Panthers Camp: Day 2

About two miles from the South Carolina border on my way to camp a bluegrass version of Van Halen’s “Jump” came on the radio.  The singer sounded like David Lee Roth so I’m going to do some research to see if he’s been moonlighting on us.  I must admit that I was trying to get to Spartanburg as early as possible, not for camp, but to pseudo stalk Peter King.  Back when I had a job I used to spend every Monday morning in a bathroom with him.  Now that I’m unemployed I read his Monday Morning Quarterback column from a normal chair.  His column is required reading for me as are his postcards from training camps that he tours every year.  Plus he’s a Jersey guy, so I would at least get to hear someone speak with an accent that I’m used to.

The only practice of the day was scheduled for three o’clock.  I arrived at the expensive coffee chain around 1, thinking that he may be there. He’s a coffee nerd and there’s an expensive coffee chain about four hundred yards from the practice facility, so I figured he might show up.  I really had no idea what I would say to the man if I were to meet him.  I’m not a celebrity chaser at all, in fact I tend to lean towards not bothering anyone no matter how famous they are.  For some reason, though life keeps giving me run-ins with Barry Williams, so he might actually think I stalk him.

Seriously, Barry I'm not following you.

All I really wanted to say to Peter King was, “Hi, nice to meet you, you write good.”

Well, he wasn’t there and I had a date with a PB&J in my Grand Prix if I wanted to get to the player entrance by 2:30 when they would be heading to practice.  I have two notes of interest to those of you that followed Day 1 of camp.  Item 1:  Dwayne Jarrett signed autographs before practice.

We're cool on the signing thing, Dwayne, but I'm still not drafting you.

Item 2: Hunter Cantwell may be blonde, and not a ginger, although it may be the sun that brightened his hair.  I still say ginger.

Here come some more bullets, because I’m wiped out:

  • You can buy an authentic Jake Delhomme or Julius Peppers jersey at camp for $129.99.  I was looking through the clearance rack and realized I completely forgot that Keyshawn was a Panther.  I think if no one has bought a Keyshawn jersey yet, it’s not happening, donate them.
  • There are only 12 offensive linemen in camp.  That’s a lot of reps in this heat for a lot them considering there’s not enough to fill out three groups.
  • Little, white receiver Charly Martin walked off the field with trainers and returned with his left hand wrapped in ice.
  • Matt Moore was the first player out today, he signed autographs for about fifteen minutes before anyone else came out.
  • Most of the offensive line comes out together.
  • I’m thrilled to see DeAngelo Williams protecting the hell out of the ball so early in camp.
  • Tight end Jeff King keeps making nice catches.  I wish I could tell you that he’s a sleeper at tight end, because he has a young quarterback, but there hasn’t been a tight end of any fantasy value here since Wesley Walls.
  • Rookie receiver Brandon LaFell from LSU made the catch of the day.  A one handed snag along the sidelines made the crowd go “Oooooh”.  I may have video of it, I’ll have to check.
  • Defensive tackle Tank Tyler practiced for the first time today.
  • Baby Mama Drama: At the P.M. session last night a 20ish woman walked by me and asked a security guard to let her in, she was on the players’ family/guest list.  She sat under the family/guest tent by herself looking pissy all night.  I heard her say the player’s name that she was there for, but I’ll keep it under wraps because this blog is classy like that.  Today, a 16ish kid sat next to me and asked how long practice has been going.  Out of the blue he tells me that his cousin had a baby with the same player who the woman was there to visit last night.  This kid wasn’t on the list, but his cousin was so he had to wait for her.  Then he saw her on the sidelines and went to talk to her, and it wasn’t the same woman as last night.  Ruh roh.  This woman was carrying a baby and wearing basically underwear.  At least the woman last night was dressed with class.
  • While waiting on the hill for camp to start I realized how age effects the way we get down said hill.  Kids roll down it, anyone under 30 will do a little jog, top heavy people over 30 like myself walk down the hill like we have the worst case of shin splints in history.
  • I pretty much stayed in one spot for most of practice.  Most of the action took place on the field closest to the player entrance.  I saw Peter King walk onto the field, and didn’t let him out of my sight for most of practice.  I watched him talk with team president Danny Morrison who I sweatily bothered last night.

    Michael Stolp needs work!

  • He basically stayed in the same area for most of practice, so I stayed in the shade of a tree that I found.  Then practice ended so I posted up by the fence near the player exit, but of course he had to stay and talk to everyone.  It turns out he was about the last person through the gate, which worked out in my favor as most of the fans had left.  Then this happened:

    King and I.

    It was odd, I was waiting for him to come off the field and Gilbert Clausen was taking a picture with a kid inches away from me.  I had my camera out and he looked at me thinking I wanted a picture with him.  I told him with my eyes, “No thanks, I’m waiting for a writer.”  All of these people waiting for all of these players and I get nervous about meeting a sports writer.  No one seemed to know who he was.  Peter King, people!  We didn’t say much, I’m awful when I’m nervous.  I politely asked him for a picture calling him Mr. King as opposed to, “Hey, hey you.” Fans were actually yelling this to players and expecting autographs.  Manners people.  Anyway, I said something about New Jersey and asked him where he was off to next, and that was that.  So it goes.

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4 responses to “Panthers Camp: Day 2

  1. Pretty F-ing sweet.

  2. Did you get Pete’s email address?
    To send him your blog address.
    Maybe he’s hiring.

  3. Man, that is awesome.

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