The Panthers acquired Greg Olsen in a 2011 trade, and the first time I saw him he was catching passes from a JUGS gun. He stood close to the machine and caught passes low and high, to his left and his right. If the JUGS gun was a quarterback, it would have been cut because it threw the ball everywhere but to Olsen. Yet Olsen caught everything. He has yet to stop.
▪ Somebody attaches “nation” to the end of every fan base. So there probably is a Jacksonville Jaguars nation, an Atlanta Braves nation and a Wake Forest nation. The Oakland Raiders have a true nation, a collection of Mad Max looking fans who have never given up on their team. And this season, when the team finally repays them, it loses to injury quarterback Derek Carr, a legitimate MVP candidate. Tough to envision the Raiders competing for the Super Bowl without him.
▪ Which victory meant more to Cleveland: the Browns’ first victory of the season Sunday against San Diego or the Cavaliers thrilling Christmas day victory against Golden State?
▪ Speaking of Christmas, we started late Christmas night what could be a Sorensen Christmas tradition. Although you can’t do a thing once and declare it as a tradition, this one is off to a good start. We watched “Night Feeders,” a horror film made locally and filmed in Midland and Charlotte. The sequel awaits. There were no chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But by then we were ready for variety.
▪ I like the Charlotte Hornets’ push to get Kemba Walker in the NBA All-Star game. The game should be in Charlotte, but the NBA refuses to discriminate and the HB2 bill means that North Carolina does. Thus, no game. The more the Hornets win, meanwhile, the better the shot Walker has. Walker came into the NBA the same season Cam Newton came into the NFL. Newton led Auburn to the NCAA championship and Walker led Connecticut to the NCAA championship, and each was the MVP of the championship game. For years we talked about what Walker can’t do — he’s little and his shot is inconsistent and….But, man, has he worked to improve. If he could work to be taller, he’d do that, too. Walker is a worthy all-star candidate.