Tom Sorensen

Short takes: On Steve Smith, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and internet trolls

Former Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) is set for a second act in broadcasting, and he should be great.
Former Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) is set for a second act in broadcasting, and he should be great. AP

It will be interesting to watch Steve Smith Sr. on the NFL Network. Some former players try to make a name by going after everybody. Look, this proves I have the guts to be candid. They go way beyond candid, exaggerating. Some remain loyal to their former teammates and to their teams. Get off the payroll.

The transition for Smith should be easy. I don’t see him in either group. Maybe it’s a wide receiver thing. Former Panthers’ receiver Muhsin Muhammad was a natural on radio, and would have been on TV. But he dresses too well. He co-founded a private equity firm…

▪  As long as we’re talking about athletes who will make or should make an easy transition to broadcasting I nominate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Be interesting to see how effective he is after trading in his racing shoes for, what, other racing shoes? Basketball shoes? Sneakers? Boots? I don’t see him in wingtips. Earnhardt is likeable and candid and if, like Smith Sr., he’s true to his personality, he'll be good. …

▪  I’ve had a good run with trolls. But they aren’t as much fun to deal with as they once were because I can’t even fake anger. I’ll tell you, though, I’m proud of my guys. You know what would be interesting? A troll tournament. We can get a sponsor such as Troll House Cookies. Winners get a copy of Ernest Hemmingway’s For Whom the Bell Trolls and a lifetime pass up I-77 through the proposed Troll Roads. If people can bowl, why can’t they troll? Stop me, please.

We could create brackets and seed the trolls and match them against each other. I haven’t worked out the methodology, but I feel good about my team. I have one troll who has not gone outside since March 6, 2014.

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

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