Abandon hope all ye who enter here. This is really tough to watch. The Panthers offer no spark, no entertainment and little hope. Every first down feels like a victory. But the trip has not been a total disaster. St. Louis is a great place to eat, drink, walk and run.
The Edward Jones Dome is as quiet as any dome I've been in. Place is full -- of empty seats. Why wouldn't fans leave the sunshine to come to this game? Oh, OK.
Even after the Rams scored minutes ago to take a 17-3 lead, fans didn't exactly erupt. Maybe they expected this. Maybe they're thinking about Halloween.
The Panthers flew to St. Louis Saturday afternoon. But not everybody made the flight. Wait until the offense gets here. That will show these Rams. I thought the 1985 Chicago Bears defense was the best I've ever seen. So far today, the St. Louis defense has been better.
Now we known why the Panthers don't use more trick plays. So far a flea flicker led to an interception, and a reverse to David Gettis lost 12 yards.
But you know what? I'd keep calling them. The old pound-the-ball-between-the-tackles offense no longer works.
Matt Moore's pass, on a flea flicker, on Carolina's first play from scrimmage, off his back foot, reminded me of Jake Delhomme at his worst. The ball was woefully underthrown and intercepted by James Laurinaitis, son of the former pro wrestler The Animal.
I don't think LeBron James is a bad guy. I think he is surrounded by people that say, "LeBron, was that one cream and one sugar?"
If anybody around him had any idea about how the world works, they would have tried to talk him out of going on ESPN for "The Decision," one of the most embarrasing hours of television in the last decade.
The problem was, it played into the stereotypes many have of the NBA -- it's all about the stars, it's all about attention, it's all about the individual and what's best for him
LeBron. however, has never been a selfish basketball player. He recognized the value of involving his teammates long before Kobe Bryand did.
I don't know if Miami will be the NBA's best team. But they'll be the most compelling.
They opened the season against Boston. I've pulled for the Celtics maybe once in my life. I didn't know which team to cheer for. LeBron forced me to make my own "The Decision," and it didn't take an hour.
One reason the NASCAR Hall of Fame struggles is because NASCAR struggles. When Charlotte committed to the Hall, NASCAR was surging. But the sport's attendance and ratings have been free-falling for years. The ratings for the The Chase aren't bad. They're abysmal.
The sport's defenders cite the economy. How much money does it cost to turn on the TV?
If fans cared more about NASCAR, they'd care more about the Hall. Until that changes -- if it changes -- the revenue the Hall generates will be insufficient.
Have to admit it, Matt Moore looked excellent, as did rookie receivers David Gettis and Brandon LaFell. The rookie receivers dominated the fourth quarter. Carolina's best receiver, Steve Smith, was a decoy.
Panthers beat the 49ers 23-20.
This one was fun. You don't need good teams to have a good game.
What almost nobody realizes about San Francisco back-up quarterback David Carr is this: He can play.
When the Panthers hired him in 2007, initially to back up Jake Delhomme, they had hoped they wouldn't have to play him until late in the season, if at all. Carr had been beaten up behind a terrible offensive line in Houston and was skittish when he came to Charlotte. Somebody would drop a pen during an interview and he'd jump.
Delhomme got hurt and Carr had to play and the result was disasterous. Carr didn't help by wearing color-coded wristbands. He was gone after the season.
Thing is, once the shock wore off, Carr proved he could play. He didn't get a chance in New York, backing up Eli Manning. He might get a chance with the 49ers.
Had he stuck around, he would have emerged as the starter for Carolina.