Excerpts from Tuesday’s live chat with Tom Sorensen, which you can replay at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sportstalk:
Will: Do you think Davidson’s at-large hopes are shot if they lose in the conference tournament?
Tom Sorensen: Davidson has a shot. They have (Stephen) Curry, they have a challenging schedule and they have an opportunity Saturday against Butler. So many variables, however.
Mr.Wells: Heard today that the contract negotiations between (offensive tackle Jordan) Gross and the Panthers got alot closer. Somewhere in the range of $9 million a year. So what is holding this up?
TS: I’m convinced they sign Gross, have been from the start. I can’t imagine the team without him. I don’t see a hold-up. It’s how business is done. How many big names have you seen being signed? I suspect Gross signs in the next couple of days and the franchise tag is applied to (defensive end Julius) Peppers.
Will: Has there been any more talk of moving the Knights’ stadium to Uptown? Whatever happened to that?
TS: The frivolous lawsuits filed by the real estate attorney who mistakenly believes charlotte can support major league baseball have delayed the process. Price keeps going up. Chances of Knights moving downtown keep going down. I don’t see it happening, frankly, and that’s sad.
Scott M: Please comment on the Dale Jr. "bad day" on Sunday. Is this just an average driver whose drawing power is coming to a close?
TS: If you look at the numbers, he is more than a legend’s son. He has talent, I assure you, or (Rick) Hendrick wouldn’t have hired him. But he made a mistake and his timing was terrible – there were too many laps remaining to make such a risky move. One race, and the halo already is gone. But that’s racin’.
Chuck A: Any chance of a division title (football) for the ’09 Tar Heels?
Ghost of Diego: How long until the Charlotte 49ers have the best football team in the state?
TS: Not in my lifetime. Not in yours. Not in anybody’s.
Matt: “Million Dollar Baby” was on last night. What’d you think of it?
TS: Sad but really well done. Boxing gyms are often glorified in film. That one felt real. I love those places.
Julius: Should CMS’ magnet program include an athletics-centered high school? We have that for acedemics and theatre arts ... why not sports?
TS: Tome people would say that, at least in football, they do. But those people would be wrong. No, they shouldn’t create a sports factory at one of their schools.
Nycurry: Do you think Curry will play tomorrow? Saturday?
TS: Tomorrow (against The Citadel), maybe, Saturday (against Butler), definitely. And I’ll be there to watch him.
Matt M.: What are the chances Raymond Felton is on the Bobcats’ roster to end the season?
Don: Any update on the health of The Big Cat?
TS: I talked to Jerry (Richardson)’s wife, Rosalind, last week. She was thrilled with his recovery. I’m guessing she still is. Hope so.
Mike Lupica: Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson in their primes?
TS: Oh, man, I will never get an easier question. Ali is the greatest heavyweight of all time, or one of them. Tyson bull-rushed a lot of mediocre fighters. Ali would have cut him up. (Sonny) Liston would have knocked him out. George Foreman would have knocked him out of the ring.
Catfan: Does Curry stay for senior year?
TS: I’m guessing. My guess is no.
Chester in Chester: Do you think there is a part of NASCAR that wishes they were back in the North Wilkesboro days?
TS: Of course. tracks such as that one were for the purists. That was Junior Johnson’s track. Racing wasn’t trendy then. It was gritty and regional and real.