My new favorite Carolina Panther is Jahkeen Gilmore. I saw No. 15 make a nice catch at Carolina's first practice Wednesday, and then another, and thought, who's that? I looked up No. 15 on the roster, saw that it belonged to Jahkeen Gilmore and thought, who's that? Well I'll tell you who he is. He's a rookie receiver out of Indiana.
A question: How come when a player holds out it's always his fault?
On June 19, defensive end Mike Rucker and safety Mike Minter and Minter's two sons and a nephew went to the World Wrestling Entertainment show at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
Rucker probably is the biggest wrestling fan on the team. He's a huge fan of wrestling star Ric Flair and Flair is a fan of the Panthers. Flair brought the group backstage and introduced them to several wrestlers, among them Chris Benoit.
This was Tuesday. Three days later, police have ruled, Benoit took the life of his wife. On the fourth day, Saturday, Benoit took his son's life and then his own.
When the Rucker-Minter group met Benoit, there was no hint of turmoil. Benoit was gracious and gave them all the time they wanted.
"We talked to him for 15, 20 minutes," says Minter. "It was just unreal when we heard what happened."
"I couldn't believe it," Rucker says.
You know how when you spend a few minutes with a celebrity you tell your friends what he or she is like? Rucker and Minter thought they knew what Benoit was like.