Scott Fowler’s quick takes on the week in sports:
▪ SO WHY NOW, DEANGELO? Former Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is obviously leaner and quicker in his first season in Pittsburgh – TV analyst Cris Collinsworth kept mentioning Thursday night that Williams had lost about 15 pounds. He looked very good running the ball Thursday night against New England, with a fast first step and 127 yards on 21 carries.
So that begs the question: If Williams is a better player when he’s 15 pounds lighter, why didn’t he go ahead and lose that 15 pounds while he played for Carolina? Why wait to do it until you go to a new team?
Williams will have at least one more start for the Steelers, who are waiting out a two-game suspension for star running back Le’Veon Bell.
▪ PATS CHEATED IN SUPER BOWL? ESPN’s excellent “Outside the Lines” report on new allegations in the “Spygate” scandal sparked a number of fresh rumors about what the Patriots might have done to spy on the Panthers prior to the Super Bowl following the 2004 season.
I know people love a good conspiracy theory, and I’m sure the Patriots have cut many corners for many years. But what Panthers fans conveniently forget when vilifying the Patriots is that Carolina’s own Super Bowl team had a steroid scandal in that very same season (although many of the details did not come out until years later). I won’t sift through that scandal again right now. But I will say that anyone in Panthers blue trying to claim the moral high ground for that Super Bowl is exercising very selective memory.
▪ HORNETS STARTING SOON: Hard to believe it’s getting close to time for the NBA season. But the Hornets start practice in less than two weeks – on Sept. 26th. Charlotte opens the season at Miami on Oct. 28, and before that takes a preseason trip to China (which is the reason for the earlier start to training camp).
The Hornets will undeniably be more skilled on offense this season. The two biggest questions in my mind: How well will a team that has basically turned over half its roster bond? And how well can the Hornets play defense?
▪ MONDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Greg Olsen’s third annual music charity event is Monday night at Coyote Joe’s. It benefits Olsen’s foundation, which provides support for families who have children dealing with heart issues in partnership with the Levine Children’s Hospital.
General-admission tickets are $15 for the country music concert and will be available at the door. If you like country music, Olsen promises you will enjoy it.
“Last year we had Chase Rice and this year we have him again, plus a mystery headliner that everyone will be super-excited to see when he comes out,” Olsen said. “A lot of the Panthers players come out, we pack it every year and it’s a special night. We hope to touch countless families with the money raised. I just hope we’re celebrating a win that night after the Jacksonville game – we’ve found out the event is a lot more fun after a victory.”