Summer is flying by. It's hard to believe that football season is less than a month away. High schools start practice on August 2nd, while Tech, UVA, and the other local colleges will follow later that week. And then it'll be time to crank up season number 27 of Friday Football Extra on August 27th.
Before that, I'm pretty excited about the Greenbrier Classic at the end of the month. Golf fans are in for a real treat with the PGA Tour's visit to West Virginia. Should be a lot of fun.
It's been a cool summer so far. Got to take quick trips to San Francisco and Myrtle Beach, and have a couple more in the coming weeks...one to Virginia Beach and another quick one to Miami. But that's about if for time off until Christmas, with football coming fast.
Hope everyone has had a great summer...back to school is coming too!!!!
I know, I know...it takes another trip to Charlotte to get me blogging again. Sorry for the hiatus. Had a chance to talk with JJ Redick following the Orlando Magic's practice here in the Queen City on Monday. The Magic then went out and spanked Charlotte to sweep their round one series, 4-0. Redick is really excited to be making a contribution to a team that has serious NBA title aspirations. He says he's learned a lot and been humbled over the last 3 and a half years, since leaving Duke as a first round pick. Even Dwight Howard, aka Superman, talked about JJ's improvement, especially on defense. Also said that the Magic wouldn't be where they are without the former Cave Spring star. JJ's work ethic is unmatched--I can vouch for that--he stayed after practice for about 30 minutes and nailed about 100 extra jumpers. I don't think most people realize that these are the greatest athletes in the world. Don't get me wrong--they are ordinary people with some extraordinary talents. One of JJ's talents is rap music. He's expected to release his first single later this summer...and what a busy summer it will be. Redick is also getting married and he'll be a free agent--no rest for the weary.
Be sure to watch WDBJ on Monday night for more on JJ as the Magic continues its playoff run.
I also got the chance to visit Quail Hollow Club today where Tiger Woods will play in the Wednesday pro am and then tee it up for the 2nd time since his return, on Thursday. More on Tiger and Phil Mickelson Wednesday. Today, photographer Lynn Eller and myself had a chance to catch up with Tim McNeely, the Tournament Director for the Greenbrier Classic which takes place later this summer in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Tim is in Charlotte to see how the tournament is run, but primarily to try to gain some more commitments for the Greenbrier event, by talking to players and agents. They are already off to a good start--Sergio Garcia, David Toms, Virginia Tech grad Johnson Wagner, Boo Weekley and Davis Love III are all in, and expect many more to add their names in the coming weeks. It is going to be a great event with a solid field on a great golf course with a lot of history. I can't wait.
I could have watched these guys on the practice tee all day. They make the game of golf look so easy, which I know it's not. But again, it's only after hours of practice that it becomes easy for the Tour pros. And sometimes they even have bad days. I think the biggest thing on Tour is this--nearly everybody out here can hit the ball a mile and move it the way they want to, but the difference in the contenders and pretenders each week, is that the contenders make way more putts than the other guys. Like they say, drive for show and putt for dough.
That's about all I've got for now. Another busy day at the course coming up..it'll be a circus with Tiger and Phil playing in the pro-am. And oh, yeah, Fred Couples is playing with Michael Jordan. I need to stockpile some more stuff for Greenbrier week. Hope everyone's spring is going well, and when is it going to warm up for good??!!
One thing I forgot to mention with regard to the Hall of Fame, local race fans will be interested to know that there will be several artifacts in the museum from the late Wendell Scott, one of the pioneers in the sport. The Hall's chairman Winston Kelley confirmed that last night. There will probably be a helmet and some driving gloves among other things.
Now for today. More than 300 media members turned out at Hendrick Motorsports to chat it up with 4 time defending Cup Champ Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the cast of characters. JJ really seems to relish the role of being "The Man" in Nascar's Cup circuit--not in a cocky way, but just confident, yet I think he realizes how fortunate he's really been to this point in his career. His teammate, Jeff Gordon will continue to push him though, I think, and if last year is any indication, so will Mark Martin, the ageless wonder who won five times in 2009. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. might be another story. Jr. failed to win a race and finished 25th in points last year. He really needs to turn it around this year and find some consistency with crew chief Lance Mcgrew. Just my opinion, I think he'll have a big year. He better. Junior also talked about the fact that Danica Patrick will pilot his Nationwide Car in select races this year and he seemed very excited about it.
Dinner calls. The tour wraps up tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to heading back to Virginia with that nasty weather that has been forecasted.
Back here in Charlotte where Tuesday was extremely busy. We had a chance to visit with the Richard Petty Motorsports clan for awhile. The group has basically absorbed the Robert Yates organization under one banner now. That means that Elliott Sadler has come full circle now with Ford, as Petty makes the switch from Dodge to the blue oval. Sadler is also preparing for a big life change in the next month when he will become a dad for the first time. Kasey Kahne was the only one of the group to make the Chase last year.