Scott Fowler’s quick takes on the week in sports:
▪ BUT JANUARY CAN BE BEAUTIFUL: Charlotte hopes to host college football’s national championship game at Bank of America Stadium in either 2019 or 2020 and got a visit from members of the College Football Playoff management group a few days ago.
I think at this point Charlotte’s infrastructure could handle the event – we’ve come a long way since the fake “Street of Champions” for the men’s Final Four in 1994. There’s no longer any need for a four-block facade of temporary nightclubs and street vendors.
What I worry about is the weather – or, more specifically, what the CFB group will think about the weather. Charlotte is trying to fight off challenges from cities such as San Antonio, Houston and New Orleans, along with cold-weather cities that have a dome. I’d say right now this bid is a worthy effort, but a longshot. If we only had a dome atop Bank of America Stadium. ...
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▪ THE NEW JORDAN: The most notable “Jordan” in sports this coming week will not be Michael or DeAndre. It will be Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old Texan going for his third straight major at the British Open. I’m rooting for him – golf needs a winner like Spieth in the same way that horse racing needed a Triple Crown winner.
▪ SO LONG TO THE SNAKE: I have never bought into the Oakland Raiders, but I sure did like Kenny “The Snake” Stabler. He died Thursday at age 69 from colon cancer.
“Snake was a lot cooler than I was,” said former Raiders coach John Madden, whose Oakland team won a Super Bowl with Stabler at the helm. It was a nice quote but not that enlightening – Snake was not just cooler than Madden. He was cooler than everybody. It was said he studied game plans – when he looked at them at all – by the light of the jukebox.
▪ FLAG DOWN: Kudos to Cam Newton for weighing in on the Confederate flag issue at South Carolina’s state house – he called its lowering on Friday a “triumph.” The trend of athletes delving into real-life issues seems to be real – LeBron James does this a lot – and is a promising one.
▪ 43 INCHES YOU SAY? I loved this line in a press release from Michigan International Speedway about what NASCAR will mandate about the car setup for the next race on Aug. 14 to increase safety. From the release: “The changes to the car for the race include a nine-inch spoiler with a one-inch wicker bill, a two-inch splitter and a 43-inch radiator pan.”
Oh, OK – as far as solving NASCAR’s safety problem, that should do it!