Three quick hits:
1) UNC announced Tyler Hansbrough, the best player on what is thought by everyone to be the nation's best team, is out indefinitely with what sounds like shin splints. The school officially termed it a "stress reaction" in Hansbrough's right shin. It doesn't sound terribly serious -- it's not to the stress fracture stage -- but Hansbrough is such a warrior you know he's frustrated with it.
Hansbrough has been remarkably durable, which is one reason he will undoubtedly break Phil Ford's UNC record for total points this season. I don't think UNC's season is going to be derailed or anything by this -- it might even help the Tar Heels to play a couple of games early without leaning on Hansbrough. But the Tar Heels better be extremely careful here. Whether Hansbrough plays in all or most of the games in Nov. and Dec. will seem immaterial in March, when they will need him so badly.
2) Is anyone remotely surprised that the Bobcats lost their first game? That's a very tough opener -- on the road at Cleveland, facing LeBron James -- and the Bobcats didn't exactly light it up in that winless preseason. For a team of mostly jump shooters, as they seem to be, they sure don't make very many jump shots. I'm going to cover their home opener Saturday night against Miami for the paper and will be interested to see what they can do with Dwyane Wade.
3) My column for Friday's Charlotte Observer is a spoof of all those political ads of the "I'm Joe Schmoe, and I approved this message" variety.
I imagined what local sports figures might say in such a format, such as "I'm Bob Johnson, and I approved this mess." Or "I'm John Fox, and I approved this cliche." Or this punt. Or this draw play. There were a lot of possibilities with Fox.
Feel free to add your own fake approvals below, or else in the comments for the column. One note: I had so much trouble thinking of anything funny to say about Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt Jr. that they were two of the prominent local figures I left out. (Of course, after you read the column, you might say that I didn't think of anything funny to say about any of these guys).
It's early, but Big Al Jefferson moving well
18 hours ago