Welcome to Tom Talks, the sports talk show of the printed page. Long week; I hadn’t been sick, concussion excepted, for about a year and a half, so I figured I had evolved beyond illness and was impervious to the flu. I learned mid-week that I was wrong. But now I’m cured. So let’s go to the phones.
Tom, name and town aren’t important, but my question is: What did you think of the just released pictures of Nicole Holder after her confrontation a year and a half ago with former Carolina Panther and current Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy?
I think the pictures are damning. I think that Hardy supporters have to acknowledge that there was no way that under the circumstances the Panthers could consider employing him. An NFL man who was a Hardy proponent told me that he ceased to be when he saw the pictures several months ago. You can see why.
Tom, Lynn from Lasker. What did you think of the protest at the nationally televised Carolina-Indianapolis game?
I respect people who are willing to get arrested to promote their cause. But does anybody have the right to claim what’s not theirs to sell their theory? That is, Bank of America Stadium means a lot to a lot of people. Are outsiders entitled to turn it into (protesting) performance art? That’s a reasonable question.
Have you ever protested?
When I was in college, it was as much a part of the experience as going to a basketball or football game. I remember the last one. I went to hear a guy in the middle of the Minnesota campus whose cause I embraced. He pointed across the Mississippi River to downtown Minneapolis and, in a manner extremely condescending, said that the people who work in those downtown towers accomplish nothing. My dad worked in one of the buildings to which the man pointed. So I left.
Tom, Sam from Stem.
I like that, Stem. Succinct; get to it.
Thanks. Have you watched Golden State’s Stephen Curry this season?
I have. He’s playing better than he did last season when he was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. He has a coach who designed an offense to exploit his talents, and he has teammates who don’t complain about not getting enough touches. Curry is the best shooter of all time. But as his teammates know, he is a fine, fine passer. I love the commercial he did with his brother and dad. You know when Dell Curry says, “Win one MVP ... .” The line makes the commercial special. Dell made it up on the spot.
Tom, Joan from Judson.
Judson sounds like one of those names parents give their kids so they’ll sound affluent.
Whatever. What did you think of the penalty NASCAR imposed on Matt Kenseth, suspending him for two races?
The idea was to let drivers police themselves. Don’t think that would work in the NFL. Kenseth began November by taking out Joey Logano. But Logano had earlier taken Kenseth out, and when NASCAR didn’t step in, Kenseth did. I realize that Kenseth was a commoner when he took out Logano because he was no longer in the Chase, and Logano was royalty because he is. Drivers are looking for consistency. Speaking of which, why wasn’t Danica Patrick suspended for taking out her most recent enemy?
Your point is?
My point is that because of the feuds, crashes and retaliatory crashes people talked about NASCAR on NFL Sundays. In my world, that rarely happens.
Tom, Rhonda from Red Cross. What do you think of the Charlotte Hornets?
I’m doing this show before Saturday’s Charlotte game at San Antonio. I like what I’ve seen. They have so many players who contribute in so many ways. They know basketball and know what they can and can’t do. Man, are they fun to watch. When was the last time it was this much fun to be a sports fan in Charlotte?
I can’t remember.
I can’t, either.