Ten questions about life away from football with Carolina Panthers offensive guard Travelle Wharton:
Q. What were you doing when you were out of football for a year with a knee injury?
A. A year ago this week I was back up there (Cincinnati) rehabbing. But during training camp I was spending as much time as I could with my family. That was the first time I didn’t put on a helmet on Sundays in a long time.
Q. What did you do on Sundays?
A. On Sundays last year I watched the games. I had the (NFL Sunday) Ticket. I was back home with the family watching football and hanging out with them.
Q. What’s it like watching football with you?
A. I’m moving around. I’m always watching the line first or seeing how I think it was supposed to be blocked. When I’m watching teams I played for, I know the plays. But college football I’m everywhere.
Q. I know you went to South Carolina. Have you been able to keep up with the Gamecocks?
A. I haven’t made it to any games with our schedule – with our bye and then last week, they were on the road. It didn’t work out. Maybe it’s a good thing. Last year I caught a couple and that was the most I had caught. But I still get my Gamecock texts.
Q. Did you stay up and watch the Gamecocks come back and beat Missouri last week?
A. I did. You know what? I recorded it. I didn’t watch the first half and that was a good thing. So I came home and I said I’m going to watch it, I’m not going to walk away. And when you’re not watching you get nervous. But everybody was happy at my house when Missouri missed that field goal.
Q. Last year after a Bobcats game I saw you and Jordan Gross on the street. Do you plan on getting tickets this season?
A. Oh yeah we already got in it and got our group and tickets. That’s a date night for us. We go out there with our wives or with the guys and watch the game. We got to support.
Q. Do you have full season tickets?
A. We had a set number. And we pick and trade amongst one another. It’s a lot of games from coming back home and going back there. We space it out and take a lot of weekend games where it fits.
Q. Did you catch any of the Rockets game?
A. I didn’t. I just caught the highlights. Dwight (Howard) is pretty good.
Q. Are you excited for the Hornets name to come back?
A. I am. I grew up in South Carolina, so I grew up with LJ (Larry Johnson). I even had a fade with the part in the middle. I had the purple jersey with the No. 2. I had the whole Hornets get-up. I never caught them playing, but to have the Hornets here, I can let my kids share the same thing and let them root for the Hornets.
Q. Are you going to get that part in your hair back?
A. No. I always mess with them when I’m in the barber shop, like, ‘I’m going to get that high top fade with the part in the middle.’ I’m just like, no, if I go home with that my wife will look at me like I’m crazy.