that this article is satire, and is complete bullcrap.

  6. O-Ther
    Latest Entry

    A LOT of talk going around today, and lots of relevant info is falling thru the cracks because the center of the media world, New York, is driving the conversation. The only way we were going to come out of yesterday's game squeaky clean is if we would have just played by the rules, been a good little small market team, and lost to the mightiest of the big market teams, the New Jersey GJeiants. So mighty they have to time-share an out-of-NYState stadium with another NFL team. Anywhoooooo............

    Odell was a rookie that missed the first 4 games last year, fighting hamstring injuries iirc. In his 7th career game, he breaks twitter with "The Catch". Since it's New York, all kinds of positive press and butt-kissing comes. He understandably gets his ego stroked bigger and bigger. Signs of this show up 4 games later in the week 16 game vs. the Rams. Odell talked plenty of trash and got Rams players so wound up, a fight erupted and players got ejected. Throw in a taunting penalty after a touchdown, and the seeds of becoming a WR diva were sprouting.

    Cue the offseason. 9 months for the fledgling diva to gestate and grow. Thanks to the New York media, everyone knows the rookie and lavishes him with flattery and praise. How can someone not love the attention and being the most popular kid in the multiverse? Hear "You're the greatest ever!" from enough people and it becomes the truth in your mind.

    Now this season, on October 4 vs. Buffalo, Odell is caught throwing a punch on Bills Safety Duke Williams and is fined by the NFL. Bills players accused Odell and other Giants players of throwing a lot of cheap shots to get the Bills to retaliate, since it's the second guy that gets noticed and flagged. "It's what he does, it's part of his game. He'll get away with it. he's the golden boy of the league."

    As the season progresses, the Giants lose more and more games in the final 2 minutes. Whispers start about the coach, QB, and WR. Maybe they aren't as good as the fans hoped. Why aren't they running away with the NFC East? Shouldn't they be scoring more? Cue the game vs. Washington on November 29. The headline of USA Today says "Odell makes another astonishing one-handed TD catch." Doubt erased and the love affair commences again.

    December 6 vs. the co-tenant, cross-stadium rival Jets. Winner should get the New York media love, but Darrelle Revis is inactive for this game. No big match-up of the century. Odell scores a 70+ yard TD coming out of the slot, but another questionable coaching decision in the 4th quarter costs the Giants the lead 2 and sends the game to OT. Jets kick a FG to take the lead in OT. After a failed 3rd down conversion, Odell kicks the ball in frustration. He makes up for it on the next play converting on 4th down, but the Giants kicker misses the tying FG wide left, his first missed FG of the season. Giants lose. No match-up vs. Revis. Frustration builds. Couldn't prove he's the best. "Well, well, well. There's Josh Norman on the schedule in 2 weeks. Josh is being crowned the best CB in the league. Hmmmmmmmmm. I couldn't face the legend, but I do get to face the Dark Knight. That what Josh calls himself, right? I wonder how I can get in Josh's head.............."

    Next week vs. Miami during pre-game warmups, what appears on Odell's feet but Joker cleats? "Yeah, start thinking about me Josh. I'm coming for you in MY house next week. New Jersey, I've made it there, I can make it anywhere, New Jersey, NEW JERSEYYYYYYYYYYY." Odell makes an amazing TD catch with toe drag swag caught on camera by Pylon-cam. Odell is definitely feeling the love from the New York media. The tension builds in Odell's mind as gameday gets closer. "So close, so close. I can do this. I'm gonna beat Josh Norman and show the world I own this league." As they say on Broadway, the stage is set.

    But the Panthers didn't come to watch a play. They came TO play. And they weren't playing. They did bring a bat like previous games. Thought the game was in New York. They've played football games in Yankee Stadium before. "Should we take it out there? Well, it was CB Bene Benwikere's gimmick. But he broke his leg last week vs. Atlanta. Yeah, let's take it out there to show Bene he's still a part of the team. Hey look, Odell's heading this way. Starting early with the trash talk, huh? You must have missed the memo about doing that. Julio Jones tried that last week. Or did you hear about it and want to try it, too? Why you scared, Odell? You've got pads on and that guy with the bat doesn't. And you've got a stadium full of witnesses. Come back. Please. We love hearing how you're going to whip us." Josh didn't back down, and on the first series of the game, Odell knew he was gonna have to work and use every trick to beat Josh. "Whole world is watching. Greatest match-up of the century of the week. Gotta show I'm the greatest. Everyone tells me that I am. I must be. Damn, I can't shake Josh. But I need to shake Josh. I'm the greatest! Everyone on TV says I'm the greatest. I AM THE GREATEST!!. Shut up, ref. This is my house. I'll do what I want. Shut up, coach. I'm the team. Everyone in New Jersey knows I'm the whole team. You hear me, Josh? I DO WHAT I WANT!!!!!"

