Tom Sorensen

What does D.J. Moore’s speeding ticket tell us about this young Panthers’ star?

How would you punish D.J. Moore, the Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 draft pick, for speeding? The former Maryland Terrapins star’s Mercedes was clocked doing 113 mph in a 65 mph zone.
How would you punish D.J. Moore, the Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 draft pick, for speeding? The former Maryland Terrapins star’s Mercedes was clocked doing 113 mph in a 65 mph zone. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

You ever get a speeding ticket? My car is fast, but I can’t blame my car. I blame me. I’ve picked up two in the last 10 years, both in almost the same place. Beware I-485 between Johnson Road and I-77.

So what would you do to punish D.J. Moore, the Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 draft pick four months ago out of Maryland? Moore was clocked doing 113 mph in a 65 mph zone, a construction zone, at 2:52 a.m.

This happened after the Panthers returned from their exhibition game in Buffalo. You probably can catch hundreds of drivers speeding to North Carolina out of Buffalo, many with U-Hauls, albeit not at 113 mph.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera says Moore approached the Panthers, explained what happened and apologized.

If I were Rivera, I’d react by doing – nothing. Moore is 21. Many of us were 21. When we think back, we smile or shake our heads or turn red and mutter, “Man was I an idiot.” Hey, remember that night in St. Paul?” I’d rather not.

Driving 113 mph, or 48 mph above the speed limit, qualifies as idiocy. But the act says nothing about who Moore is, other than a guy with a fast car, a Mercedes, who is in a hurry.

Moore, the 24th pick overall and the first receiver claimed, probably felt untouchable. We’re like that when we’re young. We’ve yet to take the hits that ground us. And if you move like Moore with the ball in your hands, you probably feel as if you’ll never be caught.

The advantage of being a public figure such as Moore is that everybody knows your name. Hey, isn’t that D.J. Moore? You might not wait as long for a table. Of course, if you drive 113 mph, you’ll be at the front of the line anyway.

The disadvantage of being a public figure such as Moore is that everybody knows your name. Who does he think he is, this Philadelphia guy that played at Maryland, coming to our state, getting on I-77 and pushing the pedal to the floor?

If Moore had been drinking, the story changes. If Moore were speeding down a residential street, the story is horrific. He wasn’t.

What would your boss do if he learned that you were flying down I-77?

He’d probably do the same thing Moore’s boss should. You make a mistake, you learn from it, and you move on, albeit at less than 113 mph.

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

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