Welcome to Tom Talks. You ask, I answer. If I fail to offer insight or information, I’ll make something up.
TOM, KEVIN FROM KANSAS CITY.
You’re really from Kansas City?
YES. WE HAVE INTERNET. WHY DO YOU THINK EVERYBODY KEEPS STARTING FIGHTS WITH OUR ROYALS?
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The Royals are like an NHL team, but with better ratings. You want to fight. You celebrate a single as if it’s a walk-off homer. The intensity is interesting. But is it really intensity or is it a desperate cry for attention, like a guy revving up his engine or dropping a weight from the bench to the floor? Whatever the reason, you can’t sustain it for 162 games.
TOM, ALICE FROM ALBEMARLE. DO YOU THINK GREG HARDY’S 10-GAME SUSPENSION IS FAIR?
Only a few people know what transpired last May between Hardy and Nicole Holder. But the NFL spent two months trying to find out. Did the information the investigation yielded dictate a 10-game suspension? Or is Hardy part of a perpetual make up call? The league woefully mishandled Ray Rice’s nasty domestic violence case, and has been trying to compensate since. Because of the attention Rice and Hardy have generated, the country is more aware of domestic violence than it has ever been, and that’s fantastic. But did Hardy’s transgressions merit a 10-game suspension? We’re not privy to what the NFL uncovered. Commissioner Roger Goodell is. Do we trust him?
TOM, PAUL FROM PINEVILLE. DO YOU THINK IT’S A COINCIDENCE THAT HARDY’S FIRST GAME AFTER THE SUSPENSION WILL BE ON THANKSGIVING AGAINST THE CAROLINA PANTHERS?
The NFL is not adverse to drama, and if the suspension holds Carolina’s first 11 games will serve as a prelude to the Cowboys. In Hardy’s first game back he presumably will go against Carolina tackle Michael Oher, who played with Hardy at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis and at Mississippi. But Thanksgiving is the holiday that does not require drama. Thanksgiving is about family coming together over a great meal, playing touch football in the yard and watching pro football on TV. Thanksgiving is a break from the real world. Domestic violence is an unfortunate reminder of the real world. So, yes, I think its coincidence.
TOM, CAL FROM CULLOWHEE. ARE YOU HAPPY TO SEE STEVE MARTIN BACK DOING RADIO PLAY BY PLAY FOR THE CHARLOTTE HORNETS?
I am. But I’m sorry to see Scott Lauer go. Scott knows the sport, and he’s able to impart what he knows.
TIM, BOBBY FROM BREVARD.
I GOT TWO LETTERS OUT OF THREE. IF YOUR NFL PICKS WERE THAT GOOD, I’D READ THEM. I DO READ NBA STORIES AND REGULARLY ENCOUNTER THE WORD PESKY. UNDERDOGS THAT HANG IN BEFORE LOSING OFTEN ARE REFERRED TO AS PESKY. DO YOU THINK ADULTS THAT PLAY THE GAME AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL ARE PESKY?
Head colds are pesky. Puppies are pesky. Mosquitoes are pesky. Mimes are pesky. Professional athletes are not pesky.
WHAT IF, LIKE A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL OR FOOTBALL PLAYER WAS A MIME? WOULD HE BE PESKY?
I’ve encountered lots of pro athletes who refuse to talk. I’ve never walked away thinking, “Man, was that guy pesky.”
TOM, JEANNIE FROM JEFFERSON. NEXT SATURDAY FLOYD MAYWEATHER FIGHTS MANNY PACQUIAO. YOU READY?
I am. And, yes, I know that five years ago the fight would have been more compelling. But I’m still mesmerized. I’ve seen five title fights from or near ringside – two heavyweight, two bantamweight and one featherweight. The tension is contagious. Only those that came to be seen are impervious. Floyd-Manny will be tense no matter where you watch.
TOM, BILL FROM ROCK HILL. WHO DO YOU THINK THE PANTHERS WILL DRAFT THURSDAY IN THE FIRST ROUND?
An offensive tackle, a pass rusher, a receiver or a running back.
COME ON. GIVE ME ONE PLAYER, HIS POSITION AND SCHOOL.
Melvin Gordon, running back, Wisconsin.