  7. And now for something completely different...

    The Panther - Hannibal

    Hannibal is a powerful name in history. According to Wikipedia (the end all be all of any tavern dispute) "Hannibal (247 – 183 x 181 BC), fully Hannibal Barca, was a Punic Carthaginian military commander, generally considered one of the greatest military commanders in history...Often regarded as one of the greatest military strategists in history, Hannibal would later be considered one of the greatest generals of antiquity"

    800px-Mommsen_p265.thumb.jpg.dcdab641687

    It would be easy to reference a great military commander to the Carolina Panthers. In fact, I'm sure the future legacy of Luke Kuechly will end up very similar to that of Hannibal. "Hannibal caused great distress to many in Roman society. It has been saidthat for generations, Roman housekeepers would tell their children brutal tales of Hannibal when they misbehaved. In fact, Hannibal became such a figure of terror that whenever disaster struck, the Roman Senators would exclaim "Hannibal ante portas" ("Hannibal is at the gates!") to express their fear or anxiety. This famous Latin phrase became a common expression that is often still used when a client arrives through the door or when one is faced with calamity.[58]"

    However, I'm not talking about Hannibal the great general from history. I've been watching the TV show Hannibal (http://www.nbc.com/hannibal)and have really developed a taste for it.

    p9257532_b_v7_ac.thumb.jpg.6789e88a66f8a

    The show follows the adventures of a master surgeon, psychiatrist and all together renowned chef. Now you may be thinking "Hey man...hold on just a second! Isn't Hannibal Lecter a fuging cannibal? That's just so wrong!" Yes. You're right. But before you cannot stomach to go further let's look at some historical examples of the concept of eating your enemies.

    Some research shows that,

    "In the early modern period, various European observers documented rituals surrounding hostile cannibalism. Such behaviour was motivated by deeply embedded notions of Us and Them. The French traveller André Thevet made this abundantly clear in his account of the Brazilian Tupinamba (1567)."

    They have been always their mortal enemies ... they say we have eaten your parents, also we will eat you, with many other threatenings ... The greatest vengeance that these wild men use, and that seemeth to them most cruel, is to eat their enemies.

    So eating your enemy was a sign of how much you hated and despised your enemy. To the point of ultimate disrespect. Further reading reveals this interesting aspect:

    "Daniel Korn, Mark Radice and Charlie Hawes (2001) point out that Europeans who encountered Fiji island cannibalism in the early nineteenth century found an essentially religious motivation for the consumption of an enemy – it was believed that the spirit of a dead person remained with the body for four days, and that if you ate the corpse before this time elapsed, you ‘prevented it from ascending to the spirit world and becoming a source of power and guidance to your enemies’."

    So basically, eating your enemies prevented their spirits from aiding your other enemies and basically sent a message a la Tony Soprano about what kind of person they were dealing with...exactly. And just a little more research uncovers these gems:

    "There are beliefs such as eating your foe will give you his strength or courage. In fact, the word originally meant "strong man" and was used by tribes that believed this.

    There is a statue in Tarabuco, Bolivia commemorating a victory of the native Quechua people over their Spanish conquerors. The statue shows a Quechua with an Axe Crazy face standing over his defeated Spanish foe. The Spaniard has a gaping hole in his chest and the Quechua is eating his heart. Keep in mind this is a statue...fully painted...in the town square...and was built by the Quechua...recently...as in the past 10 years."

    So clearly the act of eating your enemy (at least to some) is a powerful act that has many facets to its rationale and even it's desired effect. I can't say for sure why Hannibal eats his victims (I'm still on Season 1) but I can say this with certainty...he sure does make the dishes look amazingly good. So having said all this, let's look at some of his recipes (thanks to this wonderful reference) had he been a Panther (I'm thinking probably Head Coach but who knows) shall we?

