Tom Sorensen

Short takes: On Jim Celania, the Falcons, Joel Embiid, and a tattoo update

Jim Celania has been part of the Charlotte sports scene for 30 years, but he never acted like he was a big deal. That counts.
Jim Celania has been part of the Charlotte sports scene for 30 years, but he never acted like he was a big deal. That counts. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Sorry to see Jim Celania leave sports radio station WFNZ. Jim came to Charlotte in 1998, a time when I was young and Jim was less old. Jim could tell a story and make you laugh and tell you things you didn’t know. He also covered a lot of big events. But he never thought he was a big deal because of it. That counts.

Jim had lung cancer in 2005. We had one long conversation when he was in the hospital. What struck me about it was the number of times he complained. The number was zero.

Jim was whatever WFNZ needed him to be. Mostly, he was a guy people wanted to listen to. He will be missed.

▪  Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons proved they are not the Falcons we are accustomed to in their 33-32 victory against Green Bay on Sunday. That final 75-yard drive to beat the Packers was masterful. Ryan has been playing as well as any non-Tom Brady quarterback in the league.

▪  Watching Jay Cutler Monday against Minnesota reminded me how coveted Cutler once was. He was a guy who was going to be good. On occasions, he is.

▪  What’s wrong with the Golden State Warriors? The same thing that was wrong with the Miami Heat when they added LeBron James. Not a thing. Adjustment is required. The Warriors will adjust.

▪  The Philadelphia 76ers have been terrible for so long that before they run onto the court they probably put their hands together and chant, “Let’s be less bad!” You have to believe.

The 76ers draft large big men and those big men usually get hurt. But Joel Embiid, the former Kansas center and the third pick in the 2014 draft, appears healthy this season. His talent is intriguing. I Look forward to watching him and former Duke big man Jahlil Okafor at Spectrum Center on Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets.

But I especially look forward to watching the Hornets. I’ve made it clear I’m a fan of Charlotte coach Steve Clifford. I want to see what he does with this team.

▪  I stupidly said I’d get a tattoo during a football game a week ago Sunday and if I say something I don’t back out. Well, I do if the people around me forget I said it. But they haven’t. The leading tattoo candidate is -30-. It’s a newspaper thing. If you have a better suggestion, I’m listening. And if I use it, the next time I see you, or the first time I see you, I’ll buy.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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