    Roast Buccaneer stuffed with Spinach and Mushrooms

    serves four

    4  10-oz bags of spinach, washed and trimmed
    ½  cup butter
    1 ½ lb mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch
    ¾ tsp crushed garlic
    1 ½ tsp salt
    1 tsp  ground pepper
    1 ¼ cups dry breadcrumbs
    1 2-lb Buccaneer strip loin
    2 oz thinly sliced pork fat

    1. Place a half bag of spinach in a plastic zipper bag. Zip partially closed, leaving opening for steam to escape. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove to a strainer to drain. Place drained spinach in cheeesecloth and squeeze dry.  Set aside. Repeat with remaining spinach.
    2. In a sauté pan over highheat, melt 2 – 3 Tbsp butter and add about 1 cup of  the mushrooms. Cook until moisture is released from mushrooms and re-absorbed. Season to taste with garlic, salt and pepper. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining mushrooms.
    3. Preheat oven to 400°.
    3. In a food processor, combine half of the spinach, mushrooms and breadcrumbs. Pulse until finely chopped and combined.  Remove and repeat with remaining.
    4. With a sharp slicing or boning knife, slice a pocket in the Buccaneer loin to within ½ inch of the sides. Season inside of this pocket with salt and pepper and stuff with spinach/mushroom mixture. Transfer to a roasting pan and place slices of pork fat on top.
    5. Roast for 20 minutes or until Buccaneer is medium-rare. Rest for 15 min before slicing. Serve with Cumberland Sauce.

    recipe-drawings.jpg

     

    Cumberland Sauce


    1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed and pressed through a sieve to remove seeds
    1 orange Juice and zest
    2/3 cup port
    1 Tbp red currant jelly
    pinch cayenne

    Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer until reduced by a third.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sounds great doesn't it? Next comes something for our enemies from the French Quarter...

    Saint Lung and Loin Bourguignonne

    Serves 4

     

    Wine sauce:

    ¼ lb thick cut bacon , cut in ¼-inch strips
    4 Tbsp butter
    4 shallots, minced
    2 cup red wine
    2 cups Saint stock
    1/4 cup flour
    to taste salt, pepper

     

    Lung and Loin

    4 Tbsp olive oil
    1 lb Saints lungs, trimmed of tracheal tubes and cut in 1-inch cubes
    1 lb Saints tenderloin, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces
    2 cup Portobello mushrooms, trimmed and cut in ½-inch slices
    12 baby red onions, peeled and par-boiled
    1 cup baby carrots, par-boiled

    1. In a large deep frying pan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry until lightly browned and fat has been released. Add shallots and sauté til soft.
    2. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until lightly browned.
    3. Stir in wine and stock, whisking to smooth out any lumps of roux and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened. Set aside.
    4. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil. Season Saints tenderloin with salt and pepper, add to pan and sauté til medium rare. Remove from pan. Wipe pan dry with paper towel and return to heat with 2 tsp olive oil. Add lung and brown, stirring constantly til browned but not releasing too much liquid. Remove from pan. Wipe pan dry and return to heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil and half of the mushrooms. Saute til mushrooms begin to release moisture. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining mushrooms.
    5. Return wine sauce to heat and bring to boil. Add pearl onions and carrots and simmer til tender. Add lungs, Saints loin and mushrooms and simmer just til heated through but Saints loin still medium-rare.
    6. Serve with herbed rice or buttery mashed potatoes.

    Simply divine. Finally let's finish with something for our fine feathered friends:

    Tandoori Falcon Liver

    A spicy twist on an old favorite, Falcon Liver and Bacon, this dish is sensational served with saffron rice and a cooling dollop of sour cream or yoghurt. Tandoori spice mix can substitute for smoked paprika.
     
    Serves 4

    1 lb sliced Falcon liver, soaked in milk for 4 hours in the fridge
    2 Tbsp smoked paprika or tandoori spice mix
    3 Tbsp sour-milk kibe, ghee or cultured butter
    1 Tbsp finely chopped shallots to taste salt
    2 oz braised pork belly, in 1/8-inch thick slices
    3 Tbsp orange marmalade jelly
    2 Tbsp lemon juice


    1.  In a small bowl, combine marmalade and lemon juice. Set aside. Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat and brown pork belly slices on both sides. Add marmalade mixture to pan and toss to coat evenly. Heat until marmalade starts to bubble and reduce. Set aside in warm oven.
    2. Drain liver and dredge in smoked paprika, coating both sides heavily. Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of the butter. When butter is bubbling, add liver slices to the pan and fry for 1 minute, turn and fry other side for an additional 2 minutes, or until meat is medium-rare. Remove from pan to a covered warm platter. With a paper towel, wipe sauté pan clean of any burned spices and repeat with remaining slices.
     3. When all liver slices have been cooked, arrange on serving platter, top with pork belly slices and drizzle any remaining marmalade glaze over liver slices.
     
    So there you have it. A couple of recipes that the Panthers could serve up this year. Granted these meals are eclectic and should probably only be served a few times a year. But once a week we should treat ourselves to a special meal this football season.
  8. Legendary actor Nicolas Cage (or "The One True God" as many on the internet know him) has been gracing the silver screen since his small role in the classic 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Little did we know the kind of impact he would have on the film industry and what one would consider "good acting". It wasn't until 13 years later that Jerry RIchardson graced the Carolinas with it's own professional football team, The Carolina Panthers. For the past 20+ years, the Man and the Franchise have coexisted together seemingly unrelated. But there is one common question that people often ask about both Nicolas Cage and the Carolina Panthers: are they actually any good?

    For years the debate has raged on trying to classify Nic Cage into one of two categories: Good Actor who makes occasional bad films or Bad Actor who makes occasional good films. There is no in between for this guy. He either knocks it out of the park with roles in Moonstruck or Raising Arizona - or completely bombs in films like The Wickerman.

    Much like the enigma that is Nic Cage, the Panthers struggle to find an identity of their own in the parity filled league of the NFL. For 20 up and down years, the Panthers have struggled to consistently put a winning team on the field with never having back to back winning seasons, yet still managing to make it to the playoffs twice in the past two years. 

    This lack of identity for both parties is both frustrating and comical. Neither are consistent enough to determine their overall "quality" whether it be past or present. Unlike Marlon Brando and The Washington Redskins, their best years are not in the past. Unlike Tom Hanks and the Green Bay Packers, they don't have a long storied history of quality output and consistency. And unlike David Duchovney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Grant and The Patriots, they aren't lying, dirty, filthy, fuging cheaters. 

    It seems that the lack of Identity for the One True God and the Carolina Panthers, is in fact their identity. The inconsistency of both parties would lead you to believe they are in no way related. but a post by a fellow huddler got me thinking, "Is there any relation to The One True God and The Panthers? I have decided to scour the internet and compare the career of Nicolas Cage to the History of the Carolina Panthers. What I found truly surprised me:

    Panthers_v_Cage_Chart.thumb.png.14d8ba23

    Consider the Chart above. Playoff years have been highlighted in blue and Cage Films have been separated into two categories. Quality Cage Films and Bad Cage Films, because like we established earlier, he has no in between. Cage has stared in 47 movies since the Panthers have been around. Let's go deeper:

    Panthers_v_cage_Line_Graph.thumb.png.b25

    (Years in which the Panthers went to the playoffs can be recognized by the Nic Cage face.)

    Now what conclusions can we draw from this?

    • Panthers have never had a winning record in years in which Nicolas Cage has made more than one bad film. 
    • Nic Cage has had 10 years in this time frame in which he has made 1 or fewer bad films in a year. In those years, the panthers have made the playoffs 50% of the time.
    • In years in which Cage has made 2 or more bad films, the Panthers have missed the playoffs all but one year.
    • Con Air Kicks ass
    • If Nic Cage does not make a bad Movie, the panthers have a 50% chance of making the playoffs with a 25% chance of making the Super Bowl.

    So now that we have established the undeniable bond between the Carolina  Panthers and Nicolas Cage, what does the future hold? Well 2015 is anyone's guess. Cage has already released a stinker in the form of the film The Runner with one more scheduled to be released by the end of the Calendar year in Pay the Ghost. Early reviews are split on Pay the Ghost, but if we're lucky, it will be good. The fate of a winning season might rest on that movie's shoulders. There is however a Wild-Card in the form of the Movie The Trust co-staring Elijah Wood and Jerry Lewis. The film has been stuck in post production since April with no release date in sight. That tends to mean the movie sucks. If it does in fact suck, we can only hope that the release is pushed back to 2016, or maybe not at all, where Cage has a solid foundation for a good year with films like The Croods 2 and Snowden both coming out. One silver lining can be found if it does come out and it does in fact, suck: The Panthers can still make the playoffs. 

    Yes, much like Nic Cage has found a way to continue getting work on solid films, The Panthers found a way to Make it to the Playoffs with a losing record due to a poor divisional situation last year. If that trend continues, then the Victor of the NFCS could very well be a team with a .500 record at 8-8... The exact kind of loophole that could get the Panthers into the playoffs if Nicolas Cage drops another Bomb.

    One more thing I'd like to add. Cage is obviously a Cam supporter:

    Nic_Cage_Superman.thumb.jpg.b4adbdef040a

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          Guys, it ridiculous how excited I am for this season. Like I'm always counting down the days every year, but I've got a special feeling about this year. Just bought tickets to the home opener vs the texans (tickets have gotten so much more expensive... I guess the price you pay for actually being good) which is gonna be super hype. Also bought a CamWow... everyone should get one, they're pretty neat and would be cool to have a bunch of fans with it. 

         Anyways, I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic but its really hard with all the optimism in panther nation right now. Cam finally healthy, KB looking good and improving on last year, D looking solid as ever (especially the secondary), J Stew finally healthy with solid backups. Its looking good.

    All I know is it is going to be a special season. #Panthernation #Keeppounding

     

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    cookinwithgas
    Latest Entry

    Last weekend I prepped the smoker for the season. It gets used only occasionally in the off season so there's usually not a ton to do - after a good pressure washing and cleaning I take a brass wire wheel attachment to my drill and take off any surface rust or other gunk from the smoker and fire drums, and repaint with hi temp black. I also disassemble the gas borners, clean and remove rust/gunk from them, and paint hi temp silver. Make sure the gas valves are adjusted right, clean and shine the tires, and she's ready.

    My tailgating friend is in a group called the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association - its all those really crazy fans with names like the Broncinator, PredatorHawk, etc. that have elaborate costumes at the games. Catman is actually a charter member of the group. My friend takes the smoker up to the "reunion" of the group in Canton OH on Hall of Fame Weekend. There is a big parade and many other events but the year I went what I remembered was the party. Tailgaters from about 2/3 or more of the teams, all with their own area to put up tents, cooking materials, etc - all making up their specialties to share. Amazing does not really describe it - fresh Maryland crabcakes right out of the pot at the Ravens tent, Eagles tailgaters making cheesesteaks, all kinds of regional drinks - and our smoker going for over 12 hours smoking up some NC barbecue, the best!

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    Pinto Ron, the most dedicated Bills fan on the planet. is famous for cooking using weird methods. Here is his army helmet setup fro frying chicken wings:

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    You are kind of expected to have a great setup at this event so we worked hard and put up our bar, our trophies for the bus we won at the Panthers Draft day events, and even satellite TV - and we also had the music setup for the party so we were jumping all night.

    SAM_3767.thumb.JPG.5012a5c29be67e2220a57

    Unfortunately I can't make it to Canton again this year to support my friends but I know they will be having a great time getting pumped for the season! One more pic, this is the inside of a great custom bus our friends from the Browns brought:

    SAM_3995.thumb.JPG.3de640e448ac80ebba928

  9. One of the few moves the Hornets will be making in free agency is whether or not to re-sign 22 year old big man Bismack Biyombo. After playing out all 4 years of his rookie scale contract, the team now has to make a decision on whether or not to extend the qualifying offer to Biyombo. For those unfamiliar with the way the rookie contract system works in the NBA, every rookie first round pick (Biyombo was pick 7 in 2011) drafted that comes over immediately is given a two year contract, with two team options for years three and four. After the rookie deal is played out, the team can extend the qualifying offer to the player, making him a restricted free agent. The player and team then have several options on where to go from there:

    • The player can choose to simply play out the QO, becoming an unrestricted free agent the next offseason (The only player to ever decline offers and do this is Greg Monroe)
    • The team can offer the player a new contract which, if accepted, starts immediately
    • The player can accept another team's offer, giving the original team (Hornets in this case) 3 days to decide whether or not they wish to match the contract

    39741eb8da167cfeb2fc9032d707a795.jpg?ito

     

    Bismack Biyombo came into the league as an incredibly raw prospect, playing basketball for a very short amount of time before becoming an NBA player. Draft Express said in an article written on Biyombo pre-draft: 

    What makes Biyombo unique to talent evaluators is his outstanding combination of physical attributes, toughness and intangibles. 

    Any scouting report must start with Biyombo's dimensions, which are downright freakish. He measured a 7-7 wingspan (which would rank fifth longest in our expansive database) at the Nike Hoop Summit, despite standing just 6-7 ¾ without shoes. No player of record has ever measured a wingspan that is nearly 12 inches longer than his actual height—the closest is Jason Maxiell, who is 6-5 without shoes with a 7-3 ¼ wingspan. He also sports a chiseled 243-pound frame (4.8% body fat) that he should have no problem putting additional weight onto. 

    Biyombo is also an excellent athlete. He runs the floor extremely well and is very explosive around the basket. The coordination and reflexes he shows are atypical of a player with such little experience and give him a great framework to improve on as he continues to grow. 

    What makes Biyombo so interesting, though, is his willingness to utilize his physical tools. He plays the game with incredible emotion (think Joakim Noah or Kevin Garnett), often putting opposing players and teammates in harm's way with his desire to make his presence felt. He competes on every possession, often to the point of physical exhaustion, something that will need to be honed. Still, it's an extremely desirable trait in a prospect.

    Offensively, Biyombo is fairly limited from a skills perspective. Nevertheless, he finds ways to produce in his own unique fashion; mostly by running the floor in transition, crashing the offensive glass and working off the ball. 

    His length gives guards an incredible target radius to work with, allowing them to lob the ball into the paint at difficult angles because they can trust Biyombo to go out and get it, sometimes for a spectacular alley-oop. 

    Knowing he would be a project when he was drafted with the 7th pick in the 2011 draft, the Hornets pulled the trigger on him anyway. After two seasons of starting and being the main center for the Charlotte Bobcats, the organization decided to sign free agent center Al Jefferson to a contract, making Biyombo the backup big man on a better team. The last two seasons Biyombo has been used as the backup center, and has done largely the same statistically as his two years starting, even with less minutes. Biyombo even started 21 games this past season when Jefferson went down with a calf injury. The team did not suffer a drop off, and actually went 11-10 with him in the starting lineup.

    Bismack Biyombo is a defensive presence that is very good at protecting the rim. Biyombo averaged 2.9 block per 36 minutes last season, and has averaged 2.7 blocks per 36 minutes for his career through four years. In comparison to the other perceived great rim protectors in the NBA: 

    • Tyson Chandler through four years: 2.2 blocks per 36
    • DeAndre Jordan through four years: 2.5 blocks per 36
    • Anthony Davis through three years: 2.7 block per 36
    • Serge Ibaka through four years: 3.5 blocks per 36

    As you can see Biyombo is in some fine company as far as blocking shots goes. In fact, of players playing over 1000 minutes last season, Bismack Biyombo ranked 4th in blocks per 36 minutes.  Biyombo is quite obviously an elite shot blocker at the NBA level already, which is very impressive considering the fact that he is 6'8".

    bismack-biyombojpg-5609ff1a729d43c2.jpg

    Another part of the game where Bismack Biyombo shines is in his rebounding prowess. Biyombo averaged 11.8 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, and has averaged 10.4 rebounds per 36 minutes on his career. Again, lets compare that to four of the perceived nest rebounders in the NBA through their first four seasons:

    • Kevin Garnett through four years: 8.5 rebounds per 36
    • DeAndre Jordan through four years: 10.8 rebounds per 36
    • Dwight Howard through four years: 12.2 rebounds per 36
    • Andre Drummond through three years: 14.9 rebounds per 36

    Again, it's pretty apparent that Biyombo is a very good rebounder. I wouldn't classify him as elite, but he very good at rebounding.

    460983486-bismack-biyombo-of-the-charlot

    So, despite Biyombo's many offensive flaws (he can hardly catch a basketball), I believe the front office should extend at the very least the qualifying offer to Biyombo. Biyombo's qualifying offer is $5,479,933. For a team that's over the cap and not in a position to offer anymore than the MLE and bi-annual exception to free agents, there is no reason Biyombo shouldn't receive it. With the acquisition of Spencer Hawes in the earlier trade with the Clippers, and the drafting of Frank Kaminsky, the Hornets do have a frontcourt logjam at the moment. But Biyombo provides defense and rebounding that no one else on this team can provide. Couple that with the fact that $5 million will be nothing with the cap going up and the Hornets organization would be making a mistake letting this promising big man go just because he is offensively limited. He has an elite skill, and that alone makes him valuable.

    Biyombo.jpg

    Note: All stats used in this post are from basketball reference

    This is the first blog post like this I've done. Please do provide feedback on this, positive or negative. I hope to provide a few more of these, including a cap breakdown when free agency starts.

    Follow me on twitter.

  10. So I figured I would post my first follow up to my Travel Hacking blog post.  Today I achieved nearly half of the goal I set for myself as my first venture into travel hacking and that was to qualify for the Southwest Airlines companion pass that lets a companion fly free with you wherever you go for the rest of your current calendar year and the entire next year.  I achieved that by spending 2K on the Rapid Rewards Premiere card which entitled me to 50K bonus points on top of the 2K points that were based off the cost.  I achieved this goal in just a few weeks by indirectly paying my car payment as well as my motorcycle loan, personal loan, and PSL payment while directly using the card for all my daily expenses (aside from food for which I get 10% back using my discover IT card through the end of the month) including a 2 month cell phone bill that was a healthy chunk of the cost.  I will now relegate the card to the stack of un-used credit cards and focus my spending on the Rapid Rewards Plus card that I activated this evening with the same goal in mind.  Over the next few weeks I will spend the 2K on this card via various methods and will post a second follow up with just how I achieved this expenditure as my goal is to hit that 2K goal before the statement cuts on the card during the first part of August.  I will then have the rest of the year to run 6K of expenditure through a combination of the 2 cards to achieve the status.  Obviously the faster the better in order to more quickly qualify for the pass and I have a few ideas for just how to achieve this result that will be posted as another follow up post after I get this initial spend handled.  I'll accept any questions or comments as always on the subject or how to improve the writing of this blog

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    After the Hornets shipped off Lance Stephenson to the Clippers Monday night for Spencer Hawes & Matt Barnes, it became very apparent that the Hornets will go after a shooting guard in this years draft. With only Gerald Henderson, who opted into the third year of his contract today and struggling rookie guard PJ Hairston on the roster, help is needed. This years draft is very weak at shooting guard and more value can be had later in the draft. RJ Hunter is a prospect who is expected to be on the board anywhere from 15-25 and offers more star potential than Kentucky product Devin Booker. To make this happen the Hornets would need to find a trade partner. Boston is currently looking for a partner to move up to draft a player like Willie Cauley-Stein, Mario Hezonja, Devin Booker or Stanley Johnson. The Celtics could potentially package the 16th and 28th for the 9th pick or the 16th pick and a veteran. 

    What would the Hornets get in RJ Hunter? My first impression of Georgia State standout RJ Hunter from a statistical standpoint was a volume shooter with inadequate strength and an atrocious shooting percentage who took advantage of a weak Sun Belt conference. Shooting 39% from the field and 30% from deep is initially a worrisome statistic. After reviewing a decent portion of his games this season it because very apparent that I was wrong about Hunter. His drop-off in accuracy was due to being guarded by multiple defenders at almost all times forcing him to take countless contested shots. Much like Devin Booker, Hunter also provides floor spacing, three-point shooting and the ability to create his own shot. What I like most about him is his quick release will make it extremely difficult for NBA defenders to affect his shot. Hunter's height and near 6'11 wingspan, unlimited range and ability to make highly contested shots make it very apparent why the Hornets have an interest in this prospect. Hunter has one of the highest basketball IQ's in the draft thanks to being the son of a coach and godson of Ron Harper, who won five NBA titles. Also worth noting that adding a late round selecting could land the Hornets a number of interesting prospects such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Justin Anderson, Jonathan Holmes or Anthony Brown. 

    Whoever the Hornets decide to draft next Thursday needs to be an accurate three point threat with the ability to create their own shot.

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    So here I am. Comfy, and ready to fly, as I sit down to start my first Huddle blog. Even though there is a lot riding on this. I can only control…well, in my world, everything. But that’s neither here, nor there, for the time being anywho. You know you want to impress right out of the box. Come on “Like Gang Busters” as some long forgotten aunt, or was it that stupid husband of hers? Show everyone you got what it takes. Take the world by storm. If, you know what I mean.

     

    Speaking of the idiot brother in law. Who forever from this point forward shall now, and for always, be referred to as the "ibit". (Idiot Brother Inlaw Twit.) Smartest guy in the room, and, also the dumbest. My sister gave him a 4pack of MSU season tickets in an old razor box for Xmas one year. She had the brilliant idea to put his razor inside. You know, to balance out the weight and all.

     

    Anyway, the ibit unwraps the present, sees that it’s a razor, raises it up to show everyone, then sets it aside with the rest of his presents. My sister, who is filming this, wants him to get to the tickets. So she asks him to open it up so she can see the razor. He says, “Aw, it’s just a razor hun”.

     

    She tried 3 different pleas to get him to open that damm box. But nooooooo, the stupid twit couldn’t be bothered. I watched my sister go whisper to the mom, who soon got up and as she was walking by mentions to the ibit. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve even seen one of those things. Mind showing me the razor?” “Sure” he says, as he jumps up to please the Queen.

     

    He opens up and shakes out the razor, these 4 tickets kinda fall out into his hand. He looks at the razor, looks at the tickets, and then looks at his wife. He is standing there, looking like a Prom Queen in the lobby of a Mensa convention, looking at that razor. Then, as he is once again looking at the tickets, a smile starts to chip into that granite of perpetual duh.

     

    He looks at his wife and says, “I am pretty sure…that’s my razor. Is this a trick gift?”.

     

    So anyway. I sit down, look at the ol’ lap top, and, nothing. My mind’s a blank. Even though I had no real topic for which to begin my journey into blogdom. I was just betting my brain could come up with something to get the ball rolling. But nope.  Even with all those neurons running with the protons, mixing with all that accrued knowledge rattling around in my head. Nothing. Nada.

     

    So…all those nuggets, tidbits, and snippets I’ve got. All those endless hours in front of the tv. Extensive interaction with all sorts of nefarious characters. Input from sources I don’t even remember. And my brain can’t come up with 1 good idea to start a blog? No two tidbits running into each other and before they know it two more, and then three, and four. And yet can't get enough mass to warrant a topic. How many tidbits does it take to warrant a "This is worth a look"? Give me a break here. I want to look good in front of the guys/girls, so please, give me something.

     

    So I guess Dear Readers, I must pass on this golden opportunity in front of me. For a blogger without an idea is just a…well, you get the idea. A bad topic starter. That is what I have been reduced to. Nothing more than a Panther I start a lot of threads wannabe. Oh the humanity.

     

     

    Pet Peeve Corner.

     

    This is what I’m going to call my random thoughts section. A thought struck me, and I wanted to get it down. By the time I actually did get around to it? …Nothing, gone. But hey, at least now, when I do have one of those tangent thoughts, I know where to put it.

     

    I can be off on a rant, I mean, c’mon man, we all love to vent, and when a tangent pops up. I now have the ability to expand abilities. I cannot only ride my tangent out. But, if I arrive home safely from wherever it took me. I simply copy and paste it later. Thus allowing me to return to my rant in record time. Brilliant.

     

     

    I’m going to leave you with a game I hope to play. It’s called. “College, or Hillbilly”. I’ll give you a quote, or a situation. And you tell me if it was said/done by a College Grad, or a Hillbilly.

     

    So, with future ado. The inaugural “College or Hillbilly” question is: “Boy, once that air-conditioning kicks in, it sure can feel good.”

     

    So good folks of HuddleLand. Who among you said College? Yeah!!!! Or Hillbilly? Huuuuh?

     

    If you made it this far, thank you. If you cheated and jumped to the end, I’ll know. Leave a comment. Only if you really feel the need. No pressure. Or, you know, um, don’t comment. If that is what you feel is best.

     

    Vote here.  @yalikeihaveawebsitec’onman.aol.com

     

     

  11. Looking through the blogs that have started I thought I would give some tips. 

    1. There are blogs and there are blog entries. Each member is allowed one blog. Within that blog you can make unlimited entries (articles). 

    2. Choose a descriptive and unique title for your blog with keywords. If it is a Panthers blog, you may want to have Panthers in the title. 

    3. Make sure your blog article is rich with content keywords. If your entry is about Panthers running backs, making sure the words Carolina Panthers and Running Backs are within the first sentence or two will be appreciated when google indexes your blog entry. Google love = more attention to your article. 

    4. Share the link to your article on social media. Twitter users love links, but google also pays attention to social media. Social media love = Google love. Google love = more reader. 

    5. Format your entry well. Our new huddle has feature rich text editing capabilities. Use them. 

     

    In the end, Huddle Blogs is a feature that will allow those Huddlers with an entrepreneurial spirit to make more of a name for themselves in the Panthers fan community.

    How popular your blog becomes is totally up to you. Put in the work, provide quality content, and the huddle platform will deliver results. 

    It is my hope that this feature will be the spring board to bigger things for some of our talented folks on this site. 

     

     

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    Offense, gets the larger part of an organizations money when it comes to player salaries.  Does this mean that the offense is the greater power?  I don't think so.  Defense wins.  That's correct.  When you read about an organization's trail to the Superbowl, the closer to that achievement an organization gets, the more you hear about 'defense wins Superbowls'.  This dichotomy has bugged me for years.  So, I say the defensive players should be paid more for their toils.

     

     

    Is this how you blog?